Think There Are No Feds on LinkedIn? Think Again, Says Mark Amtower

by Jenna Sindle

Public Sector marketers can often feel a bit out of the loop when it comes to the ways in which they can connect with their prospects and customers especially when compared to the array of options open their commercial counterparts. But a recent survey of federal employees on LinkedIn by the venerable Mark Amtower demonstrates that the business networking platform is a hive of activity for the federal government.

In his annual census of LinkedIn Amtower discerned that are  over 2 million feds from over 305 federal operating organizations currently on the business networking platform. Amtower broke down the more than 2 million individuals and 305 pages to give better insight into just who and what organizations are present on the site. As you can see, by far the biggest representation comes from the Department of Defense and  other military branches of the government. However, while there are fewer civilian agency personnel  on LinkedIn their agencies are well represented.

Amtower’s Annual Census of Feds for 2021

Total for DOD and military:                              1,121,085

US Army (total 36 “company” pages):            499,474

US Air Force (13 “company” pages):               267, 540

US Navy (26 “company” pages):                      251,228

US Marines:                                                        41,587

US Space Force:                                                 910

DoD: (44 “company” pages):                            110,346

Civilian Departments and agencies:                 908,869

USDA (12 “company” pages):                          49,464

Commerce (12 “company” pages):                 35,956

Energy (14 “company” pages):                         59,457

HHS (19 “company” pages):                              84,598

DHS (11“company” pages):                               97,113

Interior (10 “company” pages):                        37,033

Justice (11 “company” pages):                          37,144

Labor (3 “company” pages):                              9,235

NASA (6 “company” pages):                              51,506

State:                                                                     27,206

DOT (9 “company” pages):                                33,973

Treasury (8 “company” pages):                        41,523

VA (3 “company” pages):                                  136,573

So what does this mean for federal marketers?

Most obviously, it means that LinkedIn should be a place to put effort time, effort, and marketing budget.  But more than that, and definitely more than just advertising or broadcasting, it should also be a place to listen to what agencies are focusing on, learning how the mission is being defined and redefined with each new domestic and global challenge to align to account based marketing goals. And it’s also about making genuine connections by joining in conversations and commenting thoughtfully on posts and articles that matter to your business and those you serve.

As Amtower shared with us in a previous conversation on using LinkedIn for federal marketers, “the simple act of being on LinkedIn is the best face you can put forward.” However, he cautioned “if you’re not presenting yourself well, you’re toast” with the government community.  His advice – start building your personal profile and that of your organization to demonstrate domain knowledge and expertise, not just knowledge of your organization and its solutions. This he noted, is the first step to authentic engagement.