Marketing to the Mindset: How to Match Social Content to User Intent

Is your brand effectively harnessing the power of emotion to deliver a more powerful experience to consumers – and reach more of them?

Emotional campaigns are almost twice as likely to generate greater profits, compared to rational ones. Even a combination of the two strategies doesn’t perform as well as a campaign that meets an emotional need for a consumer.


LinkedIn set out to understand how the social network influences the type of emotional campaign that performs best. There is an emotional split, they say, that marketers need to understand and can harness to better target users of professional and personal social networking sites. Mindset impacts user expectations; how can you better meet the needs of your brand’s social community?

Understanding the Emotional Split

Personal social network users experience emotions around entertainment and memories, according to the report. The drivers that keep them communicating on the site are their desires to socialize, stay in touch, be entertained, kill time or share their own content. Users on these sites are most often in a casual mindset; they’re often just passing the time away.

On professional networks, the consumer mindset is much different. Consumers here experience emotions around achieving their goals, having aspirations, or feelings of ambition. They are driven by their desires to maintain a professional identity, make useful contacts, search for new opportunities, stay in touch, or keep up to the date to benefit their career. Rather than wasting the time away, they are investing time in themselves.

How These Emotions Impact Expectations on Social Networks

As a result of their different mindsets, users of personal and professional social networks expect content to match their intent on that network.

For example, people using a personal network like Facebook expect to see information from friends, information about their own personal interests, and entertainment updates. Those on a professional network like LinkedIn most expect to see career information, updates on brands, and current affairs information.


Users expect different things from brands, as well. On personal networks, people most often want to be entertained, while on professional networks, they are looking for brand posts that help them improve themselves professionally.

Optimize Your Marketing with Mindset: LinkedIn & TNS Tips

LinkedIn and TNS offer five tips for marketers looking to better optimize their social marketing plans with greater understanding of the consumer mindset. In the full report, The Mindset Divide, case studies highlighting successful use of these strategies are available alongside these tips:

  1. Recognize the distinct roles of personal and professional networks when building your marketing plan.
  2. Frame how your brand helps users gain knowledge and success on professional networks.
  3. Engage information-hungry influencers with exclusive content and information.
  4. Understand the difference in users’ emotions and match your message to their mindsets.
  5. Build meaningful relationships by participating, sharing and listening.

Research for this report was conducted by TNS, on behalf of LinkedIn, from February to April, 2012. Qualitative interviews were conducted in London, New York, Sao Paulo, Singapore and Mumbai and included all variety of professional social network users from a wide range of industries. The second phase of their research consisted of over 6,000 15-minute online interviews of adult social network users spanning twelve countries.

Download The Mindset Divide free from LinkedIn.

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