IBM, Coke lead on LinkedIn

09 November 2012

NEW YORK: IBM, Coca-Cola and Hewlett-Packard are among the brands currently making the most effective use of LinkedIn, the social network, in terms of driving engagement.

DigiDay, the trade title, allied with TrackSocial, the analytics firm, and reported that IBM, the business services provider, generated 1.8m interactions on this platform last year.

More specifically, IBM has accrued 779,000 fans on LinkedIn, where it promotes products, distributes corporate information, and flags up interesting material drawn from across the web.

"The mindset on social sites is typically casual and entertainment focused, while on professional networks it tends to be purposeful and goal-oriented," Jonathan Lister, VP North America sales and marketing solutions, at LinkedIn.

"On social, it's about enjoying the moment by socialising with friends and staying in touch, while on professional it's about getting something back in the future."

Coca-Cola, the soft drinks manufacturer, claimed second place in the rankings, again securing 1.8m comments, likes and "shares". The company has 129k followers on LinkedIn.

For its part, Hewlett-Packard, the IT specialist, has 862k fans and logged 1.7m engagements in the last year, not least due to adding varied content from blog entries to details about new products.

Hilton Worldwide, the hotel group, came fourth with 1.6m interactions and 77k followers. It posts a range of material from CSR updates to YouTube videos and press releases.

Hyatt, also a hotel operator, and BMW, the auto marque, stimulated the same amount of interactions, as did Verizon, the communications firm, Disney, the entertainment conglomerate, and the BBC, the broadcaster.

Elsewhere, Citigroup, the financial services provider, created the Connect Professional Women's Network on LinkedIn, hosting a selection of curated content. It has attracted 70,000 members since April, and double the activity level of any other forum.

"Our job as bankers is to be there when and where people are raising questions having to do with finances, whether or not it's happening in a Citi branch," said Vanessa Colella, head of North America marketing at Citi. "With Connect we can serve this community, at scale."

Business Insider, the industry title, also recently rolled out a new service, Trending on LinkedIn, showing which of its stories are most popular on the network, and what their contacts are sharing.

"Our site reaches a whole bunch of professions — tech, finance, media, marketers – but I may not care what the finance people are sharing," said Julie Hansen, COO and president of Business Insider. "The relevance itself is what makes it important and interesting."

Data sourced from DigiDay; additional content by Warc staff