Social Media for Industrial Companies: LinkedIn

For the past two weeks, we’ve covered two of the most popular social media platforms for business: Twitter and Facebook. One we have yet to cover, and is essential for any B2B company interested in social media, is LinkedIn.

Unlike the other social media platforms, LinkedIn is driven mainly by B2B companies; manufacturing being widely represented. So what makes LinkedIn different? Why should industrial companies consider joining and engaging prospects and customers on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn: What’s So Special About It?

LinkedInAuditLinkedIn is a professional networking site; unlike the other social channels it was created for professionals to connect with other professionals.

LinkedIn has always had a business-focused environment, making it the most business-friendly social platform currently in existence.

Its main asset is their audience as they are individuals more open to talk business and connect with others who have a business objective in mind. According to the “LinkedIn US Audience 360 Study,” 64% of LinkedIn users say LinkedIn helps them develop relationships and grow new business.

To learn more about LinkedIn’s audience and why industrial companies should participate on LinkedIn, click here.

LinkedIn’s audience may be what truly sets the platform apart from the other social channels, but the engagement tools/features in place are also significant differentiators. They are:

  • Company Pages
  • Targeted Updates/Messaging
  • Group Pages

By combining LinkedIn’s audience and their engagement tools/features, LinkedIn easily becomes a top social media platform for industrial companies to participate in. Below are the details of each of these engagement tools/features along with how industrial companies are using them.

Industrial Organizations Utilizing LinkedIn Engagement Tools/Features

Company Pages

Company pages on LinkedIn are extremely significant. Similar to the other social sites, companies can create pages that include:

  • Consistent branding
  • Status updates
  • Company information

Though LinkedIn pages serve a similar purpose as in the other social sites, they are also unique and can differ significantly. With Company Pages businesses can:  

  • List their current open positions [an additional channel to recruit skilled labor]
  • List products and services 

Below are examples of how industrial leaders, ABB and American Crane, are using LinkedIn. Take note on the posts they make, as well as how they list their products/services and their current openings.


“ABB is a global leader in Power and Automation technologies, providing a broad range of products and solutions to improve performance and reduce environmental impact for its customers.”

ABB Homepage


ABB Careers


ABB Products


American Crane

“American Crane is recognized as a leader in the design and manufacture of electric overhead traveling and bridge cranes, wire rope hoists and custom engineered lifting equipment, offering equipment for a wide variety of applications up to 1000 ton capacity.”

American Crane   Homepage


American Crane   Products


Targeted Status Updates

As of 2012 LinkedIn created the “Targeted Updates” feature where companies can “deliver highly relevant content to their target audiences to drive increased engagement and brand loyalty.” According to LinkedIn’s analysis of actual follower engagement per audience segment, targeted updates have seen 66%+ increase in audience engagement. Parameters for targeting include:

  • Company size
  • Industry
  • Function, etc.

Targeted messages provide industrial companies with a significant opportunity to reach the right people with a relevant message, in effect potentially creating lasting business relationships. Below is an example of what the targeted messaging panel looks like. For more information on targeted updates, take a look at this LinkedIn publication. 

Targeted Messaging



Groups on LinkedIn are key drivers of conversation and engagement, mainly due to the audience’s openness to discuss business issues, answer questions, and give an opinion.

LinkedIn allows companies and organizations to create their own groups to engage users. LinkedIn Groups are usually interest-focused enticing users to join because they would like to contribute to discussions related to the over-arching interest.

Below are three examples of groups industrial organizations have created to engage LinkedIn’s relevant users. Take note on the types of discussions occurring, as well as the membership/engagement data. 

Strategic Sourcing & Procurement – Managed by Ariba

Strategic Sourcing
Strategic Sourcing


ISM - Purchasing & Supply Chain Manager Professionals – Managed by Institute for Supply Management 

ISM Group Homepage

ISM Group Stats

American Society of Mechanical Engineers – Managed by ASME

ASME Homepage

ASME Group Stats

As you can see, there are numerous opportunities for industrial companies on LinkedIn. Industrial companies on LinkedIn are already reaching a quality, professional audience that is more likely to engage and respond to business-focused discussions. Whether large or small, industrial companies are represented on LinkedIn. For those who are yet to belong to the professional social network, the time is now.  

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