Businesses are mistaken if they pass up LinkedIn as a network where people go just to look for jobs. They are also there to learn and engage.

LinkedIn may not be the sexiest social network. Let’s face it. It’s not a fast-moving microblogging site where celebrities and experts share their latest quips, nor is it a place where you can sift through former friends’ photo collections, however it IS an online marketing powerhouse that’s successfully keeping users engaged.

Users spending more time on LinkedIn

Data from the Wayne Breitbarth/Power Formula LinkedIn survey offers some evidence that the site’s increasing focus on content distribution is gaining traction. The majority of LinkedIn account holders (57 percent) said they spend more than two hours on the network every week posting, participating in discussions, reaching out to connections and researching businesses (among other activities).

57 percent of LinkedIn users said they spend more than two hours on the network every week

To be fair, 42 percent reported they spend somewhere in the ballpark of zero to two hours on the site weekly, suggesting there is a large swath of users who are still finding ways to leverage the network in a useful way. But many early adopters have already discovered the utility – over a quarter regularly dedicate three to four hours to the site so they can build their professional networks and company profiles.

Get in groups to reach users

The survey also made an interesting discovery – LinkedIn users are rather invested in the idea of group participation. Less than 3 percent have not yet joined any groups, and around 33 percent have subscribed to between one and nine groups. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg – approximately 63 percent joined more than 10, and nearly 10 percent are in 20 to 29.

63 percent of professionals on LinkedIn have joined more than 10 groups

There’s great marketing opportunity in groups because it encourages professionals from all walks of the purchase decision to share information. For instance, a marketer can share brand insights in the same place where an expert is providing tips and a brand rep is looking for information about services. When all of these forces combine, marketers can stay at the pulse of industry conversations and find out what prospects want to know, all the while generating new leads for their businesses.

LinkedIn’s reputation as ‘the professional network’ isn’t a weakness – it’s a strength. Unlike other channels where brands must walk the fine line of being entertaining, yet businesslike, it’s clear that content on LinkedIn should have a professional feel.

Need more proof of why LinkedIn is a top social marketing channel? This blog post by social marketing specialist Robert McHugh makes a case for why this network is the obvious choice for businesses.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.