LinkedIn is a great marketing tool that is often neglected in the B2C sector, despite having 500 million users – and possible consumers – worldwide. In fact, 46% of social traffic to corporate websites comes from LinkedIn. The problem is that most people think about LinkedIn as a recruitment platform only; there’s no denying it is great for finding the right talent by being an open book between recruiter and candidate. But that’s not all that LinkedIn can do for business. It’s a great connection to consumers to showcase your business. We want to share the importance of having a great, rich LinkedIn company profile page and the benefits of doing so for hospitality.

“If you post frequently — 20X a month [or so] — [we have found that] organic reach can get up to 60 percent, compared to Facebook’s 2-3 percent,” said Merridew Smith, Managing Editor of Vendasta Technologies. In fact, content shared on LinkedIn is seen 9 billion times! LinkedIn is different from other platforms in that content shared can be seen by followers and followers friends and so on. Privacy is less of a thing on LinkedIn than on Facebook where only friends can see content. It has a chain reaction that pushes posts into the hands of lots of people. It’s a great thing for businesses and the reason why organic reach is astronomically higher than other social media platforms.

Hilton has just over 612,000 followers on LinkedIn and Marriott has just over 708,000. That’s a lot of people interested in what those companies are doing professionally! Hilton does an excellent job highlighting team members and brand initiatives with vibrant photos and stories to tell. Basically all of their posts take users to an outside article, either on their website or a news outlet. Marriott’s page is even more curious; they post a lot of pictures with captions that look as though they belong on Instagram, sprinkled with some news and articles as well. What they both do well is focus on the company and share more professional news and industry-related expertise. After all, they are the experts in their industry.

In the restaurant sector, Starbucks takes the cake with almost a million followers on LinkedIn (888,000!). They mostly post about new locations and what it is like to work for Starbucks; they have a lot of employees share their experiences around the globe. In mid-market, Applebee’s and Buffalo Wild Wings have just under 50,000 followers (47,500 and 44,000 respectively). Applebee’s does not post frequently but most of its posts are about community and the philanthropic efforts the company is leading, while BDubs similarly posts about philanthropy and its staff.

Like all other social media sites, it’s important to use Linkedin Analytics to figure out what is working for your audience and what is not. LinkedIn’s analytics platform calculates page visitor demographics (by region, industry, company size, etc.), impressions, clicks, follows and likes, and offers a Companies to Track option to keep an eye on the competition. It is important to keep an eye on these metrics to learn things and keep the strategy strong and useful.

Credit: CoSchedule

The overarching theme between both hotels and restaurants is showing the brand personality to leverage interest in the company and encourage career changes. It is a nice blend of recruiting and professional marketing to both consumers and other companies. These inside looks into philanthropic efforts and news media articles about new properties or initiatives are different than what is posted on other social media platforms. LinkedIn has its unique place unlike other social media outlets. But it’s a necessary place.