Top End professionals going crazy over LinkedIn

LinkedIn grows 12 per cent in the Top End (Photo: smi23le via Flickr)It has been a long, slow grind but Linked In is building its momentum in Australia and within the Northern Territory.

The latest grab bag of stats from Creative Territory shows that the involvement of Territorians on Linked In has jumped 12 per cent since June 2011.

Meanwhile, Facebook growth has been around 3 per cent and Twitter hardly moved the needle at all.

So what are some of the highlights and what does this mean for Top End businesses?

Some quirks within the findings

If you had to guess which towns in the Territory would have seen the largest increase in Facebook participation over the last couple of months, you would probably have chosen Darwin and maybe Alice Springs because of their larger population bases and the constant injection of new residents (ironically, Alice Springs Facebook numbers went down). But you would have been wrong.

According to the Creative Territory findings, Katherine and Bachelor had the greatest uptake with 10 per cent of their populations now on Facebook, up from 5 per cent a couple of months ago. Overall, about 32 per cent of Territorians use Facebook with a whopping 45 per cent of Darwinites. And note, these numbers might be conservative because many people in the Territory are here from interstate and their various social site accounts might still be registered with their home towns and not their Top End towns.

Linked In, the ‘business’ network as distinct from the other ‘social’ networks, had a 12.4 per cent increase in participation with Nhulunbuy continuing to dominate these numbers, due to all the engineers and other white collar workers based at Rio Tinto’s Alcan mine.

This talk of percentage can be put into some sort of context when we look at total numbers.

Facebook has about 71,000 members in the Territory, LinkedIn around 9,000 and Twitter about 600.

So does that mean Facebook wins?

No matter what the numbers say, you need to think through how each of these online social networks are typically used by their members, and who their members are, to determine whether any of them are suitable to your needs.

It may well be that Twitter’s puny 600 members might just happen to be a vocal and influential bunch of people crucial to your business needs.

You might be surprised that the potential of reaching 9,000, mainly white collar, workers through LinkedIn will be your shortcut to lucrative marketing outcomes. However, such enthusiasm needs to be moderated by the fact that LinkedIn users are the most vicious when they sense someone using that service to ‘spam’ them with advertising. You might also learn the hard way that many LinkedIn accounts lay dormant because people don’t have the time or guidance to poke around and uncover the many valuable tools within that supercharged business networking infrastructure.

And then, it is important to remember there is much valuable online marketing you can be doing via your own, humble blog on your own keyword-rich domain.

As with all things in marketing, our attention needs to be on what our goals are, who our target market is, and what are the most efficient and effective ways of connecting the two. Our greatest enemy can be distraction by ‘shiny new things’ as can be our fear of the same.

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