The stock market is often a great indicator as to what is valuable and what is not. For instance, take a look at Linkedin's performance on Wall Street. Nothing to sneeze about! Not only do they make $1.30 per user outperforming their more celebrated competitor Facebook who coincidentally only makes 6.2 cents for every user, but they are double their share price from IPO.
Facebook on the other hand is performing at just 52 per cent of its IPO price. A big slap in the face for investors and a reality check for marketers.
There is no doubt that Facebook is a social, technological and cultural phenomenon that has radically and forever changed the dynamics of social interaction, but Linkedin has the professional edge by promoting authentic connections with a soul purpose of business.
People still mistake Linkedin as a jobseeker platform; whilethere is no doubt that it started out like that, the site has changed and evolved into a business network like no other.
For instance, Marketing Eye is expanding internationally and needs to forge daily connections globally to be successful. From Linkedin alone, we have attracted clients, partners, employees, technology providers, influencer and introducers - how? By spending just 30 minutes a week checking the status of our Linkedin accounts, feeding blogs and tweets through our profile. Is this investment worth it? You bet it is!
In the US, Linkedin has 58.5 million users, equating to 18.7 per cent of the population as of January 2012. The average user also spends 8 minutes 50 seconds on the site. Not bad for the less glamorous cousin of Facebook.
While Facebook and Twitter are useful for staying in touch and sharing information with potential leads, b2b inbound marketing can often be considered a scattergun approach on these platforms. Comparatively, Linkedin gives businesses the chance to be more strategic and direct with their approach.
It makes sense though, because Linkedin is considered a business platform instead of a more "social" outing.
Linkedin is also about creating interconnected networks for people and organisations. Where else can you connect with the CEO of an organisation just by sending them a direct email via Linkedin, just as much as you can connect with a procurement manager or HR director. With Linkedin, you can make your sales pitch more direct and reach out to your connections to help you find the person who you need to be talking to in an organisation. Not only does it save you time and money, it also ensures that your connection is based on a mutual relationship which gives you an upper hand right from the word go.
On my Linkedin account, I have been on a connection drive by upgrading my standard package to an executive one. The reason for this? It's all about connections when expanding a network and also helps drive people to our website, blog and social media platforms of choice increasing our online influence and driving Marketing Eye's brand to new heights.
It's been a worthy investment with an increase of 500 people in the past month and a website ranking that is going up daily with people spending more than 10 minutes on the site.