With the number of users on LinkedIn growing rapidly (380 million to 400 million users July to October 2015) there’s a very strong likelihood that some, if not all of your colleagues might have LinkedIn accounts.
But how can your business take advantage of this and turn your employees into brand advocates?
Develop a relevant strategy that everyone owns
With corporate responsibility for LinkedIn usually falling to HR or marketing teams, other colleagues often fail to see the relevance of the platform to their day-to-day work and how their personal profiles fit the bigger picture. Probably LinkedIn is viewed as a tool of limited value and yet another burden to consider.
In developing a business-wide approach to LinkedIn it’s crucial that you fully understand your colleagues’ objectives. What do they want to do, generate leads or build trust and reputation by sharing their expertise? Build your corporate LinkedIn strategy around their objectives, rather than merely using their personal accounts to broadcast your corporate messages.
Understanding your colleagues’ objectives should also help your company page content strategy, as you refine posts to be more relevant to their audiences.
What about breaking your strategy into more manageable chunks? Rather than work with everyone, what about focussing on a sales team, to demonstrate LinkedIn’s value in generating leads? Then roll out the good practice to other teams and units.
Support colleagues developing their personal profiles
Be active in encouraging colleagues to develop their personal profiles and increase their connections. Don’t expect them to take the initiative on this, there will always be other things to do and ways of working they may be more comfortable with e.g. cold calling. Instead encourage them to setting up their profiles effectively, provide brand guidance on content and what they should/shouldn’t post.
Further help on this can be found in my blog post 5 Tips To Make Your Personal LinkedIn Profile Stand Out.
Do you feel that you’re the “lone voice crying in the wilderness” about the benefits of LinkedIn? If so it’s probably time to get some extra support.
At SocialB we’ve had the privilege of providing in-house LinkedIn training to SMEs and multi-nationals alike. The real benefit is in getting additional insight and expertise, with a wider and objective view of what works and what would work for your strategy.
Help colleagues to understand what success actually looks like. Likes, comments and shares are ok, but the real success is fully linked to objectives e.g.
- Shared a blog post link – how many people actually clicked the link to the post and where did they go next on our website?
- Sharing a “download our eBook” link – how many people provided contact details as a trade for the eBook and how is our CRM database growing because of it?
Don’t forget to communicate back to your colleagues on how well your strategy is going. Breakdown down metrics and Google Analytics information into key achievements:
“Thanks to your activity on LinkedIn this month we have 550 new leads on our CRM through eBook downloads”
Have you used LinkedIn to turn your colleagues into brand advocates and if so what’s worked for you?