Who to follow on LinkedIn in 2015: From business veterans to speakers-turned-influencers

Welch has moved from boss to business adviser
Nearly 10m people follow the Big Ideas and Innovation channel on LinkedIn – and it’s just one of several that’s populated by posts from LinkedIn’s so-called Influencers. From Leadership and Management to Green Business, there’s a channel to suit everybody. So if you’re looking to enhance your presence on LinkedIn in 2015, start by winkling out the content that’s going to be useful to you.
You can no longer apply to be an Influencer on the professional network. It’s invite only – offered to those whose heavyweight careers mean they’ve got something to offer the 260m people who use LinkedIn. But beyond the obvious – prolific poster Richard Branson has over 7.3m followers, while Bill Gates and Arianna Huffington are on 3m each – who is worth keeping an eye on? City A.M. takes a look at the Influencers who could be worth your time this year.

RYAN HOLMES, HOOTSUITE

The chief executive of social media management tool Hootsuite frequently writes engaging and colourful pieces, from What Pizza and Paintball Taught Me About Success to Why You Should Declare Email Bankruptcy for 2015. The latter advocates giving yourself a clean slate when it comes to your inbox this year, wiping folders set aside to be dealt with after the Christmas break. It might help to “add a little temporary disclaimer to your email signature to let people know,” though, quips Holmes.

BRIAN SOLIS, ALTIMETER GROUP

An article by this digital market analyst, 25 Technology Trends for 2015-2016, is currently the most read piece on LinkedIn’s Pulse, with almost 200,000 views.
Solis believes that the importance of cyber security will keep growing this year, and that YouTube, Vine and other video platforms will create a “new Hollywood” – an ecosystem that will bolster celebrities like the home of the entertainment industry did in the early 1900s. Wearables, he says, “will struggle to find their place in everyday life,” but mobile payments “will soon skyrocket”. Solis also predicts that combining mobile platforms with geolocation technology will help businesses connect with customers even more successfully this year, “with trust and efficiency serving as facilitators.”

JACK WELCH, JACK WELCH MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE

Former General Electric chief executive Jack Welch offers a wide range of advice on jobs and management. From how to make a career comeback to asking yourself whether you’re a boss-hater, Welch courses through it all. His latest offering, The One Question Every Boss Should Ask, explores how bosses can get pushed into a corner by “creeping insularity” and end up “plucking decisions out of the air”. In order to ensure you’re working in a “culture of candour,” he says, it’s imperative to ask yourself: “am I alone here?”

COLIN SHAW, BEYOND PHILOSOPHY

Shaw is the chief executive of customer experience firm Beyond Philosophy. With 150,000 followers, his regular posts range from his own area of expertise to career help (Are You Working for the Right Company?).
Like many other Influencers, he also published a series of big ideas for 2015, hooked on why customer service wanes in a strengthening global economy.

DAVID EDELMAN, MCKINSEY

This marketing expert (he’s a partner at the management consultancy, leading its digital marketing strategy practice) provides illuminating content on subjects from how to spot the people who will revolutionise your business to the vital importance of design to any company.
A recent piece on how to deal with unknowns hones in on a growing challenge in the modern workplace. Managing things you don’t yet have the full scope of, says Edelman, means constantly organising your thoughts and execution in a systematic way, and making sure you can work comfortably with both detail and hypotheses together.

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