Let’s face it, good marketing campaigns using LinkedIn are hard to find. It is the most popular business social network yet there aren’t many examples of good LinkedIn business marketing campaigns. LinkedIn does have a useful resource of success stories from individuals that use the site for networking or job seeking, but I wanted to delve a little deeper and find case studies that show how LinkedIn marketing can be done a little differently, both for large and small organisations. Finding them has been a fairly painful process, so I hope you enjoy…
A brilliant campaign to start off with, shows how LinkedIn can not only be used to network for your business, but can actually contribute to the creation of a business. Frank Hannigan, an Irish businessman, successfully raised €162,500 for his software company Goshido, in just 8 days. And even more impressively, this was done solely through LinkedIn. Over the 8 day period, Frank contacted upwards of 700 potential investors through LinkedIn messages. The people he contacted weren’t cold leads, but select people from his own network. He told them his aim and asked them to spread the word. He recognised the power of the secondary network, and in the end 30% of the total investment through LinkedIn came from those people that he didn’t have a direct connection with. It’s a brilliant example of the power of a focused network through a niche site like LinkedIn, and using it a little differently than you might expect.
Amex – For Everything You Do
F**k it, we'll do it live!
When Amex wanted to target more business consumers, it decided to turn to LinkedIn to do so. There aren’t many examples of bigger, multinational brands using LinkedIn for marketing so Amex was taking a risk here. It developed an app for ‘Everything You Do’, which allowed people to nominate administrators in their companies, for the chance to win a gift card courtesy of Amex. The app worked through voting and the person with the most votes won $2,500, while smaller daily winners were also selected. The campaign was also advertised through banner ads on the LinkedIn network. It’s a simple campaign from Amex and while it may not have been pushing the boundaries of creativity, it’s great to see larger brands using the platform for marketing, beyond banner ads.
Volkswagen on LinkedIn
A second example of a larger brand using LinkedIn for marketing, this is a slightly more adventurous campaign from Volkswagen. The Volkswagen campaign focused on using the LinkedIn API to create a personalised experience, akin to Facebook Connect. The app compared LinkedIn profiles between contacts, encouraging you to complete your profile more. The campaign was competition-based, awarding a prize to the person that had the most complete LinkedIn profile. The beauty of this campaign is that it didn’t distract away from the main purpose of LinkedIn but actually encouraged people to use it more. See it in action below:
CNN Money used a new functionality from LinkedIn, with its newly launched API for Company Insider. When CNN released Fortune’s annual report into the 100 best companies to work for, CNN decided to use LinkedIn to extend this. On each company listing, it pulled in a personalised company description for readers, showing them which employees at that particular company they were connected to. CNN was the first site to use LinkedIn’s company Insider feature and it provided an unusual and useful experience for readers. Of course if you’re reading about successful companies, it’s going to bring out an element of aspiration. CNN played on this by showing you just how close you were to the top companies.
Award-winning from Dell
Dell has just won an award for its focused campaign on LinkedIn, which included creating a close network of IT professionals that it wanted to target for its core products. The activity by Dell was focused on using a native functionality of LinkedIn – through custom groups. It’s part of a continued social media b2b effort by Dell, as it also launched its campaign on Twitter earlier this year, to promote the Dell Vostro, where you shared your trade secrets via a hashtag.
Bonus – LinkedIn campaign from LinkedIn
A bonus campaign here, as it’s not exactly a LinkedIn campaign anyone else could emulate, but it’s what LinkedIn did to celebrate the end of 2010. We’re all used to receiving email updates from LinkedIn and they don’t usually make for thrilling reading. But LinkedIn sent a message with a difference, to select users to celebrate the milestones throughout the year. Instead of receiving the standard email, users got a personalised message, including summaries from their own connections. It’s a great example of personalised marketing done well, and giving something a little extra back to your users.
Read next: MusicTandem: Pandora for your iPad