LinkedIn, the “professional social network” has emerged from its beta testing phase with some new features that allow advertisers to target LinkedIn users’ with pin-point like accuracy.

Previously, advertisers could only target users based on general criteria such as geography and industry. However, they can now target members by up to 100 exact job titles, company name and LinkedIn Groups participation.

These new targeting capabilities suggest a reflection of the rising demands of advertisers who are accustomed to the granular data provided by Facebook. Facebook Ads, allows advertisers to target users based on personal data including relationship status, likes & interests and sexual orientation. The goliath social network has also announced its new ad system will allow advertisers to cash in on users’ activity and actions on the site, essentially putting the user in the ad.

Jack Chou, senior product manager at LinkedIn said;

“We’ve been hearing from a number of advertisers that they love our audience and context and what they are able to do already, but they want more than that. Letting them target specific companies and job titles really opens up the door to a new level of targeting for them.”

As reported at www.clickz.com, part of the reason for rolling out these new capabilities, said Chou, was the implementation of standardised job titles on the site. Previously, LinkedIn members were free to list any job titles they wanted (we all know a ninja ), which would have made it difficult to target ads based on those entries.

Going forward, LinkedIn users will be able to select their titles from a pre-established list of options. If they choose to write in a title, LinkedIn will convert it into a standardised version on the backend.

In response top increased privacy concerns, Chou gave assurances that “everything that’s targeted on our system is totally non-personally identifiable.”

One of the biggest predictions of 2011 was a big increase in social network ad spend, and only one month in to 2011 we are already witnessing big ad advancements from LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

It looks like it’s going to be a big year for social advertising…