LinkedIn does not even need a formal introduction in today’s world. No matter what profession you belong to, chances are you are already a user of the site and perhaps have even landed your job thanks to it. We have sketched out a LinkedIn SWOT analysis to better understand the brand.
There is no doubt that LinkedIn is at the top of its game in its industry and very few brands if any can actually compare.
As of the beginning of this year, LinkedIn has a whopping 760 million users on its platform, and out of these, 260 million are regular users i.e. they use the site at least once if not more every week.
At the present, there are 15,000 employees, give or take working here and it is present in 200 countries located all around the world.
What made this venture such a huge deal is the usability; both employers and potential employees get a chance to be directly connected over here. Whether you are a recruiter or you are someone waiting to be hired, you will find it all on this site.
Just to make things a bit clear before moving on, the SWOT is an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. All the factors or realities which help the success of the brand will be classified as its strengths.
On the contrary, any factor which hinders the brand’s success in any way, shape, or form will be a weakness for it. An opportunity would be any potential step or decision which might be fruitful for its growth and anything which harms the wellbeing of LinkedIn will be a threat.
The strengths and weaknesses are factors that can easily be controlled and influenced by the organization hence these are internal factors for LinkedIn. The opportunities and threats on the other hand are external factors because they cannot be influenced by the company.
This can be better explained with the use of an example. The website being user-friendly is a big strength because LinkedIn has the ability to make it a reality.
If their users decide to hop onto another service amongst their competitors, it will be a threat because they can’t force them not to switch.
Now that we know what we are dealing with, let’s take a look at the SWOT analysis ahead.
What are some strengths for LinkedIn?
Let’s have a look at some things which make the brand shine bright like a diamond. Here are some factors which have helped shape LinkedIn up into the amazing business that it is today.
● Influential Parent
How many people do you know who get their way through life because they have rich and influential parents? Well, brands are like that too and what better parent to have than Microsoft? Say what you will but having an influential parent is one of life’s biggest strengths.
Microsoft bought LinkedIn in 2016 and hence has been able to turn it into the marvel we see today. The number of users has almost doubled ever since Microsoft took over it; definitely a strong feat.
● Active Users
As mentioned above, LinkedIn has an impressive user number.
Granted the number of active users is very less in comparison to the number of people who have a profile, it is still a very big deal to have 260 million active users present and this number is growing as I write this!
It can get very annoying and extremely taxing to go through every piece of information from millions of users online. LinkedIn has filters available which make it a piece of cake to shortlist the necessary information.
You can very easily shortlist the search down to a person’s gender, state, city, qualification, or job title and even more to save both time and effort.
Similarly, the people looking for jobs can easily filter professions best suited to their resumes or interests. Looking for a job? You know where to go.
The level of detail which LinkedIn enables its users to delve into is nothing short of remarkable. There is nothing more aggravating for a recruiter or a person looking to get hired than having incomplete and incoherent chunks of information.
LinkedIn profiles are elaborate but concise, they cover everything that both ends of the hiring process might be interested in and it is all a matter of a few clicks.
● Strong Customer Relationships
LinkedIn has very strong relationships with its customers because of the ease and convenience it offers. No matter how big of a deal a brand becomes, it always needs to cozy up to customers to maintain its position.
They have a fully established and functioning customer relationship management department to overlook all of this.
What are some weaknesses for LinkedIn?
Alas, despite the soaring highs every brand on earth has some disappointing lows to deal with as well. Here is a list of weaknesses currently being exhibited by the brand which if not checked will become severely problematic.
● No Diversification
Some of the biggest brands in today’s world like Disney and Apple have become the conglomerates that they are not by sticking to their core product or service offering, but by diversifying.
It is imperative to have other outlets and financial streams for businesses to stay alive for longer because if trends change and users shift, they have other options of staying in the market.
Unfortunately, LinkedIn does not have much else going on other than their core business; this can be a problem in the future.
● The Privacy Breach
Back in 2012, LinkedIn came under some serious heat when hackers had access to the privacy of millions of its users. In fact, in 2014 they even had to settle the lawsuit by paying 1.25 million USD to the victims of the breach.
This is a major weakness for businesses that are purely digital, the potential to get hacked. As encryption services and data protection increase in strength, so do the hackers.
● Fake Users
Whereas it is amazing that so many people have had employment opportunities because of LinkedIn, a big hurdle in this scheme is the fact there is no given way to guarantee that a profile is legit.
