Liking Or Disliking LinkedIn’s IPO

by Jason Falls |

Was doing some homework with my friends from NetBase for our 11 for ’11 Webinar Series (see ad below) and was poking around trying to see what people thought about LinkedIn’s initial public offering (IPO) now that the company has a few months under its belt on the New York Stock Exchange. Thursday’s webinar won’t be about the business of LinkedIn, but rather your business on LinkedIn. You can register for the free webinar over at NetBase.

We looked at conversations dating back a year, but focused in on about 16,000 total conversations found in May and June of this year (immediately before and subsequently after the IPO). People like LinkedIn for the reasons you would expect. It’s a powerful social networking tool, allows them to stay in contact with business connections and personal friends, but it’s free and has some obvious business value.

But what we found looking at the negative reactions to LinkedIn’s IPO was interesting. It seems a lot of of the not-so-happy buzz around the move was that the technology offering was steering investors away from clean or green technology. Financial insiders probably know this, but it was a bit surprising to me. My guess would have been that most people were upset about the valuation of the company and the conversation would revolve around a new bubble.

LinkedIn Dislikes

Turns out, those topics do account for about 30 percent of the negative conversation, but NetBase is able to cut those up among the price of the IPO, the valuation of the company (separate from the stock price) and how much money people expect to lose. (Pretty neat that NetBase can divide those topics out, frankly.)

Not surprisingly, about nine percent of folks complain about notifications from LinkedIn. In the site’s defense, that’s a user setting that these people just don’t know how to fix. But then again, LinkedIn could probably do a better job of making notification control more obvious and intuitive.

Somewhat interesting to me was the 18% volume of conversation around security and malware vulnerability. I’m sure some IT folks can chime in here and clarify, but I’m fairly certain this is a misunderstanding, too. LinkedIn doesn’t cause viruses. People opening suspicious files and messages cause viruses. LinkedIn is only the channel, much like the half naked pictures on Facebook your friend posts that you click on then realize you’ve just unleashed malware that posts that same picture on all your friend’s feeds.


Interestingly enough, LinkedIn’s company stock has recovered from a reality check dip in its first month or so and is now trading above $100 per share (it started at $45). So at least for now, the valuation and price is holding with investors. Time and the market will bear it out, but the negative conversations seem to be naysayers rather than soothsayers.

What do you think LinkedIn’s stock will do over time? Is it a good financial investment? Is the network as viable today with the advent of Google+? Let us know in the comments.

And join me and NetBase Thursday. I’ll show you around LinkedIn and help you optimize your profile and give you ideas on driving leads and business with it!

About the Author

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).