Ever since its IPO this past May, LinkedIn has intrigued me. I remember watching CNBC with my roommates on that day, watching LinkedIn’s stock price rocket, more than doubling its IPO. The IPO was set at $45 and LNKD reached as high as $122 that day, according to historical data from Google Finance. My roommates and I, all finance/economics majors, joked that there was no way this would last and that shorting LinkedIn would make investors a fortune. While we were correct in saying that the stock could not maintain such a high price, it is still trading at well above its IPO today (LNKD closed at $78 as of 9/30). LinkedIn obviously has established itself as a successful network and more importantly, revenue driver.
But what does LinkedIn mean to marketers? The obvious thought is to harness the power of social media marketing, maybe create a page for those who are fans of a product or brand and then communicate with those followers. However, not many people utilize LinkedIn for this purpose; following companies is much less common than on other social networks. With LinkedIn’s professional nature, it’s pretty easy to understand why.
The highly targeted ads are an excellent resource of LinkedIn. As LinkedIn has almost all your professional information (at least the important stuff), they can target ads very effectively and as an advertiser, you can be confident that your ad will only be seen by a relevant target audience. Ads on LinkedIn can score you some high-value clicks, very sought after in online marketing.
Lastly, Mashable published an article today on another great way to utilized LinkedIn: search engine optimization. One of the pillar strategies of SEO is link building: building a network of links on other pages that directs traffic back to your page is very important to search algorithms. The location of these links is very important. A link from the New York Times is going to have much more weight in Google than a paid link directory. Relevant blogs are a great place to put links in articles or reviews. LinkedIn is a great resource for finding and reaching bloggers who are writing about content relevant to your website.
One of the exciting things about social media marketing is that it is evolving and changing rapidly. Right now, these are just a couple of the ways I could think of to utilize LinkedIn. I’m sure there are other methods out there, as well, and as marketers get more creative, there will be even more. I look forward to them.