The battle for attention and the growth in content on social networks has made it increasingly difficult for brands to get their message noticed by the right people. And while much attention is justifiably focused on the creation of quality content, that ends up being only half the battle. A marketer must also make sure the content is seen. Doing that requires the marketer to understand "where" and "when" to publish the content.
Facebook and Twitter posts have become staples of most social campaigns, due to their large audiences. Google+ posts have risen in prominence due to their impact on search results. Now LinkedIn is poised to capitalize on its unique advantages to play a role in social marketing efforts.
Consumers are spending significant amounts of time on LinkedIn, and this presents additional opportunities for savvy marketers to engage with customers. As LinkedIn's audience continues to grow, marketers can leverage the platform in ways that complement their Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ strategies, expanding consumer touch points and brand awareness.
While LinkedIn may not be a perfect fit for every marketer or marketing campaign, its applicability may be broader than you think. Businesses that have shown particular interest in LinkedIn are those looking to engage with the professional-grade audience that uses the platform. Oftentimes, these brands fall into one of several categories including: fashion or prestige brands, considered or high-value purchases, travel, business-to-business (B2B) sales, publishers who want to reach a professional audience, and retailers.
Three key points for a marketer to remember about LinkedIn:
Your audience is probably already on LinkedIn
With 300 million members (and growing), LinkedIn is the largest professional network on the internet. Marketers need to reach people where they are spending time, and people are spending time on LinkedIn. They are also increasingly consuming content published to the LinkedIn news feed.
LinkedIn's audience has a different frame of mind
People turn to LinkedIn at times when they may not turn to Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. And while there can be a high degree of overlap, your audience on LinkedIn is likely to be engaged in different activities and different social conversations than they would be on other platforms. Marketers targeting the B2B and B2B2C communities may find this particularly valuable.
LinkedIn has introduced new features to increase engagement
LinkedIn recently modified its publishing platform, providing users new opportunities to follow members who are not in their network, along with companies and members of their current network. This type of movement shows that LinkedIn is increasing the importance of its newsfeed but, more notably, positioning itself as a source for users to visit to consume relevant professional content. Think of it like you do the Facebook news feed, but with a professional and career development twist.
As more and more consumers use social networks, marketers must adjust their approach to incorporate all of these audiences. LinkedIn is more than a recruitment tool and has a growing audience that is increasingly spending more time on the network. As marketers continue to design campaigns to engage with consumers and potential clients, LinkedIn is a valuable resource that can prove to be an important pillar in your social media toolkit.
Jim Anderson is the CEO of SocialFlow.
On Twitter? Follow Jim at @jvanderson and iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.