What Is LinkedIn Now?

Jack MonsonBy Jack Monson Director of Digital Strategy, Qiigo

Monday’s announcement of Microsoft purchasing LinkedIn for $26.2B means that Microsoft is finally “in” social media after years of trying.  Acquiring LinkedIn is really the only move that made sense. Looking at hotter social properties like Snapchat would be a quicker way to freshen Microsoft’s image with younger demographics, but would not be the smart long-term move. Forget labels like Millennials and Boomers. This is about the professional life for all generations. Microsoft is already the cornerstone for most business professionals’ workday. LinkedIn is the cornerstone of their professional interactions.

LinkedInThose who say Microsoft overpaid are not seeing the long term potential. 26.2 is a marathon, not a sprint. The value in LinkedIn is not in its current revenue potential from unimpressive advertising and freemium membership upsells. The real value is LinkedIn’s assets: 433 Million members who will be hooked into Microsoft in new ways.

Those who don’t see the value probably still see LinkedIn as a place to post resumes. LinkedIn is the ultimate professional’s platform for any industry – business messages in my industry curated by my network, my contacts, and people like me.  Now Microsoft can expand that into the ultimate CRM.

And that’s what Microsoft just bought, created, or sparked:  the ultimate CRM. That’s the real impact for marketers; this CRM may be the place where your network, your brand’s network, your client’s network, and your networks’ networks come together. Need a database for a new campaign? Need to find influencers? Need new prospects? All of those people would be accessible no matter where you go.

I never thought I would use Dynamics again…and hopefully it won’t be called that…but we will all be contributing to what this will become. And we have been contributing since the day we signed up for LinkedIn and made our first connection.

About the Author: Jack Monson is the Director of Digital Strategy at Qiigo. He has been helping global brands, enterprises, and franchise systems with Digital Marketing for nearly two decades. He blogs at Social Media Workbench and is the co-host of the weekly Social Geek Radio program and podcast. Reach him on Twitter at @jackmonson