With more than 330 million members, LinkedIn is changing the social media and business networking landscape. Long-form posts have now moved beyond their initial test group and are now available to all marketers. As many as 30,000 posts are created each week with a single post reaching an average of 1049 connections. LinkedIn (LNKD) holds even more potential for marketers when they leverage one or more of the 2.1 million relevant groups. With more than 8,000 groups added each week — often with thousands of members — LinkedIn is well on its way to being a massive media force in terms of lead generation.
LinkedIn is also giving companies the opportunity to pay for media buys to further engage with their market and drive traffic to their content and products elsewhere. The initial cost of making these buys may look expensive in comparison to their competitors, but when the sheer size of the audience is factored in, it can be closer to half the price of other companies in the same competitive set (e.g. Monster, Facebook, and Google), for both leads and conversions.
Monster’s Social Job Ads for Businesses
Not to be outdone, Monster Worldwide, Inc. (MWW) is approaching business needs with Monster Social Job Ads. This second generation social recruitment tool hopes to give LinkedIn a run for its money. Utilizing its own database of resumes combined with more than one hundred social media outlets, it connects employers and headhunters to targeted candidates across Twitter. Thus far, direct response metrics and branding has surpassed the predictions of both Monster and their users and they continue to be optimistic.
Google’s Dynamic Snippets And The Mobile Market
LinkedIn and Monster are not the only companies introducing new features targeting businesses and marketers. Google (GOOG) AdWords is swinging in tandem, with the introduction of Dynamic Structured Snippets that emphasize product and service details from a company’s site, displaying it in search ads and improving the site’s Ad Rank. Currently, they are available for retail, hotel, and flight searches, but other industries will be added later in 2015.
This is not the only change Google has in mind for the future. Since January 2014, mobile devices and tablets have dominated internet use over traditional PCs. In keeping with current media trends, starting April 21, sites optimized for mobile devices will be ranked higher on Google’s search engine results page. Marketers: if your site(s) aren’t responsive, consider starting that project now to take advantage of Google’s new feature as soon as possible!
Facebook’s Product Ads: Showcase Multiple Products With A Targeted Audience
Facebook (FB) is launching new ad features of its own. Its new Product Ads allow marketers to showcase multiple products and landing pages, targeting a specific demographic. They work in concert with a new Relevance Score feature, which correlates positive and negative feedback about the ad after it has been displayed five hundred times. Using this data, companies can test and adjust campaigns to be as efficient and low cost as possible. Along with bidding, Relevance Score is also used to rank ads in the system.
Also on the horizon at Facebook: new opportunities for video content marketing. Facebook hasn’t fully monetized the native video yet, but there has been some interesting preliminary experiments by big company players such as Verizon, the National Football League, and Fox Sports. With 1.39 billion users, the potential to rock the market is huge.
This gives companies and marketers a lot to choose from. Everyone wants to expand their sphere of influence and add to their bottom line. Many of these features provide key tools and the ability to target specific audiences. They also allow you to reach more people with the right information, encourage sales, and get people on board with your company. Advertising is a constantly changing landscape, and content marketing continues to grow in importance. However, which of these features is right for you, and will the money spent equal better conversion rates down the road?