10 LinkedIn Facts Marketers Need (& How to Use Them) [Research]

Are you challenged when it comes to getting relevant information about LinkedIn to support your marketing efforts? If so, you’re not alone.

To help you, here are ten pieces of research and data about LinkedIn and how to use them to improve your marketing.

  1. LinkedIn’s network keeps expanding. As of 3Q2011, LinkedIn had 131.2 million members, an 63% increase from last year showing continued high growth. More importantly, of this base, about two-thirds or 87.6 million were unique visitors in 3Q2011 according to the firm’s financial reporting. Unique visitors growth was consistent with yearly member growth. On average, each unique visitor generated about 87 pages during the quarter or about a page a day. Additionally mobile accounts for more than 12% of 3Q2011 total unique visits and over 10% of total LinkedIn page views. The top 1% of LinkedIn users generated 34% of visits. ACTION: Target power users to increase your reach on LinkedIn.
  2. LinkedIn’s audience is attractive for most marketers. They’re older, educated and have income, according to an OnlineMBA.com infographic. Three quarters of LinkedIn members have a college degree and one quarter have a graduate degree. Two thirds are over thirty-five and seven out of ten earn over $60,000. ACTION: Use LinkedIn advertising to target specific segments to match your marketing personas.
  3. LinkedIn is the professional social media network. Six out of ten professionals turn to LinkedIn for professional networking, the only attribute where LinkedIn exceeds Facebook and Twitter. Interestingly, one out of eight professionals doesn’t do any social media networking. ACTION: Don’t be out of sight, out of mind. Fill in your professional profile and keep it up-to-date.
  4. Most LinkedIn members don’t keep their profiles updated regularly. About four out ten LinkedIn members update their profile frequently while two out of ten don’t have a photo. ACTION: Stay on your network’s radar by continually building your network, providing regular business updates and sharing useful information via LinkedIn.
  5. Words matter on LinkedIn. Skip the buzzwords, especially in your profile. The ten most over used words are extensive experience, innovative, motivated, results-oriented, dynamic, proven track record, team player, fast-paced, problem solver and entrepreneurial. ACTION: Check your profile and find another way of expressing yourself. Follow the adage: show them, don’t tell them. Bear in mind people remember stories.
  6. Individual goals for LinkedIn usage varies based on seniority and place within an organization. Senior executives focus on industry networking, maintaining contact with former employees, and keeping in touch with associates. For mid-level managers, this hierarchy is flipped; their main focus is keeping touch with their network, networking within the industry, and engaging with colleagues. Newbies to the job force are focused on getting a job and networking with anyone. ACTION: Understanding these behavior patterns helps marketers better target their content and interactions on LinkedIn.
  7. LinkedIn Groups are where the action is. About 80% of members belong to at least one group and about 50% of members are active on them. ACTION: Join relevant groups to your interest to broaden your network and contribute to the conversation.
  8. LinkedIn supports B2B marketing. LinkedIn generated $131.2 million in 3Q2011, of which 51% was hiring solutions, 29% was marketing solutions and 20% was premium subscriptions. Its revenue breakout shows LinkedIn’s evolution towards becoming a content driven, social media network.  Two-thirds of LinkedIn’s revenue comes from the US. ACTION: Start testing LinkedIn in your social media mix if you’re a B2B marketer or solopreneur. Answer questions and belong to groups. (Note: There’s an upper bound of fifty groups per individual.)
  9. Lunchtime is LinkedIn’s prime time. A closer look reveals public profiles are most viewed in the afternoon across the US while mobile usage peaks after dinner. LinkedIn has strong business usage when people are at their desks ready to engage in the afternoon and users think about their personal goals in the evenings. ACTION: Post information to LinkedIn in the afternoon to maximize your reach to business audiences.
  10. You can stand out from the pack on LinkedIn. Only one third of LinkedIn users visit the site everyday. Another third of members stop by a few times a week.  ACTION: Visit LinkedIn everyday and take at least one action such as sharing an article, reconnecting with a colleague or sending an email.
  11. Men are more networking savvy than women on LinkedIn. Since women tend to be more social and active on other social media platforms this is a surprise. LinkedIn defines networking “savviness” as a ratio of the ratio of one-way connections that men have to connections that women have, and 2) the ratio of male members on LinkedIn to female members. ACTION: Complete your LinkedIn profile. Engage and build your personal network. Leverage your strengths by using invites to reach out to former colleagues and friends. Also pay-it-forward by recommending former colleagues, employees and clients.

Understanding how members use LinkedIn can help you as a marketer to leverage its strengths more effectively. Use the breadth of LinkedIn options to engage with professionals and distribute content to build your firm’s brand as well as your own.

Do you have any other LinkedIn strategies to add to this list? If so, please include them in the comment section below.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mariosundar/467945281



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