New ways publishers can benefit from LinkedIn
When I heard the announcement that Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For feature was integrating with LinkedIn, my first impression was: what took them so long? Fortune's use of LinkedIn in this instance provides a solid example of how publishers can leverage the most popular professional social networking site to maximize the exposure of their bread-and-butter features.
And while we are at it: why doesn't the iconic Fortune 500 list integrate on LinkedIn? Isn't that the logical next step? It is hard to think of a more organic fit to LinkedIn's strengths -- news on professional organizations, rankings, vital data -- than the Fortune 500.
What about you? How does your organization come across on LinkedIn? Are you maximizing your effectiveness on the site? When was the last time you updated your status specifically on LinkedIn? Is your profile sufficiently muscular?
According to Ad-ology's November survey as to what social media sites work for small business owners, 12.9% of respondents found that LinkedIn was very beneficial compared to 29.1% for Facebook and 14.6% for Twitter. News organizations like The New York Times have had loose partnerships over the years with LinkedIn, which nowadays boasts over 90 million members with half of their members outside the United States. Considering the growing importance of LinkedIn, publishers -- particularly the Times -- might want to re-evaluate its usefulness.
LinkedIn can be used in a number of ways -- as a b2b marketing platform, for the promotion of projects, as a place for peers to network and, among other uses, as a place to follow companies. Those are just a few uses.
No one it would appear has more to gain from the effective use of LinkedIn than business publishers. Any publishers who cover global business should appreciate a social networking site that promotes discussion among professionals in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
What about Businessweek? I've been a big Businessweek fan for about a year now. This week they have a great article about Apple without Steve Jobs that could have been beautifully integrated into LinkedIn. Apple was a "cult brand" even before it was the the second-most highly valued company in the world, behind only Exxon Mobile. When a business publisher is promoting a story about Apple, they should never forget social media. That's a missed opportunity. To be more precise: when a business publisher is promoting a story about Apple, or any iconic brand for that matter, it should be done on LinkedIn.
If business publishers have the most to gain from LinkedIn, publishers of consumer sites should also be paying attention. Consumer publications might appreciate LinkedIn's Company Pages feature. "Company Pages take product and service recommendations to another level, allowing professionals to benefit from the considered perspectives of those whom they trust and relate to the most - the people they know," said Jeff Weiner, the chief executive officer of LinkedIn said in a press release. That having been said, why does Popular Mechanics have such a light footprint on LinkedIn?
Finally, why isn't US News & World Report's controversial Best Colleges rankings integrated into LinkedIn? There is always buzz surrounding those rankings -- whether or not one agrees with their rather peculiar methodology. That discussion, of course, is always provocative (and always somewhat personal) -- the sort of thing that could very well find a life on LinkedIn, or, for that matter, Facebook. The Washington Monthly has also begun of late publishing their rankings of the best colleges. Ancillary to that, what about New York magazine's best doctors and best lawyers special editions? All of this is the stuff consumers and professionals love to talk about, the sort of stuff well-suited to the fast-growing LinkedIn Groups feature.
Rankings of any kind work particularly well on LinkedIn. And consumer magazines do rankings very well. It's a marriage made in heaven.