Why are LinkedIn groups not popular

The career networks LinkedIn and XING can not only be a catalyst for your own professional future, but also hold diverse value creation potentials for companies, be it for recruiting purposes, for your own branding or for lead generation.

But where do LinkedIn and XING currently have theirs Strengths and weaknesses? We show you which network is best suited for which corporate goals.

XING or LinkedIn in Germany: the current status

For years, XING and LinkedIn have been competing in direct competition for users in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. XING, the Hamburg-based network founded in 2003, had a total of 19.5 million members in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in 2020. This means that XING remains the top dog among business networks in the DACH region.

However, LinkedIn, the international counterpart from Silicon Valley, has gained a lot of ground in recent years and months. Also founded in 2003, the Microsoft subsidiary now has more than 16 million members in the DACH region.

Far from future forecasts, the following remains to be stated: Whether Xing or LinkedIn - Both career networks have their raison d'être and, from a company perspective, are differently suitable for different purposes. In this article we would like to show you what potential the networks have in terms of Recruiting, branding and lead generation and where XING or LinkedIn each have their strengths and weaknesses.

Recruiting - personal marketing and recruiting

There is a world of difference between the prices of the XING and LinkedIn tariffs. The Basic memberships are free of charge for both, but so limited that professional work is only possible to a limited extent. Premium membership offers many advantages for both portals, including when it comes to recruiting new skilled workers.

Bringing employees and employers together - that Recruiting is a core area of the two business networks. But where do companies have better chances of recruiting talented specialists?

LinkedIn recruiting

LinkedIn cracked the 500 million member mark in 2017. The platform now has over 700 million members in 200 countries. As an international business network, companies and specialists from all over the world are attracted to the platform.

According to current reports, the IT and marketing sectors as well as human resources are particularly well represented. But various other industries are also represented here: from construction to media to law, almost everything can be found on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn thus covers a large part of the market economy and provides a digital job exchange Answer to globalization. Internationally operating companies in particular have great potential here to quickly establish contact with future employees across national borders.

In addition, LinkedIn provides users with a wide range of recruiting tools. The LinkedIn Career Pages As paid extensions to a company profile, they offer numerous opportunities to present yourself as an attractive employer. Such a LinkedIn profile can be used to introduce contacts who embed their own corporate culture with pictures and videos or job advertisements.

Image: LinkedIn career pages

The two packages "Recruiter" and the more cost-effective version "Recruiter Lite" are also available for a fee. The extensions support personnel selection, offer, among other things, unlimited profile visits, enable extended search options and automatic candidate tracking.

With a recruiter account, companies also have access to the entire network. The exact price per month for the Recruiter Package varies by company. Therefore, if you are interested, you should send a direct request to LinkedIn. The Recruiter Lite offer, on the other hand, can be booked as an annual subscription for as little as EUR 88.50 per month.

XING career pages

The XING career network focuses on Germany, Austria and Switzerland. This means that the employee search is inherent limited to the German-speaking job market

According to their own statements, almost half of all members come from the fields of services, IT, trade, media and industry, including primarily specialists who already have professional experience. Managers, executives and senior executives make up the second lion's share, while students, interns and young professionals combined only make up 7 percent.

The network is also particularly popular with freelancers and freelancers: the XING group “Freiberufler Projektmarkt / freelance projects exchange” alone has over 165,900 members. In general, work-related groups and groups for the purpose of networking are extremely well attended on XING.

For employers, freelancers, job seekers and interested professionals who want to exchange ideas, there are plenty of contact points and new impulses in a total of over 70,000 different ones XING communities or XING groups.

XING also has its own job portal, where company vacancies can be advertised and employees viewed directly on the platform and filtered by job title, industry and location.

XING's counterpart to the LinkedIn career site is the "Employer branding profile". Here, companies can provide insights into everyday work with images, videos and texts. The costs for a branding profile vary depending on the scope of the product. For a company with up to 100 employees, the standard package costs 357.50 euros per month with a term of 12 months.

