In a time when consumer attention is the ultimate commodity, maximizing each social media channel to create memorable experiences has become a powerful strategy.
As many companies turn to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, don’t discount what’s possible on LinkedIn. Take inspiration from these five companies that have gone beyond content and company pages to craft unique experiences for their customers.
1. Connect with KFC’s founder.
Col. Harland Sanders might have been born in 1890, but that hasn’t stopped him from embracing modern technology to create a robust LinkedIn profile. Developed as KFC introduced his new redesign, the colonel’s LinkedIn summary tells his story in a humorous way—he admits to doing “a whole mess of jobs poorly” up until age 65, when he “finally found the thing I could do better than anyone in the world: cook fried chicken.” The profile includes descriptions of all the jobs the colonel has held in his impressive 115+ year career, including “Goat-milker,” “Student of the Law” and “Band Leader.”
What’s unique about this effort is that it’s hard to find any notable brand personalities or mascots on the platform. KFC’s founder is a core part of the company’s brand persona and marketing efforts, and LinkedIn offers a unique opportunity to connect with fans of the brand and tell the story of his background and accomplishments, even if it’s in a humorous way. Who knows? If the colonel accepts your invitation to connect, maybe he will send back a message with career advice or an endorsement.
2. Apply for a travel enthusiast’s ‘dream job’ with Virgin Atlantic.
To promote its Premium Economy amenities, Virgin Atlantic took to LinkedIn to post what could quite possibly be a dream job as a “freelance flyer.” Applicants were asked to submit 1,500 words or fewer via LinkedIn on why they deserved to be the company’s freelance flyer. The prize? One applicant per week would win round-trip transportation from their city of origin to London to pursue personal or professional goals.
Other companies who might be able to offer a similar “dream job” could adopt this strategy as a way to shine a spotlight on their unique jobs or corporate culture. Whether it’s a Willy Wonka “golden ticket” experience with a food brand or a chance to shadow a company executive for the day to gain stronger management experience, both B2B and B2C companies have unique roles and cultures worth highlighting.
3. Score the ultimate endorsement courtesy of 20th Century Fox.
Endorsements are an important part of the LinkedIn profile, but how many professionals can boast one from celebrity Liam Neeson? To promote “Taken 3,” 20th Century Fox took to LinkedIn to offer professionals a chance to get a personalized video endorsement from the man himself. For those not familiar with the movie, the inspiration comes from the first “Taken” movie, when Liam’s character, Brian Mills, boasts about his “particular set of skills” to his daughter’s kidnappers.
As the video shares, fans had to visit the dedicated “Taken 3” LinkedIn page (no longer active) to submit their special skills and enter for a chance to win. How did it turn out? Three words: Best. Endorsement. Ever.
4. Enable professionals to showcase what makes them special.
In celebration of reaching 300,000 followers on LinkedIn, L’Oréal took a unique approach to activating its community with a new “Are You In?” campaign. With the goal of positioning L’Oréal as a top place to work, the company created a visual way for its community to share an “In word” and “In moment” that best describes themselves across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The 10 best In moments were shared on the L’Oréal company page at the end of the campaign.
To participate, professionals were invited to visit a dedicated microsite, where they could sync their LinkedIn profile and select from 12 pre-populated In word examples are listed, from “inspiring” to “international” to “intense.” Participants could then add a reason why they selected that word, and a visual would be created with the word and their LinkedIn profile photo.
In addition to providing L’Oréal with more information on job seekers and professionals that admire the company, the snackable visuals offered a nice personal branding opportunity for participants. It’s a great example of how co-creating content with your community on LinkedIn can help spread company values further.
5. Celebrate new jobs in an unexpected way.
Starting a new job is an exciting time for most. To celebrate the “fresh starts” of professionals on LinkedIn, Fruit of the Loom launched the Fresh Gigs campaign. The company reached out to 25,000 people who changed jobs or gained new employment within a 30-day time window to offer them—you guessed it—a complimentary pair of underwear.
According to Fruit of the Loom, the inspiration from the campaign comes from the sentiment that “a great-fitting underwear can help you start your workday in a great mood.” Outreach for the campaign happened via LinkedIn messages (5,000 per week for five weeks), where the company asked recipients for their address. Winners received the free underwear plus a $5 coupon off a subsequent multipack purchase in the mail.
The campaign offers a great reminder that personalized surprise and delight campaigns have a place on LinkedIn, provided that they are relevant and add value. Though a free pair of underwear via a LinkedIn direct message lands squarely on the side of quirky, aligning with a new job is clever, offering the company a chance to leave a lasting impression with current or new customers. Plus, the personalized touch of direct messages supports a smart rebranding attempt by the company and a chance to get feedback from professionals in real time.
With so many clever opportunities to engage, your brand can’t afford to overlook LinkedIn as a potential channel for memorable customer experiences.