August 29, 2013
Social networking platform LinkedIn is cementing itself as a desirable place for automakers since 35 percent of its users plan to buy a car in the next half year, according to a new report by LinkedIn.
The report found that half of LinkedIn members in the market to buy are considering a luxury vehicle. Also, members are 42 percent more likely than the general population to have spent more than $30,000 on their last vehicle.
"The data has been extremely consistent with what we’ve seen from similar studies we’ve run over the last three years," said Patricia Cox, global head of category development, automotive at LinkedIn, Detroit.
"For us, this is proof that our members continue to have significant buying power when it comes to new vehicle purchases," she said.
"We know that our members have twice the buying power than the average consumer, and this fact was reinforced through our study."
While 35 percent of LinkedIn members are in the market for a vehicle within the next 6 months, 15 percent of the general population have a similar stance.
LinkedIn members are 105 percent more likely than the general U.S. population to have a household income exceeding $100,000. Users are 136 percent more likely to have a bachelor's or post-graduate degree.
The study also finds that LinkedIn members are more engaged on the Internet. Members are 71 percent more likely to obtain vehicle information online and 147 percent more likely to post a comment or review on a blog or forum.
BMW i8 prototype
The study indicates that 31 percent of members in the market to buy a car are influenced to make purchases by professional life events such as a change in jobs, a promotion or graduation, a desire to fit their professional image and a bonus or raise.
Thirty-four percent of in-market members say sharing relevant content increases their perception of a brand.
Information about new vehicle models, commentary from industry experts, information about auto technology and news about the auto industry are the four types of content desired by members.
"LinkedIn’s value proposition is definitely being recognized more by auto brands," Ms. Cox said.
"In the last year, we’ve seen steady global growth in auto participation with some markets driving triple digit growth and certainly larger commitments from brands than previous years," she said.
"We are establishing ourselves as true partners to auto companies and are playing a more consistent role in campaigns and vehicle launches."
Luxury brands have previously recognized how LinkedIn's audience is replete with prospective consumers.
For instance, luxury marketers such as Jaeger-LeCoultre and Mercedes-Benz USA push products through the redesign of career-oriented social network LinkedIn.
Through a update earlier this year, LinkedIn features a products section on brand pages where they can showcase products and services. In turn, users can make recommendations and share products and information through posts on their profiles (see study).
The concentrated LinkedIn audience may inspire automakers to ramp up their promotional efforts on the platform.
"The survey findings should indicate to auto marketers that we have the capacity to target the best in class consumer at the right time, in the right context with the right message," Ms. Cox said.
Joe McCarthy, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York