Ted Karczewski

​Social media networks must adapt to remain relevant. As marketers get a firmer hold on how to use sites like LinkedIn to target prospects, members will increasingly get annoyed at the constant barrage of promotional media thrown their way. This inevitability has led major networks to expand their reach and explore new-media opportunities. For example, LinkedIn looks to grow its services into a full-fledged online content publishing platform.

​Hosting more than 225 million monthly active users, LinkedIn has surpassed Twitter in terms of reach, and fine-tuned its ad options to outpace Facebook. An eMarketer forecast surmises LinkedIn ad revenue will reach $376 million by the end of 2013 – up 46.7 percent year-over-year. More, the source expects total ad revenue to total $763 million by 2015.

With a new outlook on social media marketing and content curation, LinkedIn continues to develop technologies that make service discovery easier. Marketers can take advantage of native ad space in the News Feed, paid SlideShare units on the sidebar or feed and traditional organic content marketing through the social channel.

While the B2B network has worked hard to improve its influence on brands producing custom content for lead generation, results have yet to be widely reported by marketing departments. That’s not to say LinkedIn’s efforts are futile, but it speaks to the unfamiliarity many professionals have with marketing through the site.

There’s no reason LinkedIn shouldn’t be the go-to social network for brand awareness and sales. With its ability to draw today’s industry leaders to the ‘net, marketers must tap into their creative sides to really understand how to pool together LinkedIn ad offerings and organic content to fuel referral traffic and website conversions. LinkedIn has put the pieces in place, now brands have to seize opportunities and expose the inherent value in networking on the web.