So much for the growth of LinkedIn slowing! While figures released last week show that the network has reached some 85 million members worldwide, today LinkedIn has announced that, in the UK alone, there are now 5m users.
That is impressive, particularly when you consider that the 4 million mark was only passed in June of this year, meaning that it has added the last million in under 6 months. In addition, there are now over 20 million users across the whole of Europe, making it an important networking place for businesses looking to connect locally, nationally and internationally!
It’s certainly true that some of the growth will have come about from people being swept along by the current wave that is Social Media and that it has clearly long since reached critical mass in the UK. But I think that the reasons go deeper than that.
Networking has always been an important feature of business development process and it certainly continues to be so. However, the golf club as the venue for this has been replaced to a large extent (and certainly in many business circles) by online venues, with LinkedIn undoubtedly leading the way in terms of size, usage and opportunities it offers.
As Kevin Eyres, MD of LinkedIn Europe commented,
“LinkedIn is fast becoming the home of professional networking online … being part of the largest professional network gives our members access to a world of potential contacts, leads, information sources, business partners, employers and employees …”
For me, the increase is also partly an indication of the number of developments that LinkedIn has been adding over recent months, at what seems an ever increasing rate. The greatly enhanced Company pages and Open Groups are just two elements which are making the site more and more attractive to businesses, not just for networking but also as an important sales and marketing portal for the organisation as well as the individual.
Whatever the reasons, it’s clear that LinkedIn is certainly the place to be online for business professionals looking to increase their reach – it’s also clear that it is increasingly important to be using the site effectively to make sure that you are found and are developing your online reputation in a way that reflects you correctly.