Just because a social media platform exists, doesn’t mean it’s right for you. The tricky part is matching up with your goals and customers in a way that makes sense. This is a problem across the board, even with enormous corporations, as we discovered in a recent Forbes article, “3 Reasons Bloomberg, LinkedIn Aren’t Made for Each Other.”
The point that spoke to more than just this pair was the second:
2. The user/customer dilemma. At Bloomberg, users and customers are essentially identical. If you want to use the company’s terminals, you pay. LinkedIn operates in a profoundly different way. Most of its 187 million users engage with the site for free. The vast majority of the revenue comes from less than 1% of the LinkedIn user base: the recruiters and other people hunters who are willing to pay for premium access.
So a huge part of LinkedIn’s success involves creating free content, connections and the like, so that its nonpaying users keep swarming in. Those apparent freeloaders actually create ever-larger data pools that are prized by the much smaller group of paying customers. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner and his team have shown a savvy sense of how to carry out this balancing act. Bloomberg, by contrast, has its feet pointed in the wrong direction to get the hang of a “free” economy.
This is a great example of two parties not needing one another on the social sphere. LinkedIn is great, but not needed for everyone. Deciding which direction to go is a thorny decision and what to do when you chosen is even tougher. Pros like Arnold IT provide the research and industry insight to maximize your social footprint and value. This is a decision too big to be left up to the intern.
Patrick Roland, December 17, 2012