LinkedIn Sponsored Updates: Is Native Advertising Enough?

In my last post we looked at how Sponsored Updates are narrowing the advertising playing field by getting LinkedIn into the native advertising game. The ability to target your content to users that don’t follow your brand, right in their news feeds, is a great opportunity that has been available on Facebook for quite some time.  But when deciding where to spend your social ad budget, you must also consider user intent.

user intent index

Ruder Finn User Intent Index

What is User Intent?

Let’s walk it through with a B2B example: I’m a mid-level manager and decision maker in a company that makes buttons – I have purchasing ability. You’re a button designer looking to sell your designs.

My LinkedIn news feed is full of status updates from business connections, business information, stories about button manufacturing, promotions and mergers in the button-making industry, and perhaps a few posts about how to get the buttons extra round and shiny. I use LinkedIn as a resource for work, posting in groups to develop thought leadership and business relationships; connecting with industry suppliers and button retailers; promoting my company’s products, job openings and content; running lead gen campaigns and gathering business intelligence about my competitors and industry.

My Facebook experience is driven by interests that are about me, and although that includes interests related to (or easily tied to) my professional interests, it is not the main reason I’m there. Did you know I have a thing for fruit smoothies, and my Facebook news feed is often full of recipes and instructions on the best ways to blend? The vast majority of my friends don’t work in the button industry, and I don’t share non-work related content with my “work” friends on Facebook. I do that on LinkedIn. When I’m on Facebook I expect to see creative ideas and stories from my friends and favorite brands that apply to the broader categories of my life, not just my profession.

Where Should You Approach Me?

Where do you want to introduce me to your button designs? You can find me on both networks, and you have a pretty good shot of getting my attention (with the right social advertising strategy and budget) in both news feeds. But where do you think I’ll be more receptive to your messaging?

I would rather “meet” you on LinkedIn. Let’s be careful to note that although many people are using Facebook while at work, they are not necessarily working while using Facebook. When I’m on LinkedIn, I’m in work mode, even if I’m there to take a break from my To-Do list. I’m annoyed by content in my newsfeed on Facebook from brands that I don’t follow. That annoyance, because you are interrupting my “social” time, raises the barrier to entry for me to be receptive to your messaging or to click on your link.

Spending Your Budget Wisely

User intent can give us the context needed to create new levels of engagement. A receptive audience should be part of the equation that guides your advertising dollars. This is why LinkedIn Sponsored Updates can become one of the most useful tools in your online marketing arsenal.

Let us know below if you are using LinkedIn Sponsored Updates and how your engagement rates are, compared to Facebook advertising.

For a walk through on the “how tos” of LinkedIn Sponsored Updates, check out How to Use LinkedIn Sponsored Updates from Social Media Examiner.

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About Leah Kaplan

Leah has worked with Pixel/Point Press on a variety of projects, both as a client, and as an employee, since 2008. She joined the staff in May 2013 and brings with her proven experience in result driven online marketing. Her passion for the strategic side of problem solving has been a key influence in her ability to help her clients reach their goals. Leah’s ability to focus on the underlying principles and core marketing truths have enabled her to remain adaptable and successful on the social media front.
Connect with her: Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn

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