You already know I am a big (!) fan of LinkedIn, yet as I like to remind you, I am not directly financially compensated in any way by LinkedIn so I can retain my objectivity. I can be rather critical of LinkedIn, especially when they change useful aspects, making them harder to use, or delete them altogether, with little warning.
So when I saw the LinkedIn blog announcement of the merger yesterday morning, rather than delivering a knee-jerk reaction, I decided I would sit back and think about what this means to us business professionals using LinkedIn as one tool in our marketing tool box.
Change is good and LinkedIn was primed to make a lot of changes in the 2nd half of 2016, from what was publicly said late last year. LinkedIn needed a fresh outlook to make its interface more intuitive and comprehensible. Many complain about its hidden functionality and unrecognizable icons. I do. Microsoft masters the use of symbols to perform functions and they get better at it with every release. One upside and I haven’t even started counting…
No doubt more will come to me, but for starters here’s my take on 12 opportunities we will likely have:
- Many complain about LinkedIn’s hidden functionality and unrecognizable icons. I do. Fortunately, Microsoft masters the use of symbols to perform functions and they get better at it with every release. This should be interesting to watch unfold.
- LinkedIn sits open in the background on most business professionals’ desktops so bringing it up into the Microsoft suite will make it more frequently used. LinkedIn’s integration to Microsoft will thus help it win more adherents.
- New resources invested into LinkedIn will make it a more intuitive service and thus easier to use, and likely further develop some of the current and now-gone analytics packages that we rely/ied on.
- CRM is weak on LinkedIn and strong in the Windows365 suite so that’s a natural crossover. That’s an appetizing morsel for those using LinkedIn (and Sales Navigator) regularly as a sales tool. Look out, Salesforce, your hold on the market is going to change.
- Skype is much improved after Microsoft invested in it and one can hope they attain the same positive result at LinkedIn.
- The future of business is already based on remote apps on a mobile device. LinkedIn’s apps are poorly constructed and not nearly the same as the desktop versions. Microsoft seems to have bridged that gap better. Upside abounds…
- This merger will certainly help LinkedIn grow in countries with historically less than enthusiastic adoption (north Europe, e.g.)
- The combined company services will provide additional utility to professionals in industries that LinkedIn has lagged (medical, pre-college education, arts, etc.).
- Other subpopulations that LinkedIn has targeted will receive additional functionality in a more efficient environment: veterans, college students, under-employed, etc.
- Nonprofits have much to gain from the merger at the crosshairs of Linked for Good and Microsoft Philanthropies. That’s always a good thing.
- Imagine the information reach from your screen with SlideShare and PowerPoint all in one package.
- Finally, bringing this all together, how cool would it be to stay within the 4 walls of the Microsoft service suite if you could schedule (Calendar) one or more (LinkedIn) connections via email (Outlook) or virtual message or phone call (Skype)!
Please let me know if you see other upsides of this merger by replying to me here.
I, for one, am excited and hopeful that change will indeed be good for all.
My recommendation: for now, stay the course. Keep updating and sharing great material and tweaking your profile and Posting your observations. Be courteous in your opinions, be professional in all your actions, and most of all, brand yourself in the best possible manner, like I have been telling you all along.
Embrace the change, as it comes I will continue to help you through it, verbally, orally, in video, one-to-one and in groups, working with the professionals in all walks of life I help look amazing-ER.