Updated on June 27, 2017.
The other day, my stepfather said something at the dinner table that changed my thinking. He said, “We just hired a new engineer at the plant today. I found him on LinkedIn. He sent me a message saying he was interested in the company.”
Now, in the digital marketing world, this type of interaction is commonplace. But, coming from a man who carried a flip phone until 2015 (and who does not have a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account), this exchange was almost unbelievable.
LinkedIn has a huge and growing user base. So in order to drive traffic and engagement to your company page, your business needs to position itself to stand out against the growing clutter on this social platform.
Luckily, one of the best ways to achieve this visibility lives in the very lifeblood of your company: your employees.
It may seem counterintuitive, but encouraging your employees to create and optimize their own personal LinkedIn profiles offers mutual benefits to both employer and employee. In fact, it may be the easiest way to boost your company’s stature on this channel. We’ll get more into how you should do this, but first, let’s dive a little deeper into why your employees should be on LinkedIn.
Here are 3 essential reasons why you should encourage your employees to be on LinkedIn:
Improved Company Visibility
Consider this: What if we think of LinkedIn’s search function in the same way we think of Google’s?
Like Google, LinkedIn ranks company search results based on the quality and relevance of your company. Your employees’ presence on LinkedIn creates opportunities to embed links that point back to your company page. So employees optimizing their profiles to their full potential will help get you that coveted #1 spot.
“But wait, there’s more!”
Additionally, the more employees you have with fleshed-out profiles, the more opportunities for search engines like Google to pick up on relevant keywords embedded in their profiles, and display pages connected to your company in its search results.
For a more in depth look at exactly how employees can (and should) optimize their profiles, I love this guide here by the people at Inboundmarketingagents.com.
Better Employee Engagement
There’s a white elephant in the room, and it’s saying, “Why encourage my employees to make themselves more marketable on LinkedIn? Won’t that make them more likely to be poached and seek other opportunities?”
I know, it’s a scary idea. But research actually dispels this anxiety rather conclusively.
Studies demonstrated that between employer and employee, genuine communication and engagement on social media topped the list of employee engagement ideas. It contributed to a host of positive effects surrounding employee satisfaction, including greater optimism in their company’s future success and a greater likelihood of staying with that company for the long term.
And an understated keyword here is “genuine.” Authenticity is a key quality of social media success and creating a corporate brand that people actually believe in. Therefore, empower your employees to harness the benefits of LinkedIn. Do not – I repeat, DO NOT – require their participation. Mow the field, teach them the sport, and your employees will play the game all day with pride stitched in their uniforms.
Enhanced Company Image
You’ve heard it before, now live it: Social media moves at a mile a minute. You need to remain at the helm of this rapid growth, because your company’s stature in the digital space depends on it.
First, put yourself in the user’s perspective. If you were researching a company on LinkedIn, perhaps to contract their services or to get familiar before an interview, what sort of impression would you leave with if only a small percentage of their company’s employees had a personal profile? To list an extreme hypothetical, what if you found out Google only had 10 out of their 54,000 employees using the platform?
To put it lightly, you would be alarmed. It tarnishes the company’s image.
The statistics above tell you all you need to know about the benefits of having a higher corporate presence on LinkedIn, but to build an alluring page representative of your brand, you are going to need your employees’ help.
Now that we’ve covered why this should be important for your company, here’s how you can facilitate your employees to better utilize LinkedIn for your business:
Host a Seminar in the Office
This one’s a no-brainer. Get in contact with your social media team and set up a company-wide seminar on how your employees can best leverage their LinkedIn profiles. Have them run through both the basics of building a profile as well as some of the deeper edits that can instantly transform their page from pitiful to professional.
This detailed infographic can provide a great format to streamline the meeting. Or, want to get serious about building a company culture around employee social engagement? Integrate LinkedIn education into your new hire’s orientation. This way, you can capture employee’s social interest from the start.
In the past, our agency has had great success using lunch-and-learns to get this message across, but you can tailor the format to whatever works best for your company environment.
By the way, if you choose the meeting route, don’t forget the food. It’s the only way to ensure a full house!
Notify Employees When Updates Are Posted on LinkedIn
Orchestrate an office-wide notification system whenever you, or someone else from your company, posts on your LinkedIn business page. Have an update? Email out the link directly to the LinkedIn post or provide a few copy options your employees can use for their own post. This is a simple way to drive engagement on your company’s LinkedIn page. Better even, it utilizes your #1 brand ambassadors (hint: they work for you).
Here are a few example scenarios that might warrant such an alert:
- Bringing on a new hire
- Publishing an original piece of content
- Acquiring new business
- Reaching an important benchmark
- Unveiling a new product or service
Your employees will not only stay informed with the overall operation of your business, but you will also expand the opportunity for social engagement on your company’s LinkedIn page. Every like, share, and follow counts.
Set an Example
What does your own LinkedIn profile look like? If it’s anything but perfect, you’ve got work to do.
Both you and the other leaders at your company should have killer LinkedIn profiles. Beyond the personal benefits of maintaining an excellent page, boasting an example-worthy LinkedIn profile will also:
- Legitimize your company-wide efforts to improve LinkedIn participation
- Inspire your employees to follow in your footsteps and build stellar profiles
- Drive engagement within the LinkedIn platform and on your company page
Struggling for inspiration? Check out this great resource that showcases 10 outstanding examples of individual profiles.
As a professional, maintaining a LinkedIn profile is no longer an option – it’s an outright necessity. Whether you and your company leverage this channel is a matter of your willingness to harness the capabilities of this powerful platform.
Bottom line: You want your employees on LinkedIn. Invest in their success, and you are sure to see returns.
Still puzzled about how to promote your business by using LinkedIn? Drop us a line on Twitter @QuattroPhilly. We’d love to hear from you.