We know LinkedIn is a great place to start when you're researching individuals but it's also a great place to find some pretty helpful company statistics. In the LinkedIn Search box, change the drop down menu to search for companies and plug in the company you're interested in finding out more about. Using Whole Foods as an example, on the first page I can find out who I'm connected to at Whole Foods, who some of the new hires are, new job postings and position changes within the company. One really cool feature is in the right hand sidebar: "Check out insightful statistics about Whole Foods Market employees". On this page I can see that 66% of Whole Foods employees have a bachelor degree and that before going to work for Whole Foods, most employees worked for Wild Oats Market and Starbucks. There's even a tab showing where most employees went to college. In this instance, most employees went to the University of Texas at Austin. Which, of course, makes sense as Whole Foods' home office is in Austin. What's interesting is that there are also several employees from Colorado State University and the University of Colorado at Boulder. This also makes sense as we know that most employees came from Wild Oats which had its headquarters in Boulder, Colorado and was for a time owned by Whole Foods. It's important to remember that these statistics are based solely on the information provided by employees on LinkedIn, but it's easy to start to paint a picture of the culture and types of employees.
Are you using LinkedIn or another social media tool in different ways to do business research? Tell us about it in the comments.