Image: XING Employer Branding Profile

Both with a basic andEmployer branding XING profile is linked to the employer rating platformkununu. This gives XING members direct access to employer reviews by current and former employees. The average kununu rating of a company is displayed as soon as a XING user clicks on the "Company" tab in the sidebar.

Screenshot XING company search

In addition, XING also offers the fee-based recruiting tools in line with LinkedIn'sXING Talent Manager (XTM). From exclusive information about potential employees (e.g. salary expectations or willingness to move) to recruiter search filters (called "TalentRadar") to free webinars and tutorials - the XTM provides features that are comparable to those of the American competition.

Interim conclusion for recruiting on LinkedIn & XING

In recent years, XING and LinkedIn have rolled out a broad portfolio of recruiting tools to support companies in their search for employees and to give them the opportunity to become to present attractive employers. Recruiters in German-speaking countries can find suitable specialists for the industries mentioned and freelancers for short-term projects on XING.

However, German companies operating on the international stage cannot avoid LinkedIn. In particular, recruiters who are looking for executives appreciate the global networking opportunities.

Branding - Networking and Social Media Marketing

In addition to the targeted search for workers LinkedIn and XING at the same time also represent publishing platforms. With their newsfeeds they are very similar to the social networks Facebook, Twitter and Co. - but how promising are the business platforms for social media marketing?

LinkedIn networking

According to Jörg Bueroße, former editor-in-chief at LinkedIn, the business network from Silicon Valley is increasingly turning into a knowledge platform. According to this, the members in the DACH area on LinkedIn would not only sound out their career opportunities on the job market, but would also increasingly come because of the network's growing range of information.

In fact, LinkedIn is providing more and more channels for businesses and business influencers to connect with to provide useful content and to convince potential customers of his services:

  • LinkedIn News DACH: Every day, LinkedIn presents national and international news on a wide variety of topics in the world of work, which are selected, edited and curated for users by 75 journalists. Financial news, news about the COVID vaccine or articles about trainee programs and evening rituals in the home office alternate here.
  • Groups:Corresponding to their products and services, companies can join topic-relevant groups in order to provide assistance and pass on their knowledge exactly where it is needed. This opens up a dialogue with potential employees, but also with potential customers.
  • Blogging: As a marketer, you have the opportunity to make blog articles you have written available to a wide audience. You can decide whether you want to create unique content specifically for LinkedIn or whether you want to recycle content and use the platform to draw attention to your website content, such as your company blog. As an active participant in the industry discourse on LinkedIn, you can prove your own expertise, position yourself as an authority in your field and also create traffic for your own website.
  • Influencer:LinkedIn also offers a wide range of applications for influencer marketing. The most sought-after business giants and thought leaders from a wide variety of industries cavort here. Quoting influential users or sharing their posts increases the chances of being named and gaining reach. In addition: LinkedIn offers companies the opportunity to link employee profiles via company affiliation. In this way, employees become multipliers who can represent the brand, products and services beyond the company's profile.

XING networking

XING also offers companies a diverse portfolio for publishing and distributing content:

  • Groups:Group memberships offer ambitious marketers promising points of contact with future customers and employees. Those who are regularly present in the right groups can increase their own reputation and get the company talking.

  • Content partnership with XING News: Selected content partners can use the XING news pages to fill the feeds of users as publishers with industry-specific content. Often they are experienced publishers and journalists, but industry experts from various fields can also do one operate your own news page. As a content partner, you can then publish your own articles as well as recommend other articles. If a user follows your news page, the content you have created or shared will automatically appear in their personal feed. In this way, you become an important source of industry news for your followers and support them in developing and expanding their specialist knowledge.

  • Mention in the XING newsletter: A mention in various XING newsletters can also increase your own reach among members. The prerequisite for this are posts such as blog articles that, from XING's point of view, offer industry-wide relevance. Thus, not only do the big players make it into the newsletter, but theoretically every user has the chance. The prerequisite is always that there is a clear added value for the readership. Be it in the form of valuable tips or food for thought from new perspectives. If you meet these criteria and are mentioned in a newsletter, the result is an enormous boost in reach.

