Did Microsoft just waste away $26.2 billion on acquiring LinkedIn? At $255 per active user, critics say it’s a very expensive transaction. But Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella says it’s great because it widens the market for Microsoft products like Office 365 and Dynamics, and gives the company access to the world of social media.
The deal may or may not work for Microsoft—it’s none of my business. My business here is to try and foresee if it’s a good deal for you and I, people trying to build their brands on LinkedIn.
For one thing, LinkedIn is likely to grow faster with Microsoft’s technological muscle behind it. The Silicon Valley giant is currently focusing on Cloud Solutions, with offerings like Office 365, Microsoft Azure and Dynamics CRM. LinkedIn, being a professional network, fits right in.
Experts like Lee Odden of TopRank Marketing think we’ll soon have marketing opportunities to target professionals with customized content and advertising. LinkedIn may become a cutting-edge marketing tool in a world of Cloud computing and hosted desktops that’s rapidly replacing the present Windows work environment.
With the acquisition, Microsoft has just shifted its focus from the enterprise to the employee. LinkedIn knows more about its users’ professional lives than any other social network in the world, and Microsoft is going to leverage this knowledge to carve out the marketing solutions of the future.
In other words, you may be able to develop marketing, advertising and sales relationships across the entire range of Microsoft products, including Outlook, Office, Windows, Skype, Bing, Cortana, and more. LinkedIn marketers will soon be able to reach their customers at more places than just their newsfeeds. They’ll also have an expanded market to tap, with over 1 billion Microsoft users added to their LinkedIn audience.
Watch out for upcoming marketing/advertising opportunities; however, don’t expect a lot to change too quickly. It’s likely to be an evolutionary process that will unfold as more and more people transition to the Cloud. Also, there’s need to take this new development with a pinch of salt, considering that many of Microsoft’s recent big-money acquisitions haven’t gone as planned.