In the years before subscription based shavers and socks, Facebook (FB) was a great land where marketers could work hard and grow huge followings. Then as many people will know this all changed, Facebook began to update its algorithm substantially and diminished the reach for marketers. This was done under the guise of providing better/more targeted content for people using Facebook, an overall better experience.
In reality, this was a small reason for the first of many algorithms to come, the real reason was that investors/shareholders were pressuring Facebook to generate a lot more revenue and that meant they needed more people buying ads. So the FB changes eventually started to wipe out 90% or more of organic reach off Facebook and profile pages. It worked out for investors, though, now you see a company with a huge proportion of the advertising market and billions in revenue, but it also made it nearly impossible to grow an organic following worth the time and effort. Twitter, unfortunately, is now beginning the same journey.
So with Facebook and Twitter off the books, where next for a good marketing investment, at least for now? LinkedIn.
Well, we don’t think it’s at risk from algorithm changes anytime soon for a few key reasons:
- Advertising currently only accounts for about 25% of LinkedIn’s revenue, 55% comes from HR solutions and about 20% from premium subscriptions to Navigator/LinkedIn Premium. In essence, advertising is not their main business model.
- At heart they are a professional network, if you saturate LinkedIn with advertising, it would likely cause a slow exodus to another platform that doesn’t.
- Advertising revenues are diminishing as ad blockers takeover and ad blindness becomes commonplace, it’s becoming an ineffective format.
- With the acquisition of Lynda, the education platform, LinkedIn is seemingly pursuing a strategy of buying or building Saas/membership products to make their money.
There are a good few more reasons but at the core, advertising is not the major revenue source for LinkedIn, and they seem to be going as per above in a much different direction. You also have to think that if they compromise their main platform’s integrity, they risk slowing/ declining their user base.
If you’re a B2B company or just someone looking for business connections, this is for you. The entire network is 500 million professionals, there is simply no better place to reach buyers and find many other opportunities.
You can now blog on LinkedIn using Pulse and share the content with your entire professional network and with the up to 50 groups you can be a member of. If you write well, can grow your network or if you already have a large network, you can reach a lot of people.
Many people have looked at LinkedIn as second tier for years compared to Facebook or Twitter for marketing purposes, thus groups have been overlooked. It’s very straightforward to start building a LinkedIn group and the reach remains phenomenal!
LinkedIn is gearing towards being the only network you’ll ever need professionally. With content coming in, education as well and I’m sure some secret projects on the go, it’s simply a fantastic place to get reach and grow your business/reach your professional objectives (They didn’t pay us to say that!)
There are about a million ways you can get started building a presence on LinkedIn; this post is about why you should refocus more marketing efforts to the platform, so we won’t go in-depth here, but here are a few areas and relevant posts that can help you grow:
To summarise, things may change, but given what we’ve seen and LinkedIn’s moves in recent years, it seems a solid bet to build a large marketing base if you want an equitable return compared to the time you spend building your reach.
If you’re around London, in a few weeks our friends at the Business Show have Adia running a masterclass on PR, you can sign up here. PR fundamentals will be extremely important and useful to growing your professional network, company or cause brand on LinkedIn.