The curated information offering for users on XING is similar to that on LinkedIn, albeit the creation and dissemination of posts on XING is controlled more closely and not every user can become a poster.

However, this can also bring advantages for companies: With the partnership model, however, the business network creates an exclusive and attractive publishing format from a company perspective in order to stand out from the competition as a relevant source of information.

XING selects companies or individual "insiders" as potential news sources, who can then report on B2B topics exclusively for the XING network. Decisive for a partnership are, among other things, the number of followers and the usefulness of the information for a specific industry.

Interim conclusion - Branding & Networking on XING and LinkedIn

This is where the differences between the networks become clearest: With well over half a billion members, LinkedIn offers an unbeatable one Range potential, not only to draw attention to yourself to employees, but also initiate new business relationships and attract customers.

In terms of size, XING cannot even come close to building on this, but cleverly tries to address this disadvantage with a more targeted processing and presentation of content to compensate (keyword: curated content).

If you want to join the select group of publishers in the DACH network, you have to deliver high-quality content. As exclusive channels, mentions of newsletters and news pages create appropriate incentives - even if the area of ​​influence is limited to the German-speaking area.

Lead generation: LinkedIn vs. XING

In addition to a recruiting and branding platform, business networks naturally also provide lucrative lead sources This opens up great opportunities for the B2B sector in particular to come into contact with potential customers and partners. Nowhere else on the internet is the density of B2B representatives higher.

Lead generation with LinkedIn

LinkedIn offers various advertising media with which you can present your products and services:

Sales Navigator: With the Premium Account you can use the “Sales Navigator Professional” at the annual rate for 49.58 euros per month (excluding sales tax) or 594.96 euros for the entire year. In addition to 20 InMail messages to non-contacts, the tool offers marketers extensive functions such as an unrestricted person search, 1,500 saved leads and notifications when changing jobs, as well as access to the expanded LinkedIn network and lead recommendations through LinkedIn.

Ads: LinkedIn also offers various advertising models, from sponsored posts and ads (including a lead form) on the platform itself and partner portals to paid direct mails to non-contacts.

Lead generation with XING

Like LinkedIn, XING also offers a portfolio of paid advertising spaces for lead generation:

  • Ads: In order to advertise their own products and services, companies can, for example, place advertisements, sponsor their own articles for greater reach, set up e-mail campaigns or generate attention through advertising partnerships.

  • Groups: Publishing content in XING groups is ideal for generating leads. The targeting is enormously improved by the thematic limitation of the respective group.

  • XING ProBusiness: With the XING tool, customer acquisition can be measurably optimized. Among other things, target customers can be found more easily with the help of extensive search criteria.

Interim conclusion - lead generation in both career networks

In matters Overall, LinkedIn is broader-based and more promising as XING. This is supported not least by a higher reach and lower advertising costs. In recent years, however, both business networks have upgraded quite a bit in terms of lead generation: The practical lead ads from XING and LinkedIn offer the opportunity to generate valuable contact information directly on the platform.

In both cases, customizable contact forms are integrated into the ads, through which you receive relevant user data quickly and efficiently.

XING or LinkedIn: trade magazine vs. knowledge exchange

Despite all the overlaps, many differences between the networks have emerged over the years. LinkedIn is increasingly relying on the professional exchange of knowledge. This is not only supported by the Slideshare purchase in 2012 and the takeover of the online learning platform Lynda.com, but also by the general network culture.

Users come for interesting contributions and may stay for a promising job offer. From the company's point of view, a sustainable content strategy pays off here, with which various goals can be achieved: from recruiting to branding to customer acquisition.

XING is also increasingly relying on content, but is filtering the transfer of knowledge using carefully maintained content. Companies have less scope for their own content strategy to generate leads and increase their brand awareness.

Instead of rummaging, stand high-quality industry news and, above all, a pragmatic search for jobs and skilled workers in the foreground - so the network is more reminiscent of a customizable specialist magazine with different networking options.It remains to be seen whether XING will be able to hold its own against the global player LinkedIn in the long term.

Cover picture: fizkes / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Originally published February 25, 2021, updated February 25, 2021

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