Mercedes Ruehl Reporter

Mercedes writes for The Australian Financial Review and BRW from the Sydney newsroom. She has an interest in technology, politics and travel writing.

View more articles from Mercedes Ruehl

Do you make the cut? LinkedIn gets a little more exclusive

Published 02 August 2013 11:14, Updated 26 November 2013 12:10

+font -font print
Do you make the cut? LinkedIn gets a little more exclusive

LinkedIn reported a 59 per cent surge in revenue for the second quarter of 2013 to $US363.7 million. Photo: Bloomberg

The majority of Australian professionals may be on LinkedIn, but the world’s largest professional network is about to get a little more exclusive.

ANZ Bank’s Mike Smith is the newest Australian chief executive to be accepted into LinkedIn’s influencer program, joining the likes of US President Barack Obama, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Virgin’s Richard Branson and British Prime Minister David Cameron. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner is also an influencer.

The global influencer program showcases inspirational blog posts and musings on the secrets of success from the aforementioned high-profile leaders and public figures. Executives around the world are being kept waiting for invitations to join the program, and it has apparently prompted a big spike in page views this year for LinkedIn.

It’s a big compliment to ANZ’s Smith, but Naomi Simpson of RedBalloon and Matt Barrie of Freelancer.com were actually the first two Australians to make the list when it was launched back in October 2012.

One of the more memorable influencer posts was Richard Branson’s piece on why he prefers his assistant to his smartphone in getting through the work day.

The move comes as LinkedIn, unlike some other listed social media companies, goes from strength to strength. The San Francisco-based company reported a 59 per cent surge in revenue for the second quarter of 2013 to $US363.7 million ($407.9 million), with membership growing at the fastest pace since early 2011. It also raised full-year revenue guidance to between $US1.455 billion and $US1.475 billion.

Australian users up 300 per cent

LinkedIn’s executive director, Daniel Roth, told The New York Times in June:

“We have a long list of CEOs who are asking to get in.”

Not bad for a company that was initially thought to be a little too straight-laced and, well, boring, compared with Twitter or Facebook. (It wasn’t all good news – the company provided a lower-than-expected forecast for the third quarter of the year. LinkedIn is forecasting sales of between $US367 million and $US373 million, which tempered some investor enthusiasm.)

Even so, shares were up to a record $US228.50 after the closing bell on Wall St on Thursday US time.

The site now has more than 238 million users, a 37 per cent increase on 12 months ago. LinkedIn already has more than 4 million members in Australia. In March, LinkedIn announced its membership base here had grown by more than 300 per cent since 2010.

But maybe all that means LinkedIn has to make itself even more appealing to stay relevant and desirable to users, hence the influencer program.

It also brings in waves of traffic and, by extension, revenue. Unfortunately, it seems to be getting tougher to become an influencer. Where once there was a form you could complete to apply to become an influencer, it has since disappeared from the site. So it’s a little unclear as to how the program works.

If you do want to become an influencer, though, here’s how to get started.

Topics:

Comments