It has been a crazy week -- seven LinkedIn events in six different cities in just five days. I am not afraid to admit I am one tired 53-year-old guy. But it was great meeting more than 300 professionals from all over the U.S. and Canada who are looking for ways to improve their businesses by using LinkedIn in new and productive ways.  

Speaking of business folks all over the map, I finally have an opportunity for all of you who have been asking for a webinar of my foundational LinkedIn class that thousands have attended over the last three years. There will be two 90-minute sessions, to be held on October 13 and 27 from 2:00-3:30pm CST. They will be hosted by my friends at ClientCast. Because of their sponsorship, this class is being offered for only $79 (early bird special available through Oct. 7) . Space is limited, so register soon.

follow meThis week's tip is about a really helpful LinkedIn feature that many people haven't stumbled upon. Like so many new features on LinkedIn, it all of a sudden appeared with little or no announcement or fanfare.  
This feature is the Following Company feature. It is part of the Company Page section of LinkedIn, which I always refer to as a separate file drawer on LinkedIn. I say this because everything else on LinkedIn is about individuals and not companies. You get to this file drawer on LinkedIn by clicking "Companies" on the top toolbar. Let's get started with: 

What You Need to Know About LinkedIn's Following Company Feature

What is it? 
It is your ability to tell LinkedIn what companies are on your radar screen for whatever reason. It allows you to get notifications when LinkedIn becomes aware of changes related to those companies.

How do you follow a company?

Two ways: 

  1. Once you land on a company profile, just click "Follow Company," which is on the top right of the company profile page.
  2. When you are on an individual's profile, you can scroll over any of the companies listed in the Experience section. Then when the company detail box pops up, just click "Follow Company," which is in the lower left of that box.

Which companies should you follow?
  • Your company
  • Your competitors
  • Companies you want to work for
  • Companies you want to sell to
  • Companies you may be thinking of acquiring, merging with or partnering with
  • Important current and prospective vendors or suppliers
  • Companies in closely-aligned and/or related industries

How many companies can you follow? 
So far I have not seen a limit to this; so don't be afraid to have a fairly long list of companies you are following. If you want to limit or eliminate the email notifications on any company, you can do that through "Notification Settings."  Go to your company home page, select the "Following" tab, click on "Notification Settings," and then make a selection under "I want to be notified by."

What things can you get notified of?

Using "Notification Settings" for each company you have selected to follow, you can choose any or all of the following:

  • Employees who are joining, leaving or getting promoted
  • New job opportunities (Job seekers -- take note of this one!)
  • Company profile updates
Okay. But what are the less obvious things you can see or do with this information?
  • You can see all the people who are following your company
  • You can see all the people who are following any or all of the companies you are following
  • You can see all the people who are following any given company
  • You can see who your competitors are hiring and/or firing
  • Attention, job-seekers: You can see if a company has just fired someone, possibly leaving an opening for you to fill
I hope you find other great uses for this company-related LinkedIn feature.

If you like this, you may also like one of my most popular blog posts about following individuals called "LinkedIn Legalizes Stalking." Check it out.