The Future of LinkedIn: 8 Possible Directions

By: Viveka Tuesday January 31, 2012 comments Tags: #LinkedInChat, LinkedIn Analytics, LinkedIn Connections, Future of LinkedIn, LinkedIn CRM, Jeff Weiner, CardMunch, Linked InMaps

Where Do You See LinkedIn Going?

1.  Connect-ability




Where do I see LinkedIn going?  Beyond the inevitability of yearly facelifts (one of the reasons I really appreciate LinkedIn is that its designers don’t feel the need to change its look and function-ability every few months) I am hopeful that LinkedIn will focus on making valid connectibility between its members easier and more effective.

Right now the only way to send messages is directly to a first level connection, through groups, updates and paid InMails.  I believe this greatly inhibits people’s ability to connect and do business.  I understand LinkedIn is protecting against the incredible spammy nature of communications that has infiltrated most social media sites – but it also greatly limits people’s ability to connect.  Perhaps LinkedIn will find a different way to monetize its network and allow for more introductions or easier Group communications.

2.  Customer Relationship Management


I would love to see an interactive scheduling program turning LinkedIn into a true CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system.  I’m excited about the LinkedIn For Sales Force App available to Salesforce users, but would love to see the same kind of contact management system for business folks who don't use Salesforce.   I think they have made a start buying CardMunch.com.  I’m excited to see where they might go with a LinkedIn CRM.  Some kind of truly usable CRM system to help us organize, connect with, time and schedule communications with our ENTIRE LinkedIn Network, not just our first levels, would be a tool I would pay some money for!

3.  Third Party Apps


One of the things I appreciate about LinkedIn is that there are not hundreds of thousands of third party apps to sift through like you have with Facebook and Twitter.  This means less potential for hackers and worms, but it also means less potential usability.  I don’t care who creates the applications, third party or LinkedIn itself, but a few more apps and a slightly more open API would be nice.  Also – It would be great if LinkedIn would allow you to use more than 8 apps at a time.  While I appreciate LinkedInLabs and the Hackaday incentive – the only apps they have created that I think truly help in my business are LinkedIn Signal and InMaps

4.  Jeff Weiner




So back to the future of LinkedIn.  When Jeff Weiner was made CEO, he really began to open LinkedIn to its more social aspect.  I hope the trend continues that way.  LinkedIn Today and LinkedIn Signal are two of my favorite innovations from his reign.  Rumor has it he was brought into LinkedIn to take it public, but (almost) a year later he is still CEO and LinkedIn continues to grow and thrive (should be hitting 145 million users any day now).  I just hope he is able to balance gross profits with social and influence profitability.

 

5.  The LinkedIn Profile


I also see LinkedIn continuing to add segments to the user profile.  An easier video app would be appreciated (You can use Google Presentations and Slideshare to upload video but it's a bit tricky and very buggy).  They already have the technology (uploading YouTube video into your Company Page’s Products and Services) so why not add them to personal profiles?

I think its inevitable (and I cringe to think about it) but there probably needs to be some Facebook interaction.  On the other hand, while you can still add your twitter account to your LinkedIn Profile, they are dropping the Tweets app, so perhaps LinkedIn will avoid becoming embroiled with other social sites.  And why oh why did Tweetdeck drop LinkedIn :(

With the recent changes to Facebook with the Timeline, and the massive appeal of Pinterest, I have a feeling a more visually appealing LinkedIn user profile might be on its way.  A few more pics (as long as they are NOT your trip to Cozumel) would probably not be amiss.

6.  An Autonomous LinkedIn Company Page


If LinkedIn is smart it will make use of one of Facebook’s inventions – the autonomous business page.  They are definitely moving in that direction with Company Page updates.  I love the customized banner ads, and some of the other features including analytics that LinkedIn has “recently” added.

7.  Analytics


Speaking of Analytics – LinkedIn REALLY needs to amp up its analytics.  Our personal profiles need more info then who has viewed us, joined our network and where they are from.  How about the Company Update analytics on our personal updates?  How about letting us know WHEN our network is active?  How about more statistics about LinkedIn users themselves.  Again – Something I would be willing to pay for

8.  $$$


And I have a feeling you will be able to buy more things on LinkedIn in the future – Buy more invitations, buy more visibility, buy more connections, buy more content, buy more expertise,  etc.

Those are just a few things I see happening.  How about you?  Let’s talk about it tonight (Jan 31) on the #LinkedInChat at 5 PST, 8 EST.  Join us at www.tweetchat.com/room/linkedinchat

Questions for tonight’s #LinkedInChat


Q1: What are your favorite recent LinkedIn Innovations? Why? How do you use them?

Q2: What tools do you use the most on LinkedIn? How?

Q3: What would you like to see LinkedIn offering that is doesn’t already?

Q4: What tools do you use with LinkedIn? (CardMunch, Batchbook, etc)

Q4: What would you like to see in LinkedIn’s future – overall and specifically?

Q5: What do you actually see as LinkedIn’s future?

Here's a List of the Resources Shared Tonight!


Please feel free to add to this list, embed it or share it!

[listly id="lq" theme="light" layout="full" numbered="yes" image="yes" items="all"]

 

Viveka

About the Author: Viveka

Viveka is author of LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day and is known internationally as the “LinkedIn Expert”.
CEO of Linked Into Business, she also hosts the biggest LinkedIn chat on Twitter.  Forbes has listed her as a top social media influencer for three years running, and she has been cited in Ragan, CNN, Forbes, Mashable, Simple Living, Bloomberg, LinkedIn's Small Business Site and "The Sophisticated Marketer's Guide to LinkedIn, The Miami Herald, Social Media Today and The Social Media Examiner!

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