Sometimes it seems that executives change positions faster than your morning coffee can brew. However, even when executive changes affect your business directly, you might be the last to know.
It can be overwhelming, keeping track of the perpetually changing status for management in your companies of interest – customers, partners, or competitors. Often we are forced to just rely on the traditional online professional networking platforms like LinkedIn, for professional updates.
Unfortunately, LinkedIn is dependent on user inputs for updates, and much of its value as a business intelligence tool is stunted by a trend involving executive level professionals neglecting their LinkedIn presence.
How Professionals are Using LinkedIn
LinkedIn is meant to encourage connections, learning, and sharing. Users of LinkedIn build a professional identity online, a concept inspired by traditional paper resumes, to build networks with colleagues and classmates while maintaining a presence in the job market.
For Market Research
In addition to its most famous uses as a job-search tool and professional social network, LinkedIn claims you can find “the latest news, inspiration, and insights you need to be great at what you do.”
Motivated by the claim, LinkedIn users have been applying the network to marketing and sales research. A solid 41% of B2B marketers consider LinkedIn their default social platform, as indicated in a 2015 Social Media Marketing industry report.
For Building Brand Awareness
It’s true that LinkedIn is brimming with information. Companieseagerly post content, hoping to hop on the social marketing wagon and build brand awareness. You can cultivate this awareness with LinkedIn when you have a well-maintained company page, augmented with equally well-maintained executive profiles. However, LinkedIn tends to be biased since a company’s own social media experts curate and manage company-specific information.
When Executives Don’t Give LinkedIn What it Needs to Succeed
Although executive profiles are a positive tool for brand cultivation on LinkedIn, many C-level employees do not maintain their profiles, if they have one at all. A creator of multiple start-ups, Shaun McConnon, publicly boasts about not being on LinkedIn. Those top executives who do have LinkedIn often neglect this presence to the extent of violating the main rule for LinkedIn success: always keep your profile updated.
According to recruiter Andrew Johnson, not maintaining your LinkedIn profile could be for a number of reasons, including:
It rarely crosses their mind, due to infrequently signing in.
They prefer to wait for the 3-6 month mark.
They wish to avoid their “network” demanding opportunities, requests, favors, and so forth.
Here at FirstRain, we noticed a rising trend in executive-level employees neglecting or forgoing LinkedIn profiles. If you follow us on Twitter, you have seen some examples of Management Changes across various industries:
Since LinkedIn updates originate from the users themselves, this trend of slow to non-existent updating throws a major wrench into the network’s use as a timely and useful research tool to understand management turnover.
To see more of our management turnover updates, head over to our Twitter page.
How Does this Affect You?
If you are relying on LinkedIn alone, you might be missing top-level changes in companies of interest. Such changes often indicate a shift in direction in terms of company control, power, culture, or even a combination.
In sales or account management, an executive change can act as a catalyst for relationship development. Management changes can cause previously out-of-reach companies to become more hospitable or better aligned with your product or service. On the other side, if a change stems from a negative cause, think layoffs or poor leadership, you may consider the change a reason to contact your account.
At the end of the day, meaningful and valuable business relationships are possible only when you know your accounts intimately and executive level changes are a key part of this.
Don’t Jump Ship, Just Grab Another Oar
LinkedIn isn’t sinking and there’s no reason to jump. Instead, simply supplement the network with a tailored research tool. FirstRain presents key insights on your customer, competitors, and industries of interest in a streamlined manner so you receive the updates you rely on without the noise. Unlike other business analytics engines, FirstRain incorporates the business web and social media content for a one-stop shop of business intelligence.
Management changes are highlighted in at-a-glance panels and cover management and executive hires, departures or internal moves within a company, and board changes. Management Change analytics include senior level hires and retirements, executive promotions and resignations, and even plans for departure. To easily consume these key insights, the changes are presented for a specific company, account, industry, or topic of interest and can be further filtered down by your choosing.