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CNNMoney, the online face of Fortune magazine, is integrating business social network LinkedIn the Time Inc. (NYSE: TWX) mag’s annual list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For. The is the first real test of LinkedIn’s new “Company Insider,” which it hopes to market to other business news sites.
CNNMoney has been doing a number of similar “social media partnerships” lately. In a conversation with Chris Peacock, CNNMoney‘s EVP/VP, and John Cantarella, president of the Digital, News Group at Time Inc., both spoke of LinkedIn as following the ongoing work the site is doing with real estate data provider Trulia.
That deal was started in conjunction with Money magazine’s Best Places To Live list. Best Places also provided the reason for the addition of Foursquare rival Gowalla to CNNMoney‘s roster of social net partners as well. StockTwits and the CNNMoney Tech Tumblr page round out the other community-related focus the site network has developed.
“We cover a lot of real estate stories, so the Gowalla and Trulia partnerships are still working very well for us,” Cantarella said. “With LinkedIn, this allows us to bring a greater level of personalization into the “Best Company” rankings and how the list relates to readers’ social graph.” Cantarella also pointed to the practical information that LinkedIn might be able to provide. For example, it could be used as a tool for news stories on employment and hiring trends, as well as quick, accessible information on the backgrounds of businesses and executives in the social network. One of the key features of the LinkedIn app is a custom “follow” button that gives readers news and information about the company they choose to follow.
But the most practical aspect of the arrangement is the hope that readers stay on CNNMoney longer and visit more often. “The second layer of all this, is an attempt to find out how do we make news more serviceable,” Peacock said. In other words, social media means “higher engagement metrics” to advertisers, and LinkedIn’s reach — it will promote CNN Money to its members — certainly can’t hurt.
LinkedIn, which claims 90 million members, has been partnering with media outlets such as BusinessWeek and CNBC (NYSE: GE), for years. But it never was able to get a big boost out of those partnerships. CNNMoney, with its 13 million monthly users, believes that it can turn its relationship with LinkedIn into much more than a one-off partnership between a news organization and a social network.
For one thing, the timing could hardly be better, as the job market is appears to have thawed a bit (though that could be temporary). Management-level job seekers are among the groups the “100 Best Companies To Work For” is aimed at.
When a reader clicks on one of the ranked companies, the LinkedIn widget not only shows them others in the network who work for that particular business — possible job references? — it also provides information on the human resources staff (see image above). Naturally, the sponsor of the LinkedIn app happens to be the Society for Human Resource Management, the professional association of HR staffers.