Here we go again, LinkedIn roll out yet another feature to ward off the competition. Facebook Pages have for some time now allowed you to Like and get constant updates from your favorite anything, Twitter is more basic but works exactly the same. For those in the know, Google Alerts have been very useful for tracking the movements of companies. LinkedIn with its 65 million professional users had to strike back with a follow feature for their most important target group which is job seekers.
What's the benefit?
As with all social media, it brings you closer to the action. Whereas before you had to do your own sleuthing, the new Follow feature allows you to effortlessly stay on top of new developments in your target companies. Is there new hiring, have they recently promoted internally or have they laid off people? These snippets of information will help you measure up the health of a business and you will have a better picture of what is going on inside.
Whom to follow?
As there are nearly one million companies listed on LinkedIn, you will be spoilt for choice. Start with a handful of your favorites and see how that goes. If you get too many notifications, edit your settings accordingly and filter out irrelevant noise.
How to do it?
Simply click on a company’s profile page and hit the “follow” button. When you click the settings option you can choose what updates to subscribe to, whether to receive emails or feed items and at what frequency they should be sent.
Be aware of privacy settings
Bear in mind that you are now more visible than ever on LinkedIn. If you look to the top left of a company profile, you will notice that everyone following is listed. This means you aren’t stalking in secret, anyone can see what you are up to. If you are a job seeker, that could be a good thing. If you are a competitor it could be a different story. Similarly, whenever you are hired, promoted or leave a business for whatever reason, the listed followers will get that update whether they are in your network or not.
The follow function has the potential of being a massive benefit of LinkedIn. We can expect most companies to give their LinkedIn profiles makeovers in order to attract and retain talent. The Follow function is designed to regain the initiative from other social media, Monster and Google Alerts. LinkedIn’s goal is to bring together job seeker and employers without any intermediaries, this takes them one step closer to that goal.
Image credit Mario Sundar