Competitive intelligence abounds on LinkedIn, the professional social network. This practice of gathering and analyzing competitive intelligence is vital in making business decisions based on what competitors are doing. The information on LinkedIn is freely given and provides insight into connections and relationships in the business world that a company might otherwise not have access platform executive reports to. LinkedIn allows business professionals to get the most from their professional network. It not only strengthens current relationships but extends the network of trusted contacts allowing past colleagues to reconnect and share advice with other experts in their industry.
Competitive intelligence must be usable, as in some action can be taken with it. Using LinkedIn gives businesses a different perspective on their competitors, making them able to better position their firm and understand their competition.
LinkedIn has several portals, people, answers, jobs, groups and companies; that provide a dynamic view of the evolving business environment. The site continues to grow every day and members are constantly informed of those who have joined their network, linking them with one more person who can provide insight into relationships and connections. The most important portals to monitor are the people, companies and groups sections. These are the areas that are most active on the site.
LinkedIn Groups is relatively new and provides a way for groups to bring usefulness to their members. Look at your competitor’s groups to see which contacts they use for their trusted connections. Check out the profiles of key administrators and directors of your competition. Look at their recommendations to see firms and other colleagues that they recommend using. These could also be part of their client list as well. Information gained from LinkedIn might also be beneficial in showing conflicts of interest when competing for clients from similar industries.
The company listing on LinkedIn is an extremely informative area. LinkedIn shows trends and statistics in a myriad of industries based on users’ data. For example, in looking at the company profile, you can determine the type of employees employed by the firm, such as males of a specific age group. Data mining of the site yields reliable information on clients and hiring trends. In order for this business strategy to work effectively, you must study the functionality of LinkedIn extensively. Familiarize yourself with all the portals. Keep track of statistics and trends and monitor your own profile to make sure you are not giving too much valuable information away to your own competitors.