I have spent a lot of time on LinkedIn – both professionally and personally – over the last several years and I have yet to come across a company that is doing a great job with leveraging the true power of LinkedIn.
Every employee that a company has on LinkedIn is a potential marketing dynamo that can be leveraged to build brand awareness, to push specific messages and to keep the company’s name in front of as many people as possible. Unfortunately, most companies are wasting these potential marketing moments.
Based on my experience, I believe that there are three things that companies can do to “right the ship” and get back on course:
- Maximize Your LinkedIn Company Page
- Leverage employee profiles on LinkedIn
- Empower your employees to get engaged on LinkedIn
Maximize Your LinkedIn Company Page – This is the easiest part because it is the most controllable. I have written several posts with tips for getting more out of your LinkedIn Company Page and you can find them at:
My top two tips for maximizing your Company Page are:
- Post regular status updates – the more content you post on your Company Page, the more you will keep your company’s name in front of your followers and in the LinkedIn Newsfeed. My best practice suggestion is to post at least daily which means you will need five great posts each week to drive traffic and awareness.
- Post interesting content – you do not want every message on your Company Page to advertise your products or services because that would only serve to annoy or turn off your followers. Instead, it is important to post interesting content that followers will find useful for their every day job or career, or that educates or entertains them in some way.
Leverage Employee Profiles on LinkedIn – Another best LinkedIn practice is to make sure that all employees are using the marketing messaging you want in their profiles. LinkedIn provides users with 2,000 characters for their Summary and Employment Services section, and most people use only a fraction of this space on their profiles. In my previous position, we created standard templates that employees could use or tailor for both their Summary and Employment sections and gave them tips on how to maximize their profile. In addition, you should make sure that they have profile pictures that represent your brand, and that their profiles are as up-to-date as possible.
LinkedIn also lets users upload their own content and this is another way to trick out employees’ LinkedIn Profiles. Have you received an award, do you have a short Powerpoint presentation on your company or product, do you have a whitepaper or datasheet you want employees to share? All of this content can be provided to your employees to post to their LinkedIn profile so it is visible whenever anyone views their profile.
Employees will need training and guidance to take advantage of these advanced features, and you may want to set up a phone or email hotline to answer questions and provide assistance.
Empower Employees to Engage on LinkedIn – The final piece of the puzzle is that you have to get your employees to regularly engage on LinkedIn. Employees must be sold on the idea that every interaction they have on LinkedIn is an opportunity to market their company. At my last company, we had many instances of new business being generated because a connection noticed an interesting post or update from an employee’s profile. While it is not necessary for all of their interactions to be company marketing messages, employees should be positively interacting with your brand at least once or twice per week. The simplest way for employees to do this is to share or like what is posted on your LinkedIn Company Page.
This task will be the hardest for you to achieve as it requires developing new habits for your employees. Employees do not have to be on LinkedIn all day, but they need to develop the habit of checking in at least once per day. In five to ten minutes per day, most employees can build their own brand while helping the company at the same time. Some suggestions for improving engagement are providing a checklist of daily tasks to perform or turning the effort into a contest.