LinkedIn has been gradually making it easier for brands to utilize its professional network as a marketing tool. Its latest effort includes a redesigned and expanded analytics platform for Company Pages.
At first glance, it’s clear that LinkedIn has taken some tips from Facebook. The layout is similar in terms of what “insights” it offers. But, it does provide a wealth of information. For each post, the analytics show the impressions, clicks, interactions, whether or not followers were gained, and the percentage of engagement.
Beyond this, marketers can see their total reach, their follower demographics, their follower trends, and how they compare to their competitors. Some of these areas, such as follower demographics can be further adjusted according to seniority, industry, company size, function, and employee. The overall product defaults to show data from the past 15 days, but this can be adjusted as well.
Basically, LinkedIn has gone out of its way to try to fill the needs of marketers.
Just before LinkedIn announced its analytics platform, the company rolled out Sponsored Updates, again similar to that of Facebook. The two new products, however, work in conjunction with each other. On LinkedIn’s blog, Aviad Pinkovezky, the company’s Monetization Product Manager, wrote:
“The new LinkedIn Company Page analytics and the recently launched Sponsored Updates empower companies, organizations, and institutions to reach the world’s professionals and engage them in rich and meaningful conversations.”
LinkedIn has previously included analytics, but the company has never had such a robust platform as its most recent release.
Last month, LinkedIn also gave Company Page administrators the ability to act as a brand. For instance, this capability allows brands to like, comment, and share, although the feature is not available to all Company Pages yet.
While all these new features are exciting, what is the real impact? For starters, LinkedIn is clearly showing that it belongs in the social marketing mix. No, it may not be as big as Facebook or Twitter, but it definitely doesn’t have all the noise the others have. Also, while Facebook and Twitter have both demonstrated maturity in recent years, LinkedIn has always been on a different level. Even with its IPO, the network never received the deafening press that Facebook did. And now, as a publicly traded company, it has demonstrated strength and stability in ways that other tech companies simply cannot do.
“It is positioned to be the dominant social-media investment over the next decade, when Web 3.0 — the next iteration of the Internet — finally takes hold,” she wrote.
According to her, one of the strongest indicators regarding LinkedIn is its revenue diversification. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn doesn’t depend on its ad revenue. In addition to its ad program, it has premium subscriptions and job listings with which to pull in revenue. Now, it has Sponsored Updates to include in its profitability pool as well.
Krishnamsetty makes a good case for LinkedIn. It’s almost as if the network has risen quietly in the shadows of Facebook and Twitter. The question is, do marketers recognize the value of it?