Linkedin adds sponsored groups

logo_linkedin_88x221 EASTWEST has long advocated the use of Linkedin for clients; at the individual, company and group level. Last week LinkedIn introduced a new ad platform, sponsored groups, which will give clients an additional opportunity to ‘brand the conversation.’ According to  Adweek ‘LinkedIn has attracted sponsors including Qwest Communications, Hewlett-Packard and Intel to a model that combines social networking, editorial content and customer relationship management. In February, Qwest helped to create SMB IT Connection, a group on LinkedIn formed expressly to provide small- and medium-size business owners with a platform to discuss IT issues. Cindy Humphrey, VP, business marketing for Qwest’s Business Markets Group, said, “It’s hard to drive people to your site,” she said, “and we wanted to be upfront about our involvement.” Qwest’s sponsorship of the group is clear — there are three Qwest logos on the landing page — but it is not designed primarily as a vehicle to pitch products and services. Instead, the idea is to insinuate the brand into conversations. “Most small business people find information on different topics via peers from word of mouth,” Humphrey said. “Those are difficult discussions to get into.” When I checked it today the Qwest sponsored group had 477 members vs 2657 members of the SMB Professional run by Chris Bangs. Groups, sponsored or not require an active facilitator. The  role of consultants like ours at EASTWEST is to help identify which groups are the best to participate in, or sponsor, and to engage the peer group with useful information and to ensure that the client participates in the conversation. Even more useful is the fact that I was able to find the profile of both Cindy and Todd on Linkedin; now that just begs another conversation. Credit: Todd Wasserman, Brandweek

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *