LinkedIn is essentially Facebook’s grown-up and more serious brother. It allows you to visualize your professional networks, thereby giving you access to more contacts and potentially helping you to find new business partners, contacts, employees and more. If you want someone to cover your article in Wired, then LinkedIn hopes you’ll use their service to find the person you know, who knows someone who works for Wired.
It’s a great idea in principle, marred by some rather spammy e-mail techniques and hiccups along the way. But overall it’s still a great way for businesses to make use of their pre-existing networks and thus expand their reach and their visibility.
So who are the top players on LinkedIn, and how are they making use of the social network in ways that other companies are missing? Let’s examine the best of the best and see what we can learn from them.
IBM has a huge number of followers and has been one of the front runners on the site for some time. Today they actually have a whopping 1,983,798 followers and 395,353 employees on the network.
IBM has been praised before for their online marketing strategies and particularly for their transparency. The company uses the platform to post updates regarding what’s happening within the business and share numerous related articles. Better yet, they encourage their numerous employees to take part – which means the page is never inactive.
At the time of writing, Coca-Cola has 591,864 followers on LinkedIn and a similarly high profile. Like IBM they post updates and articles, but they also encourage a lot of user generated posts from their fans and customers. They also share a lot of posts regarding their charitable work, with LinkedIn being perhaps a better fit for that than some of the other social networks. Lesson? Know your audience!
Hewlett Packard is less known for their social media efforts generally, but they manage to have an inspiring and effective LinkedIn account nonetheless with an impressive 1,768,965 followers. The company posts articles from its own blog (if you aren’t doing the same, then start doing it now!) as well as keeping their followers constantly updated with new products and services as they release them. Another tip you can pick up from them is to use questions in your post which is how they manage to encourage more interactions and engagement.
Hilton Worldwide has an impressive 290,957 followers, which is particular a result of having 46,522 employees on the site. The company posts a lot about how they are getting involved in local communities, which is again just the type of content that goes down very well on LinkedIn.
BMW has 234,823 followers on LinkedIn, with job openings being one of the main topics they post about. Again, they also post a lot about their philanthropic work.
Take Home Lessons
So there are some different companies using LinkedIn in different ways – what can we learn from them? Well, there’s a lot more to be learned but if you take home just a few lessons, they should be:
- Post content that’s relevant to a business audience
- Post content that shows your company in a good (philanthropic light)
- Encourage your employees to get involved
- Use the site for talent acquisition
- Use LinkedIn synergistically with your other social media and blogging activities