Marketers are starting to take LinkedIn much more seriously - especially B2B marketers. Research shows that more marketers are planning on increasing their use of the professional social network.
A recent Social Media Examiner study looked at how marketers are using social media to grow their businesses. It didn't focus exclusively on LinkedIn, but there are a lot signs within it that point to a bigger focus on the network as time goes on (h/t: B2BNN).
When allowed to select just one social platform as the most important, 52% of marketers picked Facebook, but 21% picked LinkedIn. It takes the number three spot in terms of those actually being used:
It's also in third place behind Facebook and Twitter in platforms used by those with less than twelve months experience. As you'd expect, LinkedIn gets more importance placed on it by B2B marketers. Those focused on B2C are placing more emphasis on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram, while B2B marketers are focused on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and SlideShare (which LinkedIn acquired).
For B2B, LinkedIn completely dominates the pack:
In terms of overall importance to marketers, LinkedIn increased to 21% from 17% since 2014 as Facebook decreased slightly. For the self-employed, LinkedIn scored 23% just behind first-place Facebook (44%).
The study also found that 66% of marketers plan to increase their use of LinkedIn in the future. As you'd guess, B2B marketers are more likely to plan on increasing their use. 80% of B2B marketers plan on doing so versus 56% of B2C marketers. 71% of B2B marketers are interested in learning more about LinkedIn as are 55% of B2C marketers. It's the number two network behind Facebook when it comes to what marketers want to educate themselves about.
18% of marketers are regularly using LinkedIn ads, the study found. That's actually down from 20%. Still, 29% plan to increase their us of LinkedIn ads.
LinkedIn recently extended its ads to publishers sites via LinkedIn Network Display. According to the company, these ads enable marketers to reach a "high-value audience of business professionals" both on and off LinkedIn, while targeting the right people to increase brand awareness with those "who matter most". You can also track the impact of the ads with its campaign and website analytics.
Looking at content types, the study found that 69% of marketers plan on increasing their use of blogs. It will be interesting to see if LinkedIn's publishing platform, which it opened up to all users last year, will show that kind of growth.
LinkedIn's Pulse news reader also got a big revamp in recent weeks, which places emphasis on users' LinkedIn networks. Look for content marketing opportunities to arise from this as well.
Images via Thinkstock, Social Media Examiner report