Photo: Business Insider, Max Nisen
In a discussion at Business Insider’s Social Media ROI Conference, LinkedIn’s Executive Editor Dan Roth spoke about some of the unique ways companies are using the platform. He cited an internal poll which found that 78 per cent of people use LinkedIn for their professional identity, and other social networks for everything else.
As Roth said, “One of the nice things about LinkedIn is that no one’s anonymous and everything’s tied back to your professional identity. You don’t get a lot of trolling, you don’t get flame wars, you don’t get people saying things that they aren’t comfortable having their employers see.”
That’s very useful to companies, and they’re taking advantage of the platform. Roth gave Connect, a group for professional women sponsored by Citi, as an example.
The group discusses issues they’re facing at home and on the job in a very professional way. Several women from Citi participate actively in the group, giving advice and sharing stories. Because that interaction is authentic and not about selling financial services, people come away with a positive impression of Citi.
That’s big for Citi. It helps them tailor content to an important group, and as Roth said, “They can have this one on one relationship without having to knock on people’s doors.”
It’s close access to a targeted group representing their professional selves, that is discussing the issues around which they base financial decisions.
The question is, how much of that positive impression actually translates into people actually switching to Citi? How do companies make that leap without being seen as intrusive, and losing the trust the group’s built?
It also takes a special skill set for an employee participate authentically in such a group while always representing a company’s interests.
For it to translate broadly to strategy, companies must figure out how to make it scalable and successful across many groups, and discover how to translate insights from these discussions into sales.
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