The Rise of LinkedIn as a Core Communications Platform


When LinkedIn added a feed a few years back, it looked like a copycat of Facebook.  And perhaps it was, just one full of a ton of B2B product commercials (at least for me).

Fast forward to today, though, and LinkedIn is about to pass Twitter as our #1 source of referrals from social to  It’s just at the edge of doing so right now:

This despite the fact that LinkedIn in many ways is a partial “walled garden”.  LinkedIn partially (though not fully) discourages linking to third party websites by giving more of an algorithmic push to content that doesn’t contain links, etc.

What about quality?  It’s a bit hard to tell right now, but we’ll track it more going forward.  Certainly, far more SaaS unicorn and decacorn CEOs are active on Twitter, and they engage with us on Twitter.  Founders and CEOs are much more active there vs. LinkedIn for now.

But LinkedIn is now bigger than Twitter for us in terms of engagement.

Maybe you should invest a tiny bit more there, too.

A few quick learnings:

  • It’s fine to link to blog posts, etc.  Yes, these don’t get the same engagement as a “native” text post.  But they still perform fine.  I don’t see a huge need to do “the link is the comments”.  Net net it seems you are better off just posting the URL you want folks to go to.
  • You have to reinforce your brand more on LinkedIn.  Comments and similar engagement can seem high, but many of the Likes and Comments will be one-offs from folks that don’t really know who you are.
  • It’s (obviously) OK to be more commercial on LinkedIn.  This is maybe its #1 benefit.  Overhype your webinar or product feature on Twitter, and folks will unfollow you.  But folks seem to be totally fine with promoting your own product on LinkedIn.  It’s a B2B network, after all.

Things keep evolving.  Including your sources of traffic.

I know a lot of folks like to think of social as a potential source of leads, and it certainly is and can be.  But it’s also a key source of awareness.  Use it for that, and your strategy may evolve.  Be where the most folks that matter see positive things about your brand.  That moves the needle.  Even if it doesn’t generate, on its own, a million dollar deal.

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