Portrait of a LinkedIn user: Will you target this demographic?

By Steve Mills

As far and away the world’s biggest network for professionals, LinkedIn is a great resource for those attempting to generate business leads and increase their sales. But before someone decides whether LinkedIn is the right option for their business, they must first establish the key demographic of those using LinkedIn. The average LinkedIn user is a very distinct individual, and represents a certain section of society. Business owners hoping to use LinkedIn to their company’s advantage must look at LinkedIn’s demographic and decide whether these are the individuals they want to target.

One of the key elements defining LinkedIn users is their professional status. LinkedIn is not just a casual network for those who want to procrastinate and share amusing photos during the working day; executives from all 2013 Fortune 500 companies are members of the network, and 40% of those registered on the site earn more than $100k or £65k per year. 50% of users are also the business decision-makers for their company. LinkedIn is a very specific network, and those who want to market to executive decision-makers from some of the largest and most prestigious companies in the world would be well advised to learn how to use LinkedIn to their advantage.

LinkedIn is also a network where people want to engage on a regular basis. Rather than posting an update on Twitter every week or two, or changing a business’ Facebook status once a fortnight, the average LinkedIn user logs on regularly; 35% of respondents to a Lab42 survey said they used LinkedIn every day. 42% update their information regularly, and 61% of those polled said that LinkedIn was their primary form of networking. Those who want to use LinkedIn to improve sales and generate leads for their business should be prepared to put in the effort and make it part of their daily schedule, in order to become part of the professional community.

The site also has high user engagement rates; presumably because those who log into LinkedIn are serious about their work and their profession. Users are twice as likely to recommend brands they follow on the network, the site has a visit-to-lead conversion rate that is four times higher than other social networks, and users of LinkedIn are six times more likely to engage with marketing and product content than with jobs activity on the social network.

Buzzwords used to describe the average LinkedIn user sum up their demographic quite neatly: affluent, educated and influential. High-earning, leading industry figures populate LinkedIn densely; penetrating this unique network and using it to its fullest potential can unlock many doors for marketers and businesses.

About the author

Steve Mills helps clients to create more leads. Over the past 17 years, Steve has built a reputation for helping businesses to market themselves using his ‘Marketing without Money Formula’. Never one to take unnecessary risks for himself or his client, Steve is now known as The Prudent Marketer.

Steve established his reputation by training thousands of business people in how to market themselves without a budget. He has spoken to audiences all over the world and authored three highly successful marketing books as well as writing articles for many leading business magazines. He is the founder of The LinkedIn Training Academy which provides training, coaching and mentoring, through video, audio, workshops and webinars.

For more information about Steve Mills, the Prudent Marketer, and to discover some of his personal marketing tips, visit www.theprudentmarketer.com .

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