It should come as no surprise that people visit Facebook and LinkedIn for entirely different reasons. They’re both social networks, but one is aimed at the personal side of life (family, friends, hobbies), while the other deals with the professional side (networking, jobs, business advice.)
Still, LinkedIn decided to conduct a survey to study this situation and they call it The Mindset Divide. The answers came from 6,000 social networkers across 12 countries, which sounds like a decent sampling to me.
Here’s a slice from their infograph detailing the main thrust of the study:
No big surprise here, but they went through the trouble to make this lovely graphic, so we’re going to share it. Now look at what motivates people on each network:
Emotions play a big part in both networks. I’d even go so far as to say, emotions play a bigger role on the professional side. Think about it, which is more powerful, a sense of achievement or a sense of nostalgia? Ambition versus a distraction from life?
One more chart:
Here we see that emotional campaigns pack almost twice the punch of rational campaigns. LinkedIn says that this applies to users on both personal and professional networks. They say that by appealing to emotions of others on LinkedIn, a brand can get more of a return on investment and create a more meaningful relationships.
I find this very interesting, because it goes against the norm, which is that business is business – it’s cold, factual and rational. But if what LinkedIn says is true, then a new approach is in order. For example, a tire manufacturer wants to do business with a school bus company. Instead of going in with charts about tire costs and wearability, they should go in with a campaign focused on how their tires protect the lives of innocent school children. If even one decision maker is a parent, you’ve got them on the hook.
In the end, social networkers are all just people who want to feel happy and successful and they want to be liked by the people around them. It doesn’t matter if they’re accessing LinkedIn from their Fortune 500 office or at the park with their kids reading Facebook posts on their mobile phone – an emotional appeal appears to be the best way to get their attention.