When it comes to social media, lately I’ve surprised myself by how often I turn to LinkedIn.
With the addition of LinkedIn Publishing, there seems to be more outstanding content on the business social network than ever before.
I’m not alone. LinkedIn has more than 347 million users worldwide.
We’ve written before about best practices to make the most of your LinkedIn marketing, but I’ve recently discovered even more vital facts and statistics about the social network, particularly about making the most of your LinkedIn company page.
For instance, did you know that 80 percent of LinkedIn users say they want to connect with companies? That’s great news, because users are almost 50 percent more likely to buy from a company they engage with on LinkedIn.
I thought I would share all the stats I’ve found in the hope that we can fine-tune our LinkedIn marketing and improve our LinkedIn company pages together.
Here are three surprising LinkedIn company page stats:
1. Only 57 percent of companies are using pages.
You can help your company stand out by taking maximum advantage of your company page.
Although LinkedIn reports that more than 3 million companies have company pages, many do not.
Forbes reported that company page use jumped from 24 percent to 57 percent in 2014—which means a growing but still relatively small number of companies are reaping those benefits.
“It is crazy to not create and use a LinkedIn company page,” LinkedIn consultant and expert Wayne Breitbarth says in the Forbes article, calling it “free money” for small to mid-size companies. (It’s a big win for search engine optimization, because Google crawls LinkedIn company pages and generally returns them in the first few page results.)
A look at the company page features that marketers are using most shows similar opportunity in terms of taking advantage of all the functionality LinkedIn provides:
What it means: If you haven’t yet created a page for your brand, it might be a great time to set one up and experiment with all the options there.
2. LinkedIn generates social media’s highest lead-conversion rate.
In a study of more than 5,000 businesses, HubSpot found that traffic from LinkedIn generated the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate at 2.74 percent—about four times that of Twitter (.69 percent) and Facebook (.77 percent).
LinkedIn’s conversion rate also outranked social media as a channel overall—meaning that of all the traffic to these business’ websites via social media, .98 percent of that traffic converted into leads, compared with LinkedIn’s 2.74 percent.
What it means: Though LinkedIn may not drive the most engagement on social media (see below), it does seem to drive targeted and qualified traffic interested in doing business.
3. Company page updates see an average engagement rate of .054 percent.
Forrester analyzed the top 50 global brands’ activities across social media platforms to determine that LinkedIn has an engagement rate of .054 percent. (Engagement rate is users’ interactions with a brand’s posts as a percentage of that brand’s followers.)
That’s less than Facebook at .073 percent and Google+ (.069 percent), but greater than Twitter at .030 percent.
What it means: If you’d like to benchmark your social media efforts on LinkedIn, try for an engagement rate of .050 or higher. If it is, you’ll know your strategy is above average.
Six data-backed company page update tips
LinkedIn has shared that the company page updates getting “the most action” are branding updates such as inside looks and interviews, followed by job postings, tips and fun facts.
Beyond those overall content categories, there are cool, specific ways to boost your engagement rates. Here are the six best data-backed tips I was able to unearth:
1. “Top content” numbered lists get shared more.
A LinkedIn study of company updates with at least 1,000 impressions showed that updates that included the words “top” and the numbers 3, 5, 10, 25, 30, 50 or 100 got almost 40 percent more amplification.
2. Link posts get higher engagement.
LinkedIn has determined that updates containing links get up to 45 percent higher follower engagement than updates without links.
3. Questions get double the comments.
On average, status updates that contain questions receive almost 50 percent more comments.
4. Images get 98 percent more comments.
Posting images has been shown to result in a 98 percent higher comment rate.
5. Employees are 70 percent more likely to engage.
6. Share videos for double the amplification.
Much in the way video is growing a ton on Facebook, it’s gaining on LinkedIn, too. Links to YouTube videos, which play directly in the LinkedIn feed, can result in twice as many amplification actions (“likes,” shares and comments) and a 75 percent higher share rate.
One more great resource: Check out LinkedIn’s slide deck of the best company pages of 2014 to get more tips on what tactics and strategies work best when it comes to company page updates.
Three overall LinkedIn marketing stats
Finally, here are a few statistics that might help guide your social media strategy on this important network:
1. Users are spending more time on LinkedIn.
Users spend an average of 17 minutes on LinkedIn per month.
Then I discovered that more than 50 percent of LinkedIn users spent more than two hours a week on the site in 2014-a figure that’s up about 10 percent from the previous year.
It seems there are two types of LinkedIn users: infrequent-check-in type and the very engaged, almost daily user.
This makes sense to me. At different stages of my career and work responsibilities, I’ve been a member of both groups. Have you?
2. Groups could be decreasing in popularity.
Another element of the survey I mentioned earlier, reported by Forbes, focused on the popularity of groups.
In 2013, some 60 percent scored LinkedIn groups as one of their favorite features of LinkedIn.
In 2014, “Posting and/or participating in group discussions” was cited as helpful by 42 percent of those surveyed and “Searching for people in groups” only by 26 percent.
Based on this survey, it seems groups are losing popularity. Have you noticed this?
3. Recent graduates are LinkedIn’s fastest-growing demographic.
Have you ever wondered who’s not on LinkedIn? I sort of assume that everyone is already on the ubiquitous site, but it’s adding two new members per second.
So, who are these newcomers? Well, many are from outside the U.S.—the source of more than 75 percent of new members in the last quarter of 2014.
LinkedIn’s fastest-growing demographic is students and recent college graduates. More than 39 million of them are on the site now.
Courtney Seiter researches and writes about social media and workplace culture at Buffer, where a version of this article first appeared.