As I was going through business cards Sunday inviting people to connect, I noticed LinkedIn had recently added a new feature. The “Follow company” capability allows you to follow all of the updates to a company profile. Since I have a Business account, I’m not sure whether this is a free feature or not. However, I do have to hand it to LinkedIn for continuing to stay relevant by adding new useful features.
LinkedIn Follow Company Feature
LinkedIn provides extensive intelligence about a company and this one just made it easy to automate searches and updates. For example, if I was trying to find who was hired as the new Head of Marketing for a company, this feature would automatically update me once that employee updated their LinkedIn profile. Of course, this assumes the data is accurate and folks maintain their profiles. As many of us know, many folks don’t change their profiles until they have landed a new job. In this economy, someone may keep their old title for months or even over a year. Either way, I can see how this can be extremely helpful in a sales, competitive intelligence and job search initiative.
LinkedIn Follow Company Notification Settings
Once you choose to follow a company you have the option to choose your notification settings. Not only can I choose what I want to be notified about but I can also choose the medium. I wonder if you get an additional email for each company or if there is a weekly email that combines all of these? I see great use cases for sales, competitive research and a job search.
It’s also nice to see how this content shows up on my home page if I choose “Network Updates” as seen in the image above. Under the top navigation on LinkedIn, I can also look at all the companies I’m following for a snapshot of changes by date of update. It would be nice to limit the notifications from a specific city. In many cases, I’m only interested in updates from the local office or headquarters and not the regional sales offices.
New Suggested Feature for LinkedIn.
Now that LinkedIn gives me the ability to follow a company, why won’t it take advantage of grouping all the Twitter users for a given company profile. For example, if I wanted to review all the Twitter stream for those who have so configured it in LinkedIn at that company, it would be ideal to click that from within the company profile somewhere. Talk about providing tremendous value. Right now, I have to either create those Twitter groups myself or find someone else who has and follow it via twitter.com or some other Twitter client.
What do you think of the new “Follow company” feature? How about my new suggested feature? Let me know your thoughts and potential use cases in the comments below.
Mike Merrill is Director of Marketing at ReachLocal and Chief Bacon Maker and Marketing Strategist of Bacon Marketing. He is also Chairman of the Social Media Club of Dallas and co-organizer of Ignite Dallas.