From 2003 to 2016, LinkedIn skyrocketed from 500000 to 500 million users. Aatif Aawan, director of growth at the company, recently shared the three-pronged strategy for this increase at the Traction Conference in Vancouver, Canada. The first stage is ‘stimulating virality’ – there must constantly be growth, whether in the product or provided by all team players behind the product. The second stage is ‘systematizing growth.’ LinkedIn built a ‘growth team’ comprised of engineers and data scientists, and product people and marketers, according to Awan. To further promote growth, the company expanded beyond the United States. The third and final stage is ‘Use data to ramp up your growth rate.’ LinkedIn focused on metrics like acquisition, activation, connections, etc., but looked at new parameters such as quality members and engaged quality members. China, where 20% of the world’s professionals come from, also played a significant role in LinkedIn’s huge membership increase. Finally, Awan shared 5 additional steps for successful growth which include hiring the right people, focusing on good product before growth, and identifying the biggest sources of growth by looking at how users are finding you.