With a growing network of over 238 million professionals, LinkedIn has come a long way from being viewed as a marketing platform for just B2B companies. Today, the social network has helped B2C brands build relationships with customers, and new research indicates that the auto industry in particular is benefiting from the expansion.

Having already tapped into the social marketing power behind Twitter, Vine, and Instagram, the auto industry is now focused on LinkedIn. According to the company, LinkedIn members are more than twice as likely to be in the market for a vehicle than the general U.S. population. In fact, 35 percent said they are planning to buy within the next 12 months, compared to only 15 cent of the general population.

In an infographic put together by LinkedIn, the company highlighted some of the reasons why its members make such an attractive market for auto brands. For example, LinkedIn vehicle owners are 105 percent more likely to have a household income of more than $100K, 136 percent more likely to hold a Bachelors or post-grad degree, and 71 percent more likely to obtain vehicle information online.

While this infographic focuses on auto brands, it offers a bit of advice that almost every business can benefit from: share relative content. Brands that share relative content with their fans positively impact brand perception. This applies whether you’re using LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or relying solely on your blog. However, if you represent an auto brand looking to get more involved on LinkedIn, check out the infographic for more data on how the industry can leveraging the platform.

[Image credit: Scott Crawford]