College Students are LinkedIn's Fastest Growing Segment
It publicly signaled college students are a critical growth driver by announcing its College Pilot Program in July 2012. At that time, LinkedIn cited 20 million college undergraduates as members of the online service. Even more importantly, college graduates and students represent LinkedIn's fastest growing demographic. The company recently announced two (2) new portals serving this fast-growing customer segment:
- LinkedIn Student Jobs: an online portal assisting recent college graduates and current undergraduates in full-time and intership job searches
- LinkedIn University Pages: an online portal assisting current high school students (and their parents) in researching prospective undergraduate programs
In parallel with the release of LinkedIn Student Jobs and LinkedIn University Pages, LinkedIn also launched their "LinkedIn - Now For Education" landing page. The landing page is "a buyer-persona friendly" site serving and targeting the following audiences:
- Students: Recent Graduates, Current Undergraduates, and effective September 12th, high school students
- Parents: The Alumni Section can help parents locate their 1st degree connections who may be able to help their child gain valuable insights (or even more valuable connections) during the application or research process
- Academic Institutions: Top universities can be even more aggressive and selective in the students they target and recruit for admission
- Prospective Employers: Self explanatory
35 to 54 Year Olds are LinkedIn's Biggest Membership Base
This Business Insider infographic shows LinkedIn's smallest membership segment is 18-24 year olds (e.g., college students and recent undergraduates). 18% of LinkedIn members's are 18-24 year olds versus 40% who are 35 to 54.
The LinkedIn Grad Guide Video Series
Want more proof LinkedIn wants to attract and grow this important market segment? Check out this video series -- classic, targeted content marketing:
I smiled when the "youthful-sounding" voiceover in the LinkedIn: Your Career Starts Here video refers to the predominance of LinkedIn's older members:
"It's (LinkedIn) not just for top executives. It's not just for old people with heavy briefcases. It's (LinkedIn) for you. And, it's the perfect place before you start your professional story."
35-54 year old professionals recognize and understand LinkedIn's value in building and maintaining careers. I would love to find some statistics proving/disproving if this demographic comprised most of the service's first-movers and early adopters.
This is a brutal job market for all ages. Unemployed workers over 50 and recent college graduates are especially impacted by the current economy. 50 year-old executives have to work extra hard to find employment. And, the power of a college degree is dwindling.
Thoughtful, savvy personal branding positively impacts careers. Whether we like it or not, an online world accelerates the competitive pressures shaping our professional lives (including our children in their early high school years).
In about 2 weeks, please stay tuned for my next post in this series. I'll summarize my favorite "pearls of wisdom" LinkedIn shares in the six-part Grad Video Series.
Your Turn: What do you think of LinkedIn's marketing strategy to grow its membership base? Is opening their service to younger members a smart move? Let me know in the comments.
Tony Faustino is a marketing and corporate strategist. He writes about how The Internet reinvents marketing strategy for organizations and individuals in his marketing strategy blog, Social Media ReInvention. Follow his tweets @tonyfaustino or circle him on Google+.
Note: This is post one in a series sharing resources to help new college graduates and current students land full-time jobs or internships. If interested, here are the respective links for posts two and three:
- Part Two: 4 More Gurus and Their Books Helping Marketing and Communications Graduates Land that First Job