AdAge reports on the first public study of LinkedIn members, conducted by Anderson Analytics (who have helpfully posted a link to a non-firewalled PDF of the AdAge article) and text mining company SPSS. The researchers surveyed a random sample of 800 members with a 10-minute online questionnaire. Their results confirm that LinkedIn members are relatively affluent and influential business professionals with a strong interest in networking and career development.
Some key stats:
- 16% of respondents have sole responsibility for purchasing in their departments, and another 20% share responsibility.
- 13% command budgets of $50,000 or more.
- 59% of decision makers on LinkedIn say they are the first to try out new tech deveices, software and/or websites.
The research firm categorized the sample into four buckets:
- “Savvy Networkers” – 30% are all about networking — building connections and reading blogs. They are the second-most affluent and influential group.
- “Senior Executives” – This is the 28% of the population with the highest income (mean salary of $104,100) and purchasing power at work (budget influence of $99,000). They join primarily for business-contact networking. They are the oldest age group, and skew more highly male than the other groups.
- “Late Adopters” – 22% joined mostly because they were invited to by their friends, and tend to have a smaller number of connections. Their income and purchasing power is less than the first two groups.
- “Exploring Options” – 21% are people who are mostly looking for jobs, and the majority of their behavior relates to positions or careers. They tend to be the youngest and least affluent of LinkedIn members.
The research is very encouraging for marketers and businesses looking to connect with influential business professionals: the more influential decision makers also tend to be the most active users of the site, which should give you lots of opportunities to find ways to engage them. Can’t wait to start seeing more detailed demographic profiles of the various social media communities!