On a Quest to Master LinkedIn

Sure, I know my way around LinkedIn – but do I know enough to utilize it fully for my clients?

It was LinkedIn’s 10th birthday a couple of days ago.  Looking through the timeline photographs, there is no doubt in my mind that LinkedIn has come a long way. LinkedIn first started back in 2003 and at the time, Friendster and MySpace were the biggest social networks around.  This was  even before Facebook and Twitter became household names. For a social network that’s been around for 10 years, I fee like it took them a really long time to figure things out!

I would say I’m quite an active member on Linkedin.  Because of my job, I log in almost daily and sometimes even more than once a day.  I used it frequently during my job-hunting days to look for new opportunities and research job requirements for the roles that I was interested in. However, it wasn’t until recently that I would spend more than 5 minutes per visit on the site.  LinkedIn made very little attempt to keep people interested – so what resulted was strictly a glorified social network for your resumes. You can see how this can be problematic for Linkedin if they wanted to make money from advertising. (Yes, that’s how social networks survive!)

With the addition of LinkedIn Today, the news feature section at the top of the page when you sign in – the site’s stickiness increased and there were more reasons for people to spend more time on the site. Groups were added to build a sense of community. Company profile pages created an opportunity for brands to connect with their followers in a professional setting. Stickiness improved which increased advertising potential.

But for clients such as mine (small to medium sized businesses), I have to wonder what the advantages are to advertising on LinkedIn.  The pay-per-click system is similar to Adwords with decent targeting options. Minimum bids have been at least $2.50 from what I’ve seen.  The most troubling for me though is how rarely I see any ads on there that I am interested in.  I am part of quite a few marketing-related groups but have not seen many ads that are focused on marketing. I see the promoted jobs quite often – but again, none appeal because of their location. Safe to say, LinkedIn advertising has not been very effective on me – so how can I convince my clients otherwise?

I haven’t seen too much on the effectiveness of LinkedIn advertising – perhaps it is more effective for certain industries? Maybe one of these days, one of my clients will have extra money they don’t care about and let me put together a LinkedIn campaign for them…

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