Social Media Marketing Guide: LinkedIn

For businesses today, the most popular social networks are: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram. This is the second post of our Social Media Marketing Guide which entails all you need to know about these networks. In today’s post I will write about LinkedIn.

After winning a trip to the SMX Social Media Marketing Conference in the Biggest Social Geek competition, hosted by Marin Software, I decided to share my knowledge on these important networks to the social media marketing community. The result is this Social Media Marketing Guide, the prior blogpost from the guide was about Facebook, to see it click here.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social network targeted toward professionals and businesses. Unlike other social networks, it is specifically focused on professional networking. Individuals create profiles that list their professional achievements. They can then join networking groups, publish information about their company, share news or look for a job. Generally LinkedIn is more geared toward B2B than B2C. Advertising on LinkedIn allows for much less specific demographic targeting than other platforms.
Monthly Active Users 313 million (Statista)
Headquarters Mountain View, CA
Founded 2003
Founder(s) Reid Hoffman
Allen Blue
Konstantin Guericke
Eric Ly
Jean-Luc Vaillant
CEO Jeff Weiner
Net Income $26.7 million (LinkedIn)

Demographics

LinkedIn is used by 22% of adult internet users worldwide. Its users are predominantly university educated and high income earners. Of all the social networks, it contains the highest proportion of professionals.

Features

Profile

A profile represents an individual person and contains career-oriented information such as current and previous employment, projects and publications. Profiles can post updates, join groups (see below) or look for jobs. They also contain a profile picture, which can be a JPG, PNG or GIF ideally between 200 × 200 and 500 × 500 pixels (4,000 × 4,000 maximum). A profile can have a maximum of 30,000 connections. A profile can also claim a vanity URL, which must be between 5 and 30 characters, and can only be changed five times within 180 days.

When a user attempts to add another user as a connection on LinkedIn, they are asked how they know that person:

  • Colleague (must specify company)
  • Classmate (must specify school)
  • We’ve done business together (must specify company)
  • Friend (after five request rejections, must enter email address of user)
  • Other (must enter email address of user)
  • I don’t know them (invitation will not send)

LinkedIn also has its influencers program. This is invite only and lets well-known public figures (celebrities, journalists and government officials) write exclusive content for LinkedIn. Currently it contains figures like Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Ban Ki-moon and Barack Obama.

Company

An organisation can create a company page, accrue followers, and share updates. It can also create a Showcase Page (see below) and post Jobs (see below). A company page contains an image (646 × 220 pixels), a standard logo (100 × 60 pixels), and a square logo (50 × 50 pixels). The company also requires a name (100 characters maximum) and a description (2,000 characters maximum). Company pages also have careers, products and services sections. For a user to become an admin, they must have an email address at that company.

A company can also use Analytics to track clicks and interactions on their posts and demographic data on their followers.

Group

In a group, individuals can share content and post jobs for other members to see. There are two privacy settings for a group:

  • Members-Only: There’s a padlock icon next to the name and only members can see posts in the group. Users must request to join and be approved by the manager.
  • Open: Once a group becomes open, it cannot be changed back to members-only. All posts are visible to anyone (even non-LinkedIn members), and managers can allow non-LinkedIn members to post as well. Anyone can join.

A group manager can also email an announcement to all group members, which contains a subject (200 characters maximum) and a message (4,000 characters maximum).

Advertising on LinkedIn

CPC/CPM Advertising

LinkedIn offers ads that are displayed throughout various pages, including in a user’s homepage, inbox or groups, the profile pages of other members, and in search results.

Sponsored Updates

Business can also utilise Sponsored Updates, which place their posts on the feeds of users who are not following their company page. The minimum bid for will vary depending on the audience you target and the minimum daily budget (an optional feature) is $10.

As soon as payment information is entered, an ad’s status becomes Under Review, which usually lasts less than 24 hours.

Targeting

LinkedIn does not have nearly as many targeting options as Facebook, but its options are more oriented toward industry and profession demographics:

  • Location (e.g. “Australia”, “Victoria” or “Melbourne”) – required
  • Company
    • Company Name
    • Industry
    • Company Size
  • Job Title
    • Specific Job Title
    • Job Function
    • Seniority
  • Schools
  • Skills (e.g. “Social Media Marketing” or “Online Marketing”)
  • LinkedIn Groups
  • Gender
  • Age

Budget

LinkedIn’s ads can either be charged per click (CPC) or per 1,000 impressions (CPM). Each ad account is charged an initial $5 fee which is credited to that account. The minimum daily budget is $10. The minimum CPC and CPM bid for LinkedIn text ads is $2.00.

Text ads can have a maximum of 90 characters and may have third-party tracking. There are three types of image ads available and they have the following specifications:

Ad Type Dimensions Ad Expand Area (Direction)
Wide Skyscraper 160 × 600 480 × 600 (left)
Medium Rectangle 300 × 250 600 × 250 (left)
Leaderboard 728 × 90 728 × 310 (up)

* Image ads can be in GIF, PNG or JPG format (40 KB maximum) or in SWF (100 KB and 30 seconds maximum) format. Videos can be a maximum of 2.2 MB and 15 seconds.

Premium Account

Individuals on LinkedIn can upgrade to one of four types of Premium Account:

  • Business: This is for promoting a business or brand. It allows 10 messages to anyone and greater search functionality and network visibility.
  • Job Seeker: This is for getting in touch with recruiters. It allows 3 messages to anyone and moves the job seeker to the top of recruiters’ applicant lists.
  • Sales Professional: This is for generating leads and contacting prospects. It allows 10 messages to anyone and tools to find business leads.
  • Recruiter: This is for recruiters. It allows 25 messages to anyone, full visibility of a user’s 3rd degree network, and tools for finding and tracking potential candidates.

Company Offerings

Showcase Page

A showcase page lets a company display a long-term brand or component of its business under its company page. It allows people to follow that part of a business without following posts on the overarching company page. It contains a Hero Image (974 × 330 pixels minimum; 2 MB maximum), a Logo (100 × 60 pixels), and a Square Logo (50 × 50 pixels). Unlike a company page, a showcase page has no careers, products or services sections.

Jobs

A job posting lets a company advertise a position for 30 days. The price varies depending on the geographical location of the position.

In addition, sponsored jobs appear in potential candidates’ homepages, even if they are not actively searching for a position. Sponsored jobs have a fixed budget, which will not be exceeded.