People lie all the time, even here so there often are people with completely incorrect information on themselves or on their companies. People get scammed often.
There should be a way to distinguish between real and fake profiles.
● Inappropriate Behaviour
LinkedIn is NOT social media, but some people don’t get this. With millions of users on it, there are bound to be a few creeps per every 100. They skip the professional bounds of the service and try to flirt with other people.
It makes the experience a bit nauseating for some people.
What opportunities can LinkedIn explore?
No one has it all ever. Brands as big as LinkedIn also have avenues for further improvement and growth. Here are some great opportunities which can further project LinkedIn on its road to success.
● Audio/Video Calling
Ever since the global pandemic hit, the world has transformed every activity into an online version. Video calling has become second nature at this point.
Besides, as soon as potential hiring appears, many times the people are required to give interviews which are then redirected to Zoom or MS Teams, so why not have a call/video feature on LinkedIn?
It will drastically improve the service and make things even more efficient.
● Global Expansion
Yes, LinkedIn is operating in 200 countries at the moment but that does not mean that the world ends here.
Many emerging nations are present which could use something like this; not only will it become an extremely easy way of bridging the gap between potential employers and aspirational candidates it will also expand the brand.
Emerging countries are short on employment opportunities, to begin with, LinkedIn could expand its workforce as well.
● Partnerships with Mobile Companies
Much like other social media apps, LinkedIn can also work on the possibility of integrating its application with cell phone companies of its choice to expand its reach.
Many people will at the very least be curious about the business and might even sign up. When the app will be pre-installed in the mobile set, it will be very easy for the users.
What threats should LinkedIn be wary of?
Even the mightiest of the mighty keep one eye open for threats to their safety; LinkedIn is no exception. Let’s see what factors exist which have the potential to scare big players like this one.
LinkedIn has competition in the market. Sure no other platform is very significant in comparison, but they are constantly emerging and evolving.
Brands like Nexxt, LetsLunch, and Atleto do keep LinkedIn on its toes. Think about the days when MySpace seemed invincible as the top social media website. Facebook erased MySpace from the social media realm like it was nothing.
How long will it take before some other business tweaks the wrongs of LinkedIn into rights and beats it out of the park?
● Government Policies
With data breaches becoming more prevalent and dangerous, all countries around the world have been cooking up different rules and regulations about peoples’ privacy on digital platforms.
LinkedIn revolves around the display of a lot of information on every user’s profile; it is quite possible that they may be required to make amends to their business model in lieu of governmental policies of data protection.
Naturally having access to a lot of information is one of its biggest strengths so something of this nature could ruin the business.
● Privacy Issues
LinkedIn has dealt with a huge privacy breach in the past and there is no way of ensuring it won’t happen again.
With the number of users increasing every second on the platform, the amount of information that can be exploited and misused is insurmountable. Digital Brands like LinkedIn are just one huge data breach away from going through irreparable damage.
LinkedIn SWOT Analysis: Conclusion
If you have read this far, it is safe to make an assumption on your part that you now see LinkedIn in a different light; a brighter light even.
In this SWOT Analysis, we have seen that LinkedIn is a very successful brand and has a very promising future if they play their cards right. Their strengths outweigh the weaknesses and they have some great opportunities to explore, however they have to be careful with users’ information.
They have a huge responsibility on their shoulders because what they get for providing their service to customers is even more sensitive than money; it is data and information, commodities priceless in today’s world.
Sure the threats are scary, especially competition emerging, but LinkedIn has managed to become the market leader so they can maintain their position by being vigilant.
All in all, the time when LinkedIn becomes obsolete is far away from today and perhaps might not come at all. Hopefully, you found this article helpful!
If you are interested in understanding what factors shape up the current performance of a company or industry, you should look at their SWOT analysis.
A SWOT analysis is essentially a framework that highlights the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the entity being analyzed. Knowing these four parameters of factors that influence the performance of a company can be vital in determining its future.
This is precisely why everyone should have at least a basic understanding of how a SWOT analysis is conducted. If you are new to the concept or if you want to practice a few times, we suggest the use of a good template to set your hands on before going all aboard.
Another brilliant way of understanding SWOT in thorough detail is to do your homework; there are countless examples of how it can be applied and utilized accurately and effectively.
To make your life easier, you can even jot down the important information needed for a SWOT analysis in the form of a table.