2 weeks ago there was a surprise email from LinkedIn. LinkedIn got to 200 million members and it celebrated in a most ingenious way. My profile was one of the top 10% most viewed on LinkedIn. LinkedIn made me feel unique and It knew it, there were buttons to share this “achievement” with my friends on Facebook, twitter and LinkedIn .
I was ready to push all the 3 buttons and start gleaming. I felt special and I wanted to let others know it. My profile was one of the top 10% most viewed on LinkedIn for 2012, a social network that has 200 million members, how cool was that? My profile was in the top 20 million profiles. Suddenly my “achievement” didn’t prove so grand. One among the 20 million, that’s a big number. Thinking of Pareto’s law that 20% of clients are responsible for 80% of revenue. It is logical to assume that it also applies to social networks where 20% of users drive 80% of traffic.
So LinkedIn is used by 40 million active users and I was in the top 20 million of them, there was a 1/2 chances to be among the active users who generate traffic, meaning pageviews on the site. It all made sense. LinkedIn is a social network, but above all is a corporation, a corporation in the business of making a profit. It is also great at internet marketing and it proved that with an excellent campaign this month.
200 million members is a great reason to celebrate (and also drive up sales). First of all an email with the words on the subject (You Have One of the Top 10% Most Viewed LinkedIn Profiles for 2012) will likely be read. Positive personalized feedback from a reliable source will get anybody’s attention. People will read further and click on the infographic. Then the happy user will hit the share button and let their friends know. Their friends/colleague would be curious to know why that profile garnered so many views.
20 million users is a great market and would make any internet marketer salivate. 20 million users who have been made to feel special are also easier to manipulate and to make them do your bidding. Imagine these 20 million people sharing the milestone on social networks. First step achieved, many pairs of eyeballs will learn about LinkedIn’s milestone and web traffic will surge. A new viral phenomenon has just been created. Of course those numbers will be used to persuade that LinkedIn should charge higher rates for ads on its pages.
The second part of the campaign was designed to sell premium services. Unlike Facebook and twitter LinkedIn makes most of its revenue from its users by selling services to them. LinkedIn has proved quite successful at selling these services. One of these services includes “who has viewed your profile” . The free version of LinkedIn allows limited use of that feature and the premium account stats at $15.95 per month. Now do the math.
LinkedIn has created a new market of a potential new 20 million clients. These 20 million users would love to know who has been viewing their profile. What if a tiny proportion of these users become clients of LinkedIn’s premium services? Even if the campaign has a miniscule conversion rate of 1 % that mean extra monthly revenue of 20,000,000 * 0,01 *$15.95 = $3.19 million, extra revenue per month. These 20 million potential clients have been made to feel special and every marketing specialist knows that makes sales a bit easier. They are vulnerable and will be more open to purchase that services from LinkedIn since their profiles are among the top 10% viewed.
The marketing campaign described above must be taught at every marketing class from now on. The team behind created a masterpiece. The campaign had 4 objectives
- Make users advertise LinkedIn on any social network available
- increase revenue by creating a new pool of potential clients
- Drive traffic to the website
- gather better stats for pageviews, visit duration, drive up ads rates.
LinkedIn has tried in 2012 a lot to make its users engage with the site. Endorsing your connections was a clumsy way to do it that didn’t click with users in the end. On the contrary this campaign with almost zero cost, just a simple mass mail, managed to achieve all the aforementioned goals. It applied all the tools of behavioral marketing to push its users to a set of preferable actions. Applied psychology at its best, the network made its users do the work for it. The best application of social media marketing until today.
LinkedIn marketing team, I salute you.