LinkedIn, the social network for professionals, saw a revenue of $522 million in 2011, though its net income was only $22 million, considering the company hired 531 new executives during that time frame. LinkedIn had stated that it was more focused on brand awareness and upping its user base than profitability. Though after a bit of time to let things settle, the company appears to refocusing on profitability, and is set to launch its LinkedIn Targeted Updates and Follower Statistics, a more robust marketing and analytics tool, to help brands forge a more effective following in a business context.
LinkedIn’s early launch partners include AT&T, Dell, Microsoft, and Samsung Mobile, who have commenced using the new follower tools. LinkedlIn, being much more of a business-focused social networking environment than say, Facebook, sees its unique follower ecosystem as ideal for more targeted marketing. Marketing content can now be adjusted to industry, seniority, job function, company size, non-company employees and geography, and marketers have access to an insights field, to monitor progress in acquiring new followers, engagement metrics – including likes, shares, comments, and percentage of engagement over time – and reviews of followers’ demographic information.
LinkedIn has offered some stats about its platform – 63% of users expect companies to have a LinkedIn presence, with 70% stating that they’d follow a company’s profile on the site – 64% would indefinitely. LinkedlIn users who follow company pages are twice as connected as the average member, being in twice as many groups in the network. Roughly half (49%) claim they would be more apt of buy a product or service from a company they are following that is more engaged with its followers, and 47% state that LinkedIn is a more appropriate venue for learning company news, than say, Facebook.
Though, like Facebook, Linkedin has its own ‘follow company’ button, similar to the ‘Like’ tab. Interestingly, a recent study has shown that Facebook still holds its own against LinkedIn regarding business to business marketing, when the latter would appear to be the better choice first off.