LinkedIn Helps Brands Get More Social

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LinkedIn announced two new features today at its Connect:11 event, as the world’s largest professional network augments its status with brand marketers.

CEO Jeff Weiner made the announcements about moving their platform to increased consumer engagement with Company Status Updates that enable admins of Company Pages to share their company news, videos, jobs, and industry articles, and LinkedIn Certified Developer Program that connects marketers and agencies with experienced developers leveraging the LinkedIn platform.

“At LinkedIn, we want professionals to be able to interact and build relationships with the brands and companies they value in the way that’s most relevant to them,” stated Mike Gamson, SVP Global Sales.

Building on the site’s Company Pages, which created a “robust ecosystem of more than two million businesses and tens of millions of followers,” today’s announcements “accelerate brands’ ability to engage directly with their audiences in a professional context and a social environment they trust,” said a company release.[more]

The LinkedIn Certified Developer Program launch partners include AKQA, Buddy Media, HootSuite Media, Inc. and Wildfire.

Gamson said that the company has now reached brand-friendly scale and while Twitter and Facebook offer advertisers similar follower features, the magic of LinkedIn is its audience; better-educated, more affluent, professionals seeking a business-first context, is fecund territory for marketers with messages about financial services, IRA rollovers, business class airline tickets, small business credit cards and other brand-related news.

“We believe there’s an incredibly important moment right now in the world of online advertising. Right now is the moment of acquisition of a follower base,” commented Gamson to Adweek.

Now eight years old, LinkedIn has 120 million members globally, and includes executives from every Fortune 500 company. All the major players — Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Amazon and Microsoft — are feverishly feeding the two-headed social media beast – consumers and marketers, while LinkedIn maintains its edge as the “business” social network.

Taking a page from the Facebook playbook, LinkedIn is stepping up, parlaying its social ‘in’ with professionals to leverage affinity advertising in a B2B context.

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