While the audience is diverse in terms of demographic makeup, LinkedIn primarily caters to a single target market: goals-oriented members who are using the site to meet professional needs. As long as the company continues to provide tools that enable this group of users to thrive, it will forever have a cozy position in the competitive social space. So far so good, and LinkedIn is back at it again with a feature that will surely pique the interest of its most dedicated users.
LinkedIn has rolled out Company Page Analytics. The new tool offers instant value by allowing you to easily track engagement levels across your page. Businesses, especially, should find the feature very useful as the data it provides addresses many of the questions they may have about their performance on the network.
Company Page Insights
Serving up impressions, clicks, and interactions in a comprehensive graph view, the new Company Page Analytics lets social marketers, managers, and other professionals analyze page performance in a variety of ways. Core attributes include the ability to
-Discover status updates that drive the highest user engagement
-Monitor trends in engagement by criteria such as type and time frame
-View more detailed demographic information about page followers
-Track growth of followers and compare it against competitors
While these insights are not as extensive as what you get with Facebook Insights, which provides analytics for Facebook Pages, they are extensive enough to give you good idea where you stand in terms of leaving a good impression on your social fans. For that reason alone, you can expect this feature to become a big hit with serious professionals who use LinkedIn as an audience engagement platform.
Sponsored Updates Overview
Before launching the aforementioned tracking system, LinkedIn rolled out a new ad product called Sponsored Updates. With Sponsored Updates, marketers can engage their target audience with posts that come off as more relevant and meaningful than traditional paid content. These updates may consist of articles, blog posts, or videos and show up in the site feed on the company’s desktop, smartphone and tablet apps. Each post is accompanied by a “Sponsored” label and welcomes engagement through interactions such as liking, commenting and sharing. Users can also follow the sponsoring company right from the update.
Not only is LinkedIn taking a cue from rivals Facebook and Twitter by essentially allowing brands to buy their way into the feed, it’s taking a similar approach to purchasing ads a well. Marketing managers can buy Sponsored Updates directly through the company’s self-service advertising platform. The self-serve tool keeps customization in mind by giving you a way to target your audience, choose and manage your budget accordingly, and pay based on a CPC or CPM model. This new ad feature offers worldwide appeal as the updates have the potential to reach audiences in 20 languages in the more than 200 markets LinkedIn operates in.
It would appear that the arrival of Company Page Analytics is right on time because it complements Sponsored Updates almost perfectly. Marketing managers with administrative access can login and use the feature to see how their ads are performing. The analytics tool provides insights into what is working as well as what isn’t, empowering users to make strategic decisions that improve future campaigns. LinkedIn is confident that this addition will be instrumental in selling the new ad units.
The Social Network That Could
LinkedIn doesn’t have the size or popularity of Facebook. Nor does it have the type of mainstream appeal that attracts celebrity ambassadors like Twitter. Having said that, it is fairing pretty well for a social network that is often described as “boring”. The company has a viable business model in a robust, diverse advertising platform and legions of loyal members who depend on it to support their professional needs. As it stands now, LinkedIn has an estimated 220 million users, which by the numbers, still makes it one of the largest social networking sites.
Company Pages Analytics is just one of several new features to come out of the LinkedIn factory over the past year. The system is basic in its current state, but the company says it will introduce more functionality to improve it in the near future. Whether or not the presence of analytics compels marketers to start investing in LinkedIn ads is up for debate, but I would like to think that any page owner who conducts serious business on the site will find value in the feature itself.