LinkedIn is winning social when it comes to decidedly professional or business to business oriented communication. Yes LinkedIn. Not Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr or Pinterest, LinkedIn. Slowly and steadily, LinkedIn has methodically evolved into a social media powerhouse making it almost impossible for competitors to enter its sphere. While Facebook ponders adding job posting capabilities, reported on in July of this year, the most immediate and likely implementation is more of what most in the recruiting industry would consider job posting aggregation, which really is not even close to the recruiting value delivered by LinkedIn.
In the mean time, LinkedIn remains extraordinarily focused, not on the bells and whistles of social like the most recent trend of moving towards more graphically oriented feeds like Instagram or Pinterest, but on serving the needs of professionals across just about every industry. The result is a continuously evolving ecosystem of professional interaction, one that is naturally oriented towards career development at nearly every single stage of the career lifecycle, and naturally presents itself as not only the best destination for professionals but also the best place to invest time and advertising dollars.
Here are the top 5 features in LinkedIn that are making it a natural go to for professional networking and business to business advertising.
Segmentation: LinkedIn advertising segmentation is extremely powerful. It allows targeting not only across traditional demographics (e.g. location, age, sex, etc) but also very discrete advertising across specific skill sets, titles, and companies. Most importantly, LinkedIn ads are reportedly driving leads at a rate of nearly 227% higher than Twitter and Facebook.
LinkedIn Today and News: LinkedIn Today essentially is becoming part of the backbone of the social media site. Today curates content from its active users and orders it by industry, essentially creating a new realm of digital online trade press. Is it the slickest curation system on the web? Probably not but it is by far the most useful. LinkedIn today delivers the top stories across industries that match a users profile immediately and seamlessly. This brings more traffic into the site thereby increasing the value of LinkedIn advertising. Impressions not only go up because of LinkedIn today, the impressions are far greater than anything traditional trade press could possibly offer.
Company Recommendations: Company pages have just undergone a facelift improving their aesthetic appeal. The new look and feel are more oriented towards what the company shares rather than what they sell. By placing content centric, the company pages now offer a constant feed of information that is pertinent to the consumers of the product or service and relevant to the industries that consume them. Sure, this functionality is available on other social sites, but LinkedIn provides two dimensions that are currently not a part of a similar page found on Twitter or Facebook. The first is a map of how you are connected to the company, the second is who is referring the company’s products or services. Similar to Amazon’s review process, customers or clients can offer recommendations about their experience with the company. These two nuances provide greater depth to the company page and better represent the identity and brand of the organization.
Following: The concept of following on LinkedIn has been around for some time, but recently, small design changes make the verb more valuable. LinkedIn is now offering suggestions of who you should follow and has reoriented the news feed to encourage more following. This should increase the number of senior executives that are participating on LinkedIn and could establish LinkedIn as the defacto ‘news room’ for businesses.
Endorsements: In September of 2012, LinkedIn introduced the endorsement. The feature allows you to recognize a connection by endorsing a simple skill or ability that they posses. The post announcing the feature puts it this way, “With just one click, you can now endorse your connections for a skill they’ve listed on their profile or recommend one they haven’t added yet.” This is a far more valuable than the enigmatic influence ratings currently available on the social web like Klout, or Twyla, while subjective, it offers a word of mouth validation for a professional’s capabilities.
This is the very foundation of why LinkedIn is unlikely to yield its superior position of leadership across business related and oriented social networking. It is critical for anyone who seeks to better understand and connect with the ecosystem around a particular marketplace, to leverage the platform and harness its power. One thing we focus on at Seamless Workforce is social media recruiting strategy, and LinkedIn is a powerful component of a healthy approach to social media recruiting. Check back with us for the second part of this post concerning a recommended approach to take when leveraging LinkedIn to address your candidate marketing and sourcing needs.
Be sure to check back in the next week for part two in this series, “LinkedIn is Winning Social.”
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