Competitive intelligence using LinkedIn

Clearly LinkedIn is a major source for CI as you get prompt reminders of shifts in organization personnel and the like.  Now a new feature  makes LinkedIn and even more powerful competitive intelligence tool.

The new feature, “Follow Company” allows individuals to get notifications of people’s comings and goings, company announcements and the like. 

One drawback: it doesn’t appear you can follow a company on the “down-low” as LinkedIn allows anyone to see who is following the company.  So if you work for a competitor, its likely that the company is going to know that you are following them.

Chill use of LinkedIn?  If a company doesn’t want to publicly acknowledge comings and goings – either because it doesn’t want to announce lay-offs or maybe because a mass hiring will tip off competitors about a confidential expansion into a new market, I wonder if companies will start discouraging or even prohibiting their workers from updating their LinkIn profile?

Like with Facebook, LinkedIn may find that its need to create ever new features will invoke the law of unintended consequences.

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One Response to “Competitive intelligence using LinkedIn”

  1. Krista Smith Says:

    Interesting post, Randy. There’s no doubt that LinkedIn is a great resource for researching competitors. However, the new tracking feature’s value for competitive intelligence is diminished in part because a company can see who is monitoring them (thus allowing them to censor the data coming through LinkedIn.)

    Though not all companies will be this proactive in monitoring their “leaked” messaging, I think that competitive intelligence is best obtained from resources that a company isn’t actively monitoring.

    If you’re interested, CI Radar has compiled a list of resources and tactics for competitive intelligence gathering at http://ciradar.com/Free-Resources/Market-Research-Tools.aspx .

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