LinkedIn on Tuesday announced that companies can send targeted status updates to businesses widely after launching the service with a small number of brands in April including AT&T, Dell, and Microsoft.
The targeted updates will allow the 2 million companies on LinkedIn to tailor content sent to followers, according to various criteria including industry, seniority, job function, company size, non-company employees and geography. Sending the updates is free for companies that have a LinkedIn company page.
Companies will also have direct access to an analytics dashboard showing follower engagement metrics such as likes, shares, comments and the proportion of those interacting with targeted content. The dashboard also illustrates demographic data for followers.
LinkedIn said it has seen positive results with Targeted Status Updates so far, based on use by the initial group of companies. It pointed to consumer electronics giant Philips, for example, which saw engagement by followers more than double after running targeted updates in their daily communications with members.
Getting its professional audience to spend more time on the site has long been a challenge for LinkedIn, where people don’t tend to linger. Visitors to LinkedIn.com, for instance, averaged 16 minutes, 46 seconds on the site in April, compared to the average of more than seven hours on Facebook, according to Nielsen.
According to a LinkedIn study, 67% of its 160 million members follow a company to gain industry insights, 61% for company news, and 49% because of their peer community. The more users interact with content, the better a company can target updates that draw people to their LinkedIn pages. The more time users spend on the site and engage with content, the better for LinkedIn’s overall ad business.
In connection with extending targeted updates, LinkedIn said companies could also access the new option through social media management platform HootSuite, to be followed by others in the coming weeks.