LinkedIn launches targeted marketing features

LinkedIn has launched two tools, Targeted Updates and Follower Statistics, that enable businesses with LinkedIn Company Pages to pinpoint specific individuals and groups that will receive messages and updates, the social network said in a release.

Currently only a handful of early release partners, such as AT&T, Dell, Microsoft and Samsung Mobile, are using the features, though general roll-out will take place in the coming months, said Alison Engel, LinkedIn’s global marketing director of marketing solutions.

Targeted Updates allow brands with LinkedIn Company Pages to hone their follower list and send out messages based on select factors. These factors include job function, geography, vertical and employee seniority among others. Follower Statistics provide marketers with a dashboard containing metrics that track immediate follower engagement, engagement over time and demographic information.

Engel cited proprietary research in which the company discovered that members “want and expect” brand engagement through LinkedIn. “LinkedIn members greatly value insights as well as company and industry information and will share them broadly with their network and LinkedIn group affiliations,” Engel said, stating that 47% of current followers believe LinkedIn is a more appropriate social network for company updates and information.

Additionally, Engel said, 67% of users that follow brands believe LinkedIn is more appropriate for B2B interaction than other social networks. “At the same time, brands drive a range of strategic outcomes among their LinkedIn follower base through their interactions – from building brand equity to influencing purchases and driving media efficiencies,” Engel said.

Engel also noted that 66% of brand followers are more likely to consider purchasing from a company engaged with followers, and 56% of followers are more likely to recommend brands engaged with followers.

LinkedIn has recently seen tremendous growth in its marketing products, which in Q3 2011 accounted for $40.1 million, 29% of the company’s total revenue.

“LinkedIn Targeted Updates and Follower Statistics are the latest examples of how invested we are in helping marketers utilize LinkedIn’s unique follower ecosystem to establish direct, lasting relationships with high value audiences while driving brand metrics and media efficiencies,” Engel said. She noted that the launch follows the February introduction of the LinkedIn Follow Company button.

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