The aim of this study is to analyse the extent to which Eurozone companies use the social network LinkedIn, how they manage their online practices, what is their typical audience, and which are the potential factors influencing both extent and audience.
To examine how stakeholder engagement is managed by using LinkedIn, a sample of 306 companies listed in the STOXX Europe 600 index, including 19 subsectors and 12 countries, is analysed. To measure the extent of LinkedIn usage, an index was defined and calculated on a scale from 0 to 5.
Although the majority of the companies (79 per cent) do use LinkedIn, they mainly focus on a particular group of stakeholders: current and potential employees. Their focus is thus mostly related to professional purposes such as providing information about employees and career opportunities. Just a few of them engage in blogging or updating statuses. Only a very small number of companies are using this platform for marketing or other purposes. The findings also show that the audience of a corporate LinkedIn channel is influenced by the extent of usage of that channel as well as by the size of the company.
This study is the first one providing an overview of Eurozone companies' practices on LinkedIn. Hence both academics and professionals can benefit from this research.
This study has been carried out with the financial support of the Spanish National R&D Plan through research project ECO2011-28267 (ECON-FEDER).
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