At the end of last year, we carried out a review of the use of LinkedIn by the top 100 firms of accountants in the UK as listed by Accountancy Age.  The purpose of this research was for our own internal use but we feel it is now worth sharing with a wider audience.

We set out to answer three questions:

1. Do accountants participate on LinkedIn?

The majority of the Top 100 has a strong and increasing presence on LinkedIn.  Few have no individual or company profiles.

2. Are accountants using LinkedIn Company Pages?

There is a disappointing lack of use of the Company Page feature with limited summary information and almost no use of images and pictures

3. Is there an understanding of company Following?

The numbers show that companies do not understand the concept of following on LinkedIn.  This is not limited to just the accountancy profession.

Do accountants participate in Linkedin?

The starting point in our research was to look at the number of employees with LinkedIn profiles linked to the largest 100 companies.  A summary of the numbers is set out in the table below.  The largest 6 companies with over 10,000 employees have been separated out as their numbers bias the band averages.  The remainder has been grouped in bands according to their numbers of employees.

As at end Nov 2010              As at end July 11
No. of firms in Group

Average number of LinkedIn profiles

Largest 6 firms




Percentage of employees on LinkedIn No. of firms in Group


25% 31% 4


18 21 5


27 27 18


25 33 45


35 39 10

There are 7 companies with Company Pages but no employees on LinkedIn and 5 companies which have employees with profiles but no LinkedIn Company Page.  The figures mask some omissions where employees have connected themselves correctly to their company and also where Company Page administrators have failed to remove rogue employees and leavers have failed to remove themselves from their previous company.

In addition, there are firms of accountants with several company pages, particularly the larger firms who have an international presence and firms with subsidiaries and complex corporate structures.

So, broadly speaking about a third of all employees in the Top 100 have a LinkedIn profile and there has been a 16% increase in the number of employees in this population in line with the 14% in LinkedIn membership in the UK in the same period.  11 firms have doubled their numbers on LinkedIn and only 6 have seen a fall.

Are accountancy firms using LinkedIn company pages?

At the beginning of 2011, LinkedIn introduced the section on the LinkedIn Company Pages call Products and Services.  This offers the opportunity for companies to create a ‘website-like’ profile with descriptions of all their services, supported by images, videos, and links back to web pages.  The profile can be tailored to 3 different audiences depending on the characteristics of the person visiting the company page.

The main move by LinkedIn is in recognizing that companies want to have ‘corporate’ as well as individual recommendations.  It is also the only place on LinkedIn where a company can have a free advertisement.  Take a look at the Dell’s company page for an example. Company pages are searchable and are therefore indexed by the search engines forming another strand to SEO.

Looking at the Top 100, 72 companies had NO products and services on their LinkedIn Company Page.  The table below shows the details:

No. of Products & Services on LinkedIn No. of Companies with Products & Services No. of Companies with  Banners and no. of banners
1 6
2 1 1 with 1 banner



4 1
5 5 1 with 1 banner
6 2
7 4 1 with 2 banners
8 2
9 2
11 1
17 1 1 company with a video
21 1

Clearly, there are missed opportunities for companies to promote themselves further.  This part of LinkedIn also gives companies an opportunity to have a changeable area on the internet where they can display events, special offers and news.

Are you following your company followers?

There is often a misunderstanding of the difference between ‘connecting’ and ‘following’ on LinkedIn.  When you ‘connect’ with an individual you see their update stream and can view details of their profile.  ‘Following’ happens either in Groups or Companies.  Following a company means that the LinkedIn user sees company updates but not employees’ updates.  You can follow 1,000 companies.

Clearly, if someone is following your company, it is sensible to visit their profile to assess if someone should connect with them.  Set out below are the statistics for the 88 companies with Company Pages.

Number of LinkedIn Company followers Number of firms
Over 100 11
76-100 5
51-75 8
26-50 39
0-25 25

The key piece of advice here is to share your company page with all your connections and to ask them to follow the page so they are kept informed about news in your Company.

And finally….

We will be carrying out further research in the coming months to support the LinkedIn strategy and training Alterra undertakes and this will include an analysis of the LinkedIn Activity of the largest firms.

Feel free to get in touch with comments and suggestions.

Amanda Brown BA MSc DIC


Cutting through the LinkedIn update noise

by Amanda on June 14, 2011

If you have been using LinkedIn for a while, you will have probably made a significant number of connections.  This means that your Update screen only covers posts from about the last 30 minutes or so.  This time span will vary depending on the number of connections you have and the frequency with which they post updates. Not many of us have time to scroll back through pages and pages of updates every time we log on to LinkedIn but there is a way to filter out the noise.

Checking my update screen I see the last 46 minutes of posts.  Many of these are from people around the world whom I don’t know but have connected with.  Let us assume that we wish to communicate with active members of my network in the vicinity of St Albans.

We can do this using LinkedIn Signal.  This is found underneath the More tab on the main Navigation Bar.

The easiest way for you to see how this feature works is to check out our YouTube video which shows you full instructions:LinkedIn Signal – Cutting through the noise

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