LinkedIn Updates Enhance Brands, Member Interaction



Online professional network LinkedIn announced a pair of services aimed at giving brands new ways to interact with its 120 million members.

One is the ability for companies to share updates directly with their page followers on LinkedIn. The other is the launch of a certified developer program connecting marketers and agencies with a group of preferred partners to help develop custom social programs and applications using LinkedIn tools.

The company rolled out the new initiatives at its annual Connect: event for marketers, where it introduced company pages on LinkedIn a year ago. Since then, more than 2 million businesses have created pages drawing nearly half of the site's users.

With the addition of status updates, companies will be able to send content to followers' news feeds, including breaking company news, videos, job openings, and industry research. Status updates can be up to 500 characters long and including links as well as multimedia.

"This will not only keep you informed of insightful content from companies you love and follow, but will also let you comment on it, "like" or share with your own professional network," noted Ryan Roslansky, head of content products at LinkedIn, in a blogpost today explaining the new feature.

Through creation of a certified developer program, LinkedIn has assembled a network of what it considers top social media marketing experts and agencies to help companies boost interaction with their audiences.

The initial group of partners includes AKQA, Buddy Media, Hoot Suite Media, and Wildfire. The companies were selected to offer a wide range of services including campaign management, social promotions, enhanced analytics and custom application development.

LinkedIn, which went public in May, gets about a third of its revenue from advertising and 20% from subscription-based offerings. The bulk of sales comes from its recruiting-related services and job listings posted on the site.

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