With so much attention focused on the giants of social media, like Facebook and Twitter, it’s easy for businesses to underestimate the value of a LinkedIn profile. But depending on the business strategy of an organization, ignoring the world’s largest professional networking site can mean a lot of missed opportunities. In the past decade, LinkedIn has grown to 3 million company pages and more than 225 million members. Last year alone, there were 5.7 billion professionally oriented searches performed on LinkedIn. Creating a LinkedIn profile for a company or the members of an organization can do a lot to help businesses promote themselves and network with the professionals who are essential to their success.
With 90 percent of affluent customers reported on social media, entrepreneurs looking for potential clients, partners and investors are looking into social media marketing. But since affluent customers are using social media for business and professional reasons, it makes sense to choose a platform like LinkedIn because it’s tailored to the needs of professionals and organizations. The demographics show that LinkedIn is great if you’re looking for older and more established people. LinkedIn users have an average age of 44.2 years, and nearly 80 percent of total LinkedIn users are older than 34 years old.
The way professionals interact with LinkedIn shows the value of networking on this social media platform. Two of the three top activities on LinkedIn relate to business issues. Industry networking is what 61 percent of LinkedIn users report using the channel for. Keeping in touch with friends and co-worker networking were reasons given by 61 percent and 55 percent of users respectively. About 20 percent of top level executives and middle management professionals primary use LinkedIn for industry networking, and about a quarter of top level executives use it to promote their businesses.
Just because LinkedIn is more about business than pleasure, don’t think the social media channel is infrequently used. About two out of three LinkedIn members check their account a few times a week (35 percent of users access LinkedIn every day). Even when people use LinkedIn infrequently people pay attention to messages from the channel; almost 10 percent of users say they access their account when they receive a message from LinkedIn.
LinkedIn has other tools that help people make connections. Users can create profiles with lots of information about careers, education, skills, and personal connections that is more indepth than on other platforms. And they also have a social component where users can post status updates, articles, links, and more. And a recent improvement to the platform has made it easier for people to access the site through mobile devices.
Last year, LinkedIn began offering it’s own content, called Influencers, which will probably lead to an increase in the overall number of users and the frequency at which they visit. In the Influencer sections, high-profile people in leadership offer advice and musings. With people like Bill Gates, President Obama, and Meg Whitman offering their advice and commentary, the LinkedIn profile has done much to set itself apart as the social network for professionals. At the end of their first quarter of 2013 (ending in May), visitors viewed 63 percent more pages and traffic to all of the LinkedIn news products increased eightfold since Influencers was introduced.
The numbers are clear; the audiences a business needs to grow and succeed can be found on LinkedIn, so businesses need to be there. About 87 percent of LinkedIn users trust the product-related information they see on LinkedIn and 60 percent of users have clicked on advertisements on the site. There are 27 million brands on LinkedIn that are taking advantage of this brand-building behemoth. Even if it takes a little extra effort, organizations can’t afford to not promote their brands on LinkedIn.