Similar to my past experience using coupons to experiment with Facebook advertising, I took a $50 coupon for free LinkedIn ads to build a small Sponsored Post campaign for our Tourism Currents Company Page.

We chose to show the post in the LinkedIn News Feeds of a very narrow group of tourism/hospitality-related people, in more than one country, and we paid only for clicks. The objective was to put our thoughts in front of people who might be interested in our work; gaining new Page followers wasn’t really a focus.

Sponsored Post results:

**  442 impressions (in addition to the organic ones below)

**  9 clicks

**  2 social interactions (Likes, Shares, etc.)

**  Picked up 2 new Page followers

**  Had a 2.49% engagement rate

**  CPC (Cost per Click) was about US$6.00 per click (ouch! I’m used to 20-25 cents CPC for our occasional sponsored updates on Facebook)

Organic results for the post before we made it Sponsored:

**  303 impressions

**  1 click

**  3 social interactions (Likes, Shares, etc.)

**  1.32% engagement rate.


**  Targeting continues to improve for LinkedIn ads, so unless you have a big budget and don’t mind blowing money with spray-and-pray, you need to take the time to set your Sponsored Post right down in the News Feeds of your perfect customer or visitor.

**  If you have markets outside of the U.S., don’t forget to include those countries in your targeting. We already have Tourism Currents followers and newsletter subscribers in South Africa, Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, and around Europe. Why wouldn’t we want to get in front of even more tourism pros in those places?

**  Prepare to spend some money. The days of social media as a big freebie are over.

**  I think that because Sponsored Posts are relatively new to LinkedIn, people are less ad blind in their personal News Feeds, so you get more interaction.

**  I never pay for sidebar ads; I only try Sponsored Posts on LinkedIn (Facebook too.) I want to be in the News Feed, not mixed in with all that side junk.

**  Interesting to note – think that LinkedIn doesn’t matter unless you’re B2B? Here are some examples of B2C/consumer-related networking on LinkedIn.)

In my view, the social networking site today that has tons of potential and not much competition is LinkedIn. Y’all keep ignoring it – I’m having fun doing business over there. 🙂

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