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7 Brands Doing Cool Stuff on LinkedIn

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With Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family and Twitter to keep up with politics and sports scores, it can be easy to overlook the value of LinkedIn to keep us in touch with co-workers, colleagues and business contacts, especially since Twitter’s public divorce from LinkedIn over the summer.

However, since the split, LinkedIn has come into its own, or maybe we’re just looking at it in a new light. And in that new light, we’re seeing a lot of brands have already set up shop at LinkedIn and leveraging their brand ID to capture eyeballs in the professional-to-professional social marketplace.

Here are some companies using different strategies to engage LinkedIn users:

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In early 2012, the server giant ramped up a new ad campaign that replaced former spokesgirl Ellen Page with spokesrobots. The wall-to-wall campaign, which featured assembly-line robots repairing each other, was based on traditional TV and print ads combined with desktop internet ads. But also, this was the first time that LinkedIn was included in a multi-platform ad buy -- the first embedded video advertisement in a LinkedIn brand-awareness campaign.

This signifies that Cisco isn’t just shopping for better clients; it’s also shopping for better workers, using the same campaign to achieve both results.

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SalesForce, the leader of cloud-based sales services for enterprise customers, needed to drive followers to events while avoiding over-saturation of its messaging.

It’s solution: LinkedIn’s targeted status updates, which allowed SalesForce to narrow updates based on location and industry while also allowing local teams to create localized content. The campaign resulted in 30 percent bump in engagement and a 30 percent bump in update sharing.

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Hearsay Social

Major brands across the whole spectrum of industries rely on Hearsay Social to strengthen customer relationships across the various social media. It’s problem is that Hearsay needed to reach decision makers to drive further growth.

The campaign: target key industry leaders with precisely timed LinkedIn Partner Messaging. Just when Facebook was about to launch its new Facebook Pages design, Hearsay Social prepared a free eBook called, “The New Facebook Pages Brand Timeline: All You Need To Know.”

The trick? They blasted the invite to download the free eBook on the day Facebook made the public announcement, thereby piggy-backing on the news cycle to generate interest and click-throughs. The results? Hearsay Social was happy.

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TEK Systems

TEK Systems is a leading IT staffing company with a 25-year history. It’s problem was that it needed to generate brand awareness among IT professionals and decision makers who could utilize its services.

To achieve its goals, TEK Systems targeted key IT players at specific companies with text ads and display ads while also building brand awareness with a call to action to click through to TEK’s website, where an interested person could download case studies and white papers about the effectiveness of using an IT staffing firm like TEK.

The results - over 1.1 million impressions delivered to more than 170,000 LinkedIn users with a click-through rate “well above the industry average.”

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Prudential Financial

Prudential Financial is a well-established financial services company with more than 135 years of experience helping people grow their wealth with more than $961 billion in assets under management. This old-line company needed to engage a new generation of workers thinking about retirement to create conversations about retirement planning while reinforcing its reputation as an industry thought leader.

Prudential decided to engage users with a LinkedIn Poll that targeted retirement plan sponsors and participants. The results? More than 11,000 responses to the poll and comments from more than 230 LinkedIn members. Prudential then used that feedback to help develop its product development.

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Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific is an international airline headquartered in Hong Kong, so when it wanted to target American business travelers who flew frequently to Asia, it turned to LinkedIn.

The results from three sponsored polls generated more than 1,300 responses from targeted business travelers and nearly 100 recommendations on Cathay Pacific’s product page.

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HP has been around since 1935 providing business solutions as the times change, but recently, things have been a little rocky for the Silicon Valley veteran. In 2001, it merged with Compaq and acquired Palm in 2010, only to exit from the computer- and smartphone-making business in 2011, so maybe its leaders felt HP needed to remind folks what its core business was.

So, HP activated the recommendations capability on its LinkedIn company page and then invited visitors to endorse HP services and products. The results -- 2,000 product recommendations in two weeks.

What cool things have you seen brands do on LinkedIn?

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