I like LinkedIn as a social network. It’s my social CRM and I appreciate having my professional network all in one place. A place where I can talk about professional topics without feeling weird about sharing them with friends and family (like my grandma).

I like LinkedIn Pulse a lot too. It’s the very platform I am writing this post on. It adds value to LinkedIn’s users. Pulse is simple to use and has a lot of great things about it.

Here are a few of the things I love about LinkedIn Pulse:

  • Easy writing. Simple WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor for writing your content. You always know what your Pulse post will look like and you aren’t overwhelmed by options.
  • Clean design.
  • Built-in content distribution. Perhaps the biggest reason to write on LinkedIn is the fact LinkedIn does most of the promoting for you. On average my posts are seen by hundreds of people without any promotion on my part. For content producers that’s a huge win!
  • Right environment. When you are writing about professional topics you want to be able to share them with your professional colleagues. Often these aren’t the same people in your Facebook feed. LinkedIn Pulse helps you get in front of your target audience easier.
  • Rich Content. You can write short posts or you can write long-form content as well. If you have the time LinkedIn allows you to publish content which can set you apart from the crowd and establish your expertise in a way that other social networks can’t. You can also add SlideShares, videos, and additional media.

So, as you can see there are a lot of great things to love. I’ve experimented with LinkedIn Pulse and so far I’m a believer.

But, the LinkedIn platform as a whole has a BIG brand perception problem. One of the things LinkedIn has worked hardest to change….

People view LinkedIn as only a platform for people looking to get a new job.

LinkedIn built it’s brand on being the place to put your resume and look for work. When you are on the job hunt it’s usually the first place you go to update your profile and reach out to your network. While this is a core feature, it’s also an outdated perception of an evolved brand. Really brand perception should be:

LinkedIn is the social network for professionals.

Getting a job is just one part of your professional life. There’s so much more to the platform and it’s ability to help individuals advance in their careers. Here are some good reasons I think LinkedIn is about more than just acquiring a job:

Career Development

  • Skill Development – Lynda is one of LinkedIn’s best acquisition decisions. The platform teaches and trains professionals to learn new skills and sharpen old ones. From software usage to new skill-sets, Lynda is a tool professionals can use to advance.
  • Thought Leadership – LinkedIn provides opportunities outside of practical skills. The LinkedIn Pulse platform is meant for generating and sharing ideas. Combine Pulse with SlideShare and you have an incredible thing. SlideShare is viewed by over 70 million people and has over 18 million thought leaders sharing their very best content. As part of the ecosystem, these platforms have helped LinkedIn evolve.
  • Networking – LinkedIn has also made a few smart acquisitions and built tools to help you perform better at work now by growing your network. From finding vendors to finding new customers. Connecting on LinkedIn has never been a smarter investment.

There’s more to why LinkedIn brand perception matters. How it is perceived is how it is used. How it is used is how it generates revenue. If LinkedIn is only considered by most professionals as a place to find a new job, other professionals wont feel comfortable getting engaged.

You shouldn’t have to explain to your boss why you’ve started engaging on LinkedIn. That’s a perception issue.

For LinkedIn to change they are going to have to continue to bring their career development ecosystem into the LinkedIn platform. Integrations will breed brand innovation. Even if it starts incrementally.

What do you think about LinkedIn? Be careful your boss is watching 😉

 

Originally posted on LinkedIn

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