With 150 million users, LinkedIn saw major growth in 2011 and plans to improve its social media marketing capabilities in 2012.

Adding new platforms to a social media marketing campaign can be difficult for some companies. However, LinkedIn’s report that it has surpassed the 150 million-user mark may provide the impetus for some organizations to incorporate the professional network in their marketing mix.

In its quarterly earnings reports, detailing its performance between October 2011 and December 2011, the company found that its growth has been driven largely by the addition of “LinkedIn forums.” The forums feature allows businesses and professionals from all industries to communicate with other experts and solicit advice or discuss best practices. Using the feature to work with other businesses is a social media marketing tactic that demonstrates a company’s industry expertise.

As a result of increased interest in social media marketing, LinkedIn reported that it generated 77 percent more revenue from its various marketing solutions in the quarter. This figure is compared to the same three-month stretch in 2011, according to a release from the company.

CEO Jeff Weiner said that the company will expand its social media marketing offerings in 2012 based on the success it saw last year and increased demand.

In December, the company announced the launch of LinkedIn polls, which allow businesses to implement surveys into their campaigns. Brafton reported that the feature is ideal because an organization can select which groups have access to the poll, so the feedback and results from the questions will most likely be answered by audiences brands most want to reach.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.