LinkedIn: All Business By the Numbers
As a marketing person, as a salesperson, as a business owner, and as an entrepreneur, I love LinkedIn. You can tell when I coach other business people on how to use it. Whether you are a salesperson at a large enterprise or a solopreneur, LinkedIn should be your best friend. It is an amazing tool for prospecting/lead generation, social research, sales, customer retention and so much more. We will talk about this in future blogs. Today, I want you to understand the power of this social network through evaluating some of the numbers.
The Birth and Maturation of LinkedIn
LinkedIn was formed in 2002 under the direction of Reid Hoffman and launched on May 5, 2003. Reid was a brilliant businessman whose first Internet endeavor was also a little success (known as PayPal). In it’s first month, LinkedIn amassed a user base of more than 4,500 users. This not an astonishing number when looking at current social stats, but in 2003, social media was really in its infancy. For a platform to gather that much interest that quickly, really showed investors and the early social media community, that LinkedIn was special.
Today, as of March 2014, LinkedIn has 277 million registered users. There really is no gender difference (55% of its users are female; and, 45% are male). Of all the social platforms, LinkedIn is the most educated with more than half of its users possessing a college degree. Finally, LinkedIn is multi-national spanning 200 countries and territories in 20 languages. Only 84 million, or 30% of its users, are in the United States. Now for an interesting analysis… The population of the US is about 317 million people. If you factor is labor statistics (email if you want the exact factors) more than half of the total working population of the US has a LinkedIn account. This is pretty impressive.
Here is where I am going to challenge my fellow social media strategists. The most recent (and credible) number of LinkedIn business pages that I could find was from June 2013. That confirmed number is 3 million. To me that is both low and disappointing. LinkedIn is business platform. Every business should be on there. In the US, there are 27 million businesses operating which include sole-proprietorships and individuals working under a business name. There are 6 million businesses with employees. If there are only 3 million companies worldwide with a LinkedIn business page, there is a problem. There should be so many more. I am not saying the number is bad. I am saying the businesses need to get on the ball.
Results on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is unquestionably the business-to-business social marketplace. It is not surprising then, that 83% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to market their business. 53% of these B2B marketers have found customers on as a result of these marketing efforts. But what is interesting is that business-to-consumer marketers are also onboard and seeing success. 51% of B2C marketers are currently using LinkedIn. This may be because LinkedIn has one of the highest ad click rates. 60% of LinkedIn users have clicked on a LinkedIn ad.
One of the best pieces of advice that I offer sales people and businesses is to take advantage of LinkedIn groups. It is estimated that there about 2.5 million groups as of March 2014. The most recent confirmed number is from March of 2013 (2.1 million) with a growth rate of 8,000 groups per week. This number with growth rate over 12 months gives us the 2.5 million. There is a group for everyone and people know that because 81% of LinkedIn users belong to at least one group. The average user belongs to 7 groups.
As we look through all these numbers, we see that as a business looking for customers, whether B2B, B2C or something else, LinkedIn is an invaluable tool. Get on board, get involved and you will see it is all worth it. I would love to hear your thoughts about LinkedIn. Leave them below…