LinkedIn, the original (and still, many feel, consummate) professional social network, has slowly been making the site more conducive to communications from brands. Long a recruiting and hiring powerhouse, LinkedIn has evolved into a powerful information hub.
However, brand voices have been muted until mid 2011, when LinkedIn enabled a raft of new tools for brands, including improved brand pages, and the ability for brands to issue updates to their followers. This week, they’re going a step further, with a new set of options to “follow” companies on LinkedIn.
In addition to the “Follow” button appearing on company pages, LinkedIn is rolling out a new Follow button companies can embed on their web sites, and embedding the follow functionality throughout LinkedIn, including from company mentions in member profiles.
While the secret to brand success on LinkedIn, in my experience, still revolves around employee interaction and engagement on the network, the improved ‘follow’ functionality makes it easier for people to take the next step – if they’re so inclined – to follow a company that piques their interest.
As always, brands won’t be successful on LinkedIn in acquiring – or keeping – followers unless their interactions are genuine, useful and interesting. But for savvy brands, LinkedIn’s new follower functions will result in potent user engagement among focused and relevant groups.