Prospective clients and new hires are not only scanning your company’s website, but your LinkedIn company page and employees’ pages too, from the C-suite to interns alike.
There’s a demand for a holistic and comprehensive digital view of your firm—and this includes your employees. Many discussions on ways to bring a human element to corporate social media have focused on one individual–the CEO. However, brands are beginning to realize the importance of having the face of the company represented on social media through employees of all levels, actively engaging with clients and prospects.
These connections create relationships that resonate with clients, prospects, and hires, and they keep your firm top of mind. One of the best ways to establish these professional connections is through LinkedIn. Here are a few reasons and benefits for your employees to have strong LinkedIn profiles.
1. Positive public image and brand reputation
LinkedIn is a great opportunity for your firm to show off its collective company expertise. Prospects, clients and others can see the expertise of each employee if profiles are kept up to date with skills, experience, endorsements and accomplishments. Additionally, employees can post news updates, job openings and new hires to demonstrate the growth of your company. This puts your company in front of your employees’ networks, but also prospects, clients and job seekers who are searching for your company. It’s important that your CEO maintains a strong LinkedIn profile, as they are often the most well-known face of the company. But the collective presence of your employees on LinkedIn is essential in that it makes your brand more human and authentic.
2. Increased firm visibility
Oftentimes one of the only things an employee will do on LinkedIn to promote the firm is by updating their profile to list you as an employer, which links to your Company Page. This is important because a person’s job title and place of employment are the only thing you can see about another user before clicking on their profile. However, there are several other ways that employees can edit their profiles to increase the visibility and reach of your firm. Employees can include a brief description of your company under Experience or the Summary section of their profile, use company keywords in the job description, and even add a link to your website. Employees can also follow the Company Page so that it shows up in the Interests section of their profile, share thought leadership produced by colleagues, connect with their coworkers and give each other endorsements for relevant skills. All of these ideas will make your firm more visible when someone lands on an employee’s profile, and the keywords and information will help profiles appear in search engine or LinkedIn search results.
LinkedIn is great for search engine visibility. Oftentimes when your firm’s name is searched, its LinkedIn page will come up in the first several results. This valuable search engine real estate should be leveraged to show your firm to be the well-rounded capable partner that it is. To not take advantage of this search engine real estate is a missed opportunity.
3. Lead generation and nurturing
LinkedIn is a primary place to make professional connections. In fact, 80% of B2B leads generated on social media come from LinkedIn. When you meet people at conferences or speaking engagements, connecting with them on LinkedIn will give them insight into your brand and what it’d be like to work with you, and it gives them an easy way to connect with you going forward, should a need arise.
People want to know who they are working with, and LinkedIn is a primary way for prospects to assess whether they deem your team competent to handle their business. Also, being active on LinkedIn and engaging with your connections will allow for a more personalized experience that creates trust. This is not limited to firm leadership. When your employees are active on LinkedIn and keep their profile up to date in these ways, it creates a positive and engaged public image for your firm and makes your brand more human.
4. Further your brand reach
Part of having a strong LinkedIn profile is being active on the platform by sharing content and engaging with others. LinkedIn research says that on average, employee networks have 10 times as many connections as a firm’s Company Page followers. This means that turning employees into brand advocates on LinkedIn, where they engage with and share your company’s posts, will greatly increase the posts’ and page’s reach. When a post receives more engagement (likes, comments, shares), it will move up to the top of users’ news feeds. That means that even just by commenting on a post, employees can increase the visibility of your firm throughout their network. They also will be more likely to read and engage with the post because people are more likely to trust information that’s shared by someone they know.
5. Drive traffic to your website
LinkedIn is almost always a top referral to B2B and professional services websites, consistently driving a sizeable percentage of traffic to the sites, especially when updates are regularly shared via the company account. As your employees become more active on LinkedIn, engaging with your company’s posts or sharing blog articles, it will expand your reach and drive even more referrals to your site.
6. Attract Talent
LinkedIn is a primary tool for job seekers. And even if jobseekers aren’t actively looking for jobs on LinkedIn, they will almost always use LinkedIn to vet your firm and your people. Prospective employees want to get a sense of your culture and see who they would be working with. The most effective employer branding showcases what it’s really like to work for a firm, and LinkedIn is a great tool to allow prospects to gauge this by scrolling through your people.
A team effort
A strong LinkedIn presence is table stakes in today’s landscape, and the lack of a cohesive LinkedIn presence across your organization is an easy missed opportunity. Although not everyone is a social butterfly, keeping LinkedIn profiles up to date should be encouraged by employers, and inviting your people to like and share content at select intervals is something that is quite effective. Your employees will likely be happy to participate with encouragement and reminders. Your CEO and firm leadership should lead this effort! Management can set a good example by strengthening their own profiles and engaging with the company page in order to encourage others to do so too.