Everyone is focused on the social competition between Facebook and Google, but Lewis Howes, author of Linked Working, suggests that LinkedIn is the most powerful business networking platform and marketers should prioritize campaigns for the professional social site.
Howes told Social Media Examiner that the average LinkedIn user tends to have more disposable income (good for B2C marketer) and more authority in their companies (good for B2B marketers) than other social users. For instance, he said the average household income for LinkedIn users is $109,000 per member, whereas Facebook users average less than $100,000 in household income.
Additionally, Howes said that business-to-business marketers should consider the reach to business decision makers the site offers. On Facebook, 25 percent to 29 percent of users are in a position to make business decision, compared to 45 percent of LinkedIn users. “You’ll flip a coin and one in every two people [on LinkedIn] can make a decision and decide then and there if they can take action on a buying decision.”
Overall, he believes that LinkedIn marketers deal with people who are more familiar with business, are looking to do business, can make decisions and have more income to spend.
He also pointed out that LinkedIn nicely complements email marketing efforts and supports content sharing. When marketers share branded content with LinkedIn groups, users will not only receive this information on the social site, but they will also get the content directly to their inboxes via LinkedIn group update notifications.
“When I update content to groups [with related email messages], I get more traffic back to my site using LinkedIn than I do on Twitter and mostly Facebook,” Howes said.
As Brafton has reported, industry data supports Howes’ theory, with LinkedIn being cited as a particularly valuable social channel for lead generation. (Marketers trying to get an edge in the professional social space should check out Brafton’s related blog on LinkedIn marketing tips.)