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How is LinkedIn shaking up social listening?

Published on 25/01/2024

LinkedIn has established itself as the essential hub for opinion leaders in the professional world. For brands, executives and business experts, it's a strategic platform for connecting, influencing and measuring. Taking full advantage of Linkedin requires careful monitoring of the social network. And yet, integrating LinkedIn as a social intelligence tool is not without its challenges. The successful combination of methodology and technology will enable marketing and communications managers to maximize their use of the platform and make it a true strategic partner.

Why set up a digital watch on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn, a veritable mine of information for marketing and communications decision-makers, offers a wide range of strategic opportunities. With data on the profile, affinities, behaviors, preferences and performance of professionals, companies in the sector and their managers, analyzing LinkedIn offers useful insights for performance monitoring.

What are the advantages of setting up a LinkedIn watch?

  • Audience: Know the profiles and motivations of your community
  • Brand: Continuously monitor brand perception on the social network to anticipate risks and capture opportunities
  • Trends: Decipher areas of interest and high-performance content
  • Positioning: Evaluate the impact of the brand and its leaders
  • Community segmentation: Understand the themes of expression and interaction
  • KOLs : Map relevant influencers and Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs)

Obtaining these insights through LinkedIn monitoring enables you to refine your editorial strategy by identifying content that works, and to personalize messages according to community interests. It’s also an opportunity to improve a company’s reach by identifying employee « ambassadors » on the platform who reinforce the brand’s credibility. Ultimately, setting up a rigorous watch on LinkedIn enables you to anticipate risks and foresee business opportunities, provided you have succeeded in setting up an effective watch and know the tools.

The latest challenges in integrating LinkedIn into Social Intelligence

Social listening solutions face strict restrictions on privacy and data access, limitations imposed by the LinkedIn API, data complexity and frequent algorithm changes.

For a long time, LinkedIn monitoring was carried out by hand, due to the lack of integration with social listening platforms. But recently, the big names in the industry have been announcing releases. Major players such as Digimind (Onclusive) in 2022 and Visibrain in November 2023 have introduced proprietary solutions, and the forthcoming emergence of Talkwalker’s API promises further advances.

To date, Synthesio (Ipsos), Brandwatch (Cision), Sindup, KB Crawl… have not made any announcements on this subject.

Whether APIs or SaaS platforms, each solution has specific technical and functional capabilities, depending on its technology, partnerships and business model :

  • Combining keywords or hashtags : some platforms allow more personalized queries using their own Boolean operators, whereas most solutions are limited to API operation.
  • Data retrieval time : Tools claim to retrieve content in a matter of minutes, but in most cases they can’t commit to service times, as they are API-dependent.
  • Content coverage : LinkedIn data is often limited to public posts or open discussions. Private groups and comments are not crawled. In addition, access to profile and network data may be restricted depending on users’ privacy settings.
  • Engagement and activity reports : Some tools provide detailed reports on user engagement with content on LinkedIn, including likes, comments, and sharing, although this functionality may be limited by LinkedIn’s privacy policies. Update frequency differs from tool to tool : still no measurement statements.
  • Pricing mechanism : While some publishers make the LinkedIn source available as part of the contracted license, others offer a paid add-on. Some publishers offer rates based on the number of topics monitored. Prices can vary from €500/month for 5 keywords to €500/month for just 1 query, from one platform to another.

The winning strategy for effective LinkedIn intelligence: combining technology and methodology

A tool, no matter how powerful, remains a tool: the relevance of its results depends on how it is used. Intelligent use of a monitoring tool enables you to identify the risks to your brand in real time, without spending the time of 15 consultants on continuous crawling; it analyzes a vast amount of data, but is able to extract key insights; and it enables you to discern major trends, while maintaining a fine-tuned understanding of the nuances within communities.

To assess the effectiveness and usefulness of your intelligence, it’s imperative to ask yourself the right questions in terms of methodological and technological combination:

  • Does the monitoring system alert me in real time so that I can react quickly to publications or comments that could affect the brand’s reputation ?  
  • Does the monitoring include historical data over a long period to avoid over-representation of the most recent or most engaging content ?
  • Does the monitoring provide me with an in-depth understanding of trends thanks to the analysis of text publications as well as images and videos ?
  • Does monitoring enable me to reprocess metadata for targeted searches and refined segmentation ?
  • Does it map the dynamics of influence by analyzing centers of interest and interactions for a content strategy based on affinities and behaviors?
  • Does monitoring include regular updating of performance metrics to track campaign progress?

In conclusion, the adoption of LinkedIn in intelligence and social listening strategies still presents challenges. Intelligence tools abound, but analyzing the LinkedIn network requires technical and methodological mastery to make the most of this powerful platform.

Defining your roadmap for implementing LinkedIn intelligence

Given the complexity of the social intelligence landscape, it’s essential to clearly define the purpose of your use of LinkedIn data.

In addition, our in-house LinkedIn intelligence capability can also be advantageous in specific situations, such as integrating LinkedIn data into a Business Intelligence tool, thus avoiding the additional costs associated with using external social listening platforms.

By selecting proven technical solutions, we integrate LinkedIn into the design of the intelligence or research device so as to perfectly meet your operating requirements.

However, it is crucial to note that the implementation of an effective LinkedIn watch must be integrated into a broader strategic reflection concerning social listening within your company. Setting up in-house monitoring can be complex. Surrounding yourself with experts can help you optimize the process, save significant time and achieve a better return on investment. At Opinion Act by JIN, we understand the importance of tailoring data intelligence tools to your specific needs, whether for day-to-day monitoring or a one-off study, and we help you define your roadmap for effectively implementing these tools within your organization.

JIN Lyon
Deputy General Manager - Monitoring & Studies