Analysis: LinkedIn follower base of leading consulting firms

12 July 2023 3 min. read

The impact of thought leadership as a business driver is a difficult concept to measure. Through an analysis of LinkedIn, NMG Consulting contends ‘followers per employee’ provides a valuable metric.

Advisory firm NMG Consulting has released a fascinating insight into the effectiveness of thought leadership via a study of LinkedIn followers, arguing that as employees’ individual networks have the biggest influence, the ‘Followers-per-Employee’ metric serves then as the best for measuring impact.

NMG Consulting forwarded Australian consultancy Adaptovate as an example of follower numbers being especially disproportionate to overall headcounts.

Analysis: LinkedIn follower base of leading consulting firms

Co-founded in Singapore more than three decades ago by Sydney-based CEO Mark Prichard and fellow former Swiss Re colleague Geoff Baars, an executive director based in Perth, NMG Consulting specialises in advising clients operating in the insurance, reinsurance, and wealth and asset management spaces. These sectors, together with the consulting industry at large, provide the primary inputs into the firm’s thought leadership examination of LinkedIn.

As its starting point, NMG Consulting states; “What is the value and impact of thought leadership? While intuitively important and having seen first-hand compelling case studies in client engagements, demonstrating this conclusively in the B2B (business-to-business) environment is more challenging. LinkedIn is just one distribution channel, although increasingly important for businesses. Thought leadership logically influences follower counts.”

While noting the other factors at play, such as business model, geographic scope, and elements relating to the business brands themselves, NMG Consulting comes to the conclusion that the consulting segment “illustrates that more narrowly-scoped specialists can excel in content development, and lead in their respective niches,” with the MBB strategy and management giants far exceeding their Big Four cousins in the ‘Followers-per-Employee’ metric.

McKinsey & Company, for example, sits at the top of the follower-per-employee rankings, despite many of its senior leaders eschewing the platform and the firm’s relative size compared to the likes of Deloitte and the other members of the Big Four. Boston Consulting Group and Bain & Company also stand out, all pushing above 100 followers per employee, while Australia’s Adaptovate excels, with a 25,000-strong following and only 130 or so consultants.

NMG Consulting’s analysis shows that business media outlets such as Forbes, Financial Times and the Economist lead the overall pack in follower terms due to their singular focus and advantages from topic diversity, regularity and global scope, with each scoring upwards of 1,000 followers per employee.

Global consulting-focused network, meanwhile, would spike way up on the Y-axis, with just 15 employees informing 100,000 followers across its various regional platforms.