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Relationship Economics: How genuine communication and engagement in social media helps businesses grow relationships with employees and customers while improving the bottom line

Jaimy Szymanski

Social technologies have always been about people and relationships, yet in recent years we seem to have lost our way, blurring the lines between social media and CRM as we treat these engagement platforms like mass marketing automation tools. The answer to unlocking the potential of business connections has been right under our noses all along: authentically engage with customers, prospects, and employees on social channels to cultivate long-lasting relationships that result in true business ROI.  

For our latest report, Altimeter Group partnered with LinkedIn to study the importance of relationship building among the most socially engaged companies on LinkedIn. By using social technologies to improve relationships, businesses witness incredible results. Download the full report here.

Why we studied relationship economics 

In late 2013, Gallup released its latest survey that measures international employee satisfaction and found that only 13% of workers feel engaged by their jobs. 63%, are not engaged, and 24% are actively disengaged.

Employee Engagement is at an All-Time Low

What is relationship economics?

Relationship economics dictates that when businesses value people, experiences, and aspirations, they reap benefits measured in profitability, loyalty, and advocacy. Without relationship economics, companies will lose a significant edge to those that do actively invest in employee and customer communication and engagement on social platforms such as LinkedIn.

Companies that invest in relationship economics on social platforms find that employees are more engaged, more likely to stay and refer great talent, are more competitive and optimistic, and more likely to increase business and sales opportunities.

Socially engaged companies are more likely to drive greater lead generation, cultivate innovation, and yield top talent.

Companies must become digitally savvy to compete for customers and top talent. Companies that are social engaged realize the following business-level benefits: 

  • 40% more likely to be perceived as more competitive
  • 57% more likely to get increased sales leads
  • 58% more likely to attract top talent

Social Media Engagement Stimulates Competition

Investing in relationship economics can represent the difference between engaged and disengaged employees.

Socially engaged employees are more optimistic, inspired, connected, and tenured:

  • 27% more likely to feel optimistic about their companies’ future
  • 20% more likely to feel inspired
  • 20% more likely to stay at their companies
  • 15% more likely to connect to co-workers beyond their core teams

Employees Feel Empowered and Inspired 

In a relationship economy, leadership must “walk the walk” on social channels in order for others to follow.

Executives at social engaged companies are: 

  • 52% more likely to actively create, curate and share content
  • 50% more likely to actively encourage employee use of professional social media
  • 37% more likely to be active in building relationships using professional social media

Executives Lead the Way and Set the Standard for Engagement

More about LinkedIn's "Top 25 Socially Engaged Companies"

To demonstrate social engagement and transformation, LinkedIn released its list of the top 25 socially engaged companies in July 2014. This list showcases companies that effectively use social media to improve engagement and relationships with customers and employees via efforts in content marketing, employee engagement, talent and recruitment, and sales. 

LinkedIn's Top 25 Socially Engaged Companies

Read the Full Report

Learn more about how relationship economics can impact your business by downloading the full report, "Relationship Economics: How genuine communication and engagement in social media helps businesses grow relationships with employees and customers while improving the bottom line."

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  1. […] the loop. With a social media advocacy program in place, employees have the chance to change that. One study shows that employees who are socially engaged are 20% more likely to stay at their company and […]

  2. […] show that engaged employees are 20 percent more likely to stick around. They also have four times greater job satisfaction—who doesn’t want […]

  3. […] addition, employees of socially engaged companies are 57 percent more likely to align social media engagement with more sales […]

  4. […] Und zu guter Letzt: Die Wahrscheinlichkeit, dass Mitarbeiter dem Unternehmen erhalten bleiben steigt mit erfolgreichen Employee Advocacy Initiativen um 20% (Quelle: Altimeter). […]

  5. […] Employees of socially engaged companies are… (Source: Altimeter & LinkedIn Relationship Economics 2014) […]

  6. […] estudio “Relationship Economics 2014” realizado por Altimeter y Linkedin confirma que las empresas activas en los entornos digitales […]

  7. […] and nourish personal branding. Put employees first and engage them. Employees who are engaged are 20 % more likely to feel inspired, and it will help them to make your brand bigger in the mind of […]

  8. […] Employees of socially engaged companies are… (Source: Altimeter & LinkedIn Relationship Economics 2014) […]

  9. James Davidson says:

    Awesome research guys, really glad to see this! A very timely and relevant topic we are having with many clients.

  10. ed says:

    I look forward to reading- thank you for investing so much in creating such powerful insights.