What is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is an online professional social network primarily targeted towards professionals and career minded individuals. Unlike other social media services that embrace the more ‘social’ aspect through memes and funny videos, LinkedIn is about creating an online professional network and the sharing of information.



Friends on LinkedIn are referred to as connections, and they can be sorted into various categories such as colleague, someone you have done business with, classmate, and friend.



Your profile is like an online resume. Prospective employers can use it to search out potential candidates and you can use it to leverage your network. Users can put as much or as little as they like on their profile, and use various privacy settings to keep any information restricted to certain groups of users.

Profiles are generally very career orientated and are often laid our quite similar to a resume. LinkedIn provides various pre-set sections for users to fill in, and users can choose whatever may be relevant to them. Often users have a short summary on their profile highlighting any important information about themselves and or what they do. Users can then provide any details regarding employment history and the details, as well as their education, volunteer experience, certifications, projects, publications and so on in their relevant sections.

A unique feature on LinkedIn is the skills feature. Users can list their skills on their profile, and their connections can endorse them for these skills, to show validity in what they have listed.



Like other social networks users have a personal news feed where users can view stories from their connections and businesses that they follow. Users see updates from connections such as what friends have liked or commented on, profile updates, and news from businesses.


Job search

LinkedIn provides a job search function. Like any employment site, employers can post job advertisements with information about the job, company, and any other relevant details. Users can search for jobs based on various criteria including location, skill level and industry.



LinkedIn groups allow users with similar interests to join a group together to discuss and post relevant information to the groups. There are a vast number of groups covering anything and everything including alumni groups, hobbies, career development, location, and so on. In groups people can ask questions, or share relevant information for others to view. Users can also have group posts appear in their feed in order to stay up to date with what is happening.



LinkedIn has a free service provided to all users, as well as various upgrades to a premium service. There are four levels of premium: career, business, sales, and hiring. The different levels have different features each to a higher degree as the level increases. Premium features include InMail, premium job search filters, and the ability to see who has viewed your profile (more than a free account). LinkedIn premium is most useful to serious job hunters, business people, and employers.


Who uses LinkedIn?

Of the Australians that use social media, 24% use LinkedIn. It is the only large social network to have a higher penetration in the 50-64 age bracket than the 18-29 age bracket[1]. LinkedIn is most popular amongst males in the 40-64 age bracket[2]. In the Future LinkedIn may be looking at a demographic shift, according to the LinkedIn site, there are 40 million students and recent graduates around the world, which is LinkedIn’s fastest growing demographic[3].


How long do people spend on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn users on average visit the site 9.5 times per week for around an average of ten minutes a time[4]. Usage is skewed towards spending less time on the site, with most people visiting the site 1-2 times per week[5].

LinkedIn for businesses

LinkedIn as a business-orientated platform is functional for business and has large advertising potential. Along with separate business pages, which users can follow, business owners can also leverage their network on Linked in, and create advertisements through LinkedIn’s advertising platform.


Advertising on LinkedIn

Businesses have various opportunities to advertise on LinkedIn. LinkedIn offers advertising space on people’s feeds, sponsored content, and sponsored InMail. Advertising on LinkedIn is highly customisable and allows businesses to very selectively target advertisements through the platform.

View more on: how LinkedIn advertising works.


[1] Thiago Guimaraes (2014) The Demographics That Make Linked In’s Audience So Valuable To Business, Available at: https://www.businessinsider.com.au/linkedin-as-a-marketing-and-brand-platform-2014-9

[2] Sensis Social Media Report. (2016). 1st ed. [ebook] Melbourne, Available at: https://www.sensis.com.au/assets/PDFdirectory/Sensis_Social_Media_Report_2016.PDF [Accessed 1 Nov. 2016].

[3] Linkedin Available at: https://press.linkedin.com/about-linkedin

[4] Sensis Social Media Report. (2016). 1st ed. [ebook] Melbourne, Available at: https://www.sensis.com.au/assets/PDFdirectory/Sensis_Social_Media_Report_2016.PDF [Accessed 1 Nov. 2016].

[5] Sensis Social Media Report. (2016). 1st ed. [ebook] Melbourne, Available at: https://www.sensis.com.au/assets/PDFdirectory/Sensis_Social_Media_Report_2016.PDF [Accessed 1 Nov. 2016].