Q&A with Gary Fearnall, Director of Global Marketing Solutions LinkedIn Canada

Q: Why did you conduct research on “The Mindset Divide,” how understanding your audience’s mindset will enable more engaging relationships on professional networks?

Our objective was to more deeply understand the motivating factors for how and why people use personal and professional networks. This is actually the first definitive research on the mindset of global social network users – we call it The Mindset Divide. We partnered with TNS, a leading global market research company, to ask 6,000 social network users across 12 countries why they use these platforms. We uncovered some insights that surprised us.

Q: What was so surprising about the research results?

The research showed that the biggest difference between personal and professional networking is purpose and mindset. We learned that people exhibit two different mindsets when they engage on social platforms – a personal one to passively “spend time” and a professional one to actively “invest time.”

On personal networks, people are driven to socialize, find entertainment and generally kill time. The research found that people are more than three times as likely to use personal networks for entertainment rather than professional networks. In turn, they are three times as likely to use professional networks to keep up to date with their career over personal networks.

Q: What does this mean for marketers?

Our findings give marketers insight into how to effectively engage with audiences on these important platforms. At the heart of personal and professional networks are differing needs and interests, which are fuelled by different emotional drivers. Marketers must understand this mindset divide and align marketing strategies to achieve the desired outcome. By understanding the mindset and emotion across different social networks, marketers can improve relevance, engagement and amplification of brand messages.