The corporate communications world has long treated LinkedIn as the Cinderella of social media channels. While companies poured time and money into their Facebook, Twitter and YouTube presences – often with decidedly mixed results – their LinkedIn pages remained rather neglected.
Sure, HR people knew that LinkedIn was an important recruitment tool. But their communications colleagues didn't really see it as a primary channel for them.
I don't think that LinkedIn's 'suit, tie and firm handshake' image has helped. Nor has the fact that so much output from the 'go social or die' school of digital gurudom focuses on brand marketing, for which the likes of Facebook are natural fit, rather than corporate communications.
Now, though, more online corporate communications teams are finding 'the world's largest professional network' to be their most powerful social media channel for driving traffic to their site and spreading company news.
The digital head of one major multinational said recently he'd been staggered by how much traffic his firm's LinkedIn pages are driving to material on the corporate site – and was particularly impressed by how a new LinkedIn feature, called Elevate, can encourage employees to spread company output around their own networks. (More on Elevate here).
He's not alone. In a Bowen Craggs survey for our new report on content strategies, 62% of digital managers predicted LinkedIn to grow in importance over the next 12 months – more than any other channel apart from the corporate website itself (see the chart below).
It seems that LinkedIn's time in the limelight is only just beginning...
- Scott Payton