Which brands have best leveraged the power of LinkedIn to connect with their social audience? LinkedIn themselves set out to find out, analyzing Company Pages for effective imagery, rich content, and compelling status updates.

LinkedIn’s 12 Best Company Pages of 2012 is a collection of best in class brands on the professional network. Each has important tips to share with marketers looking to improve their LinkedIn strategy! The following brands received the honor:

  1. Adobe
  2. Aurecon
  3. CNBC
  4. HireVue
  5. HubSpot
  7. The IT Media Group
  8. Magna Powertrain
  9. Pacific Dental Services
  10. Tata Consultancy Services
  11. The Walt Disney Company
  12. Xactly Corporation

So what can you learn from these LinkedIn pros to help you better connect with your own audience?

Use Rich, High Quality Multimedia Content

The Walt Disney Company definitely excels here, which is not surprising, given their industry and resources. However, B2B brands like Adobe and Tata Consultancy Services are also using vivid imagery, video and high quality pictures to engage their followers.

Whatever your product or service, images and video better capture the attention of followers. Use them wherever possible!

Match Your Message to the LinkedIn Mindset

Users of professional and personal social networks use them quite differently and therefore have different expectations, according to LinkedIn research. LinkedIn users expect content about careers, brands and current affairs.

Companies like Aurecon and INSEAD are seeing success with their content curation strategy. They don’t speak only about their own brands, but curate interesting news content from around the web to share with their followers. As a result, each has become a hub of information for their network.

Offer Social Fans Something of Value

When you can’t be funny or entertaining, why not be useful? Hubspot shares valuable resources for marketers, like the above template.

LinkedIn also recommends that brands feature relevant Groups on the Company Page to attract a broader audience and extend your reach. See all of their choices for the Best Company Pages in 2012 below:

To learn more about how to effectively leverage LinkedIn for business, please take Dell's free online training course on the Dell Training Center.