LinkedIn may be seen as an increasingly important social network for reaching out to professionals, but brands need to rethink the way they use it, according to research company Forrester.
In a new report titled Use LinkedIn for Social Reach Marketing, the company finds that the professional networking site has lower levels of engagement than Google+ or Facebook when it comes to users interacting with brands.
More than three million company pages are already on LinkedIn, seeking to engage with a huge audience of 300 million professional users. Forrester analysed the top 50 brands around the world and how they interacted with users across different social networks.
It found that that as a percentage of the brands’ fans or followers, user interactions with brands’ posts were highest on Facebook at 0.73 per cent. Google+ came slightly behind on 0.69 per cent, but LinkedIn performed worse overall at just 0.54 per cent.
“Members simply do not go to LinkedIn to interact with brands after they have purchased a brand’s product,” says report author Kim Celestre in a blog post for the firm.
She adds that overall, marketers do understand this, since just five per cent use the site as a platform for driving customer loyalty, providing good customer service or any other relationship objective.
Instead, Ms Celeste argues that LinkedIn should be treated more as a type of broadcasting channel. Using the site to build brand awareness is more useful, but it has to be done through using messages that appeal to professionals.
That could mean helping them to solve a long-running work problem, deliver career opportunities or even helping them to build their own brands through useful and helpful advice, she explains.
Just over a fifth of US online adults visit LinkedIn on a monthly basis, a figure that is much lower than Facebook, while LinkedIn members are less likely to engage with brands online, the research finds.
Though it has been criticised for poor engagement levels in the past, the professional networking site says that it saw encouraging rates of engagement after it opened its publishing platform to any user.
Posted by Jon Aspinell on 30th June 2014
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