LinkedIn is often thrown into the tail-end of any Silicon Valley soup that lists the growing number of social media platforms. Yet as marketing and advertising professionals we would be remiss to simply think LinkedIn should be approached in the same way we approach Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat.

Don’t get us wrong, LinkedIn is a powerhouse, sporting 500 million profiles. LinkedIn has a growing base of younger users with 25 percent of profiles belonging to individuals between the ages of 18 and 29. That said, the bulk of profiles, 61 percent, belong to individuals between the ages of 30 and 64. This highlights the fact that LinkedIn users are more established professionals who come to the platform for thought leadership, educational growth, and career opportunities.

We’ve discussed using social media for B2B sales in our blog before, and this is where the marketing value of LinkedIn shines through. Not only is this because of its older demographic, but also because LinkedIn’s microtargeting capabilities make direct use of the professional and industry qualifications of its users. This means you can use indicators like “employment title” or “company size” to narrow down who you’re targeting. The other reason LinkedIn makes more sense as a B2B vehicle over a B2C one is cost based. LinkedIn is unequivocally more expensive on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis. CPC for a LinkedIn ad starts at $2 with pricing as high as $5 for a single click. Meanwhile, CPC for Facebook averages about 25 cents. What this means is that any marketing budget that includes LinkedIn needs to consider a higher premium on placements, thus you need to make sure the audience you command is serious about the content they engage.

LinkedIn users are not as active as those on other social networks. On the flipside, they are purpose driven in a way a Snapchat user isn’t. As marketing professionals, it’s up to us to use our understanding of LinkedIn, a polished platform for B2B engagement and career recruiting, to our advantage.

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