Are You Ready For The New LinkedIn?


Are You Ready For The New LinkedIn?

Are you positioned to benefit from the new LinkedIn as it ramps up integration with Microsoft?

Microsoft paid $26.2 billion for LinkedIn earlier this year.  The symmetry between the two companies was not immediately apparent. How would Microsoft derive value from LinkedIn? How does LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional social network, fit into Microsoft’s plans with SaaS, the cloud, mobile, hardware, etc?

Microsoft acquires LinkedInThe answers are both elegant and devious, and portend explosive opportunity for marketers, PR people, sales, recruiting – anybody in a professional role.

The genius of LinkedIn, of course, is the data. A tremendous amount of verifiable, specific, useful data is housed in LinkedIn. Combine that with increasingly powerful internal search and you get the new Sales Navigator, which functions as a combined lead gen and CRM platform.

The acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft will accelerate the use of social media by professionals. Social selling will become the new norm in sales and marketing. Early adopters will have an advantage in their businesses and in guiding clients through the new social world order.

Microsoft acquires LinkedIn and integrates SharePoint, Windows, Outlook, Excel, Skype, PowerPoint, Word, and CortanaMicrosoft plans to integrate LinkedIn into nearly all its offerings, which will create a valuable new experience for professionals who need intelligence on prospects, competitors, potential partners, or new hires. It’s a devious proposition since all the details of our professional life (and maybe personal life) will be available on any device at anytime to virtually anyone, if this union is successful.

This is all tied in with Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant that sits at the left hand corner of my computer screen with the constant exhortation to “ask me anything.” More and more, I do.

Under Satya Nadella, Microsoft is burying the Gates/Ballmer start-up legacy era, and emerging as an innovator and a leader in various cool enterprises. We’re living in an era when Microsoft is cool!

Microsoft unveils applications with its acquisition of LinkedInAt the moment, is a very, very cool acquisition for LinkedIn. I’ve been a big fan of Lynda since the earliest days when she taught web development in retreats in Ojai, CA (a great little town). Through online courses, Lynda and cohorts walked me through creating early-stage web sites in Dreamweaver, before I became a WordPress devotee.

You can see the influence of throughout LinkedIn. There’s a big push for online courses in virtually any subject. I did a course in SEO. It was fantastic, presented in nice digestible chunks, clear and professional. For career development, especially if you’re an entrepreneur, Lynda is a really nice addition to LinkedIn.

A few years ago, there was a big push for finance professionals to devote time to LinkedIn. It is after all the world’s largest professional network and everyone you’re targeting is on LinkedIn. In the past year or so, interest in LinkedIn flagged. The value of LinkedIn became fuzzy and once-proven prospecting tactics didn’t work anymore. It’s time to take another look at LinkedIn. The potential here is explosive.

Follow me on LinkedIn or on Twitter @markrose | @finsquared

Mark Rose

Founder Finsquared, The New Equation in PR.