Most companies have realized LinkedIn possesses much potential as a business tool in functions such as recruitment, employer branding, sales, marketing and communications.
So they have gone (or an individual employee has gone “solo”) and created a company page, added some info to it, and some have even added banner pictures and some info on their products and services. That’s all you need, right?
What most companies have yet to realize is that their LinkedIn presence is about much more than just the company page. As depicted above, there are three areas that are visible to the outside world in LinkedIn that affect the company’s brand. All of these can be leveraged to increase awareness, build your (employer) brand and open new business opportunities.
LinkedIn company page
Let’s start with the company page. This serves a couple of different purposes on LinkedIn; it connects your employees to the company and each other and acts as an authoritative resource for information on the company. While LinkedIn does not provide much statistics on the way people navigate inside LinkedIn, I would expect the most common reason to come to a company page is through employee profiles which link to them directly. This assumption is based on the fact that 76% of LinkedIn page impressions come from member profiles and people often want to know more about the companies their connections work for. Also, if someone is just in need of information about a specific company, that company’s website is a far more likely destination than the LinkedIn page.
The information on the company page should take this into account and have a people-centric approach to your brand. There should also be a balance between employer branding, concrete information, and marketing as they are all relevant.
Unfortunately, many companies have left their company pages incomplete with minimal information about the company in general and no information on their products and services. Would you release an incomplete company website? Probably not, so why do it with your LinkedIn page? Our Smarp Pages service helps create a complete, professional, and attractive image of your company.
Your employees role on LinkedIn
Arguably, the most important part of your LinkedIn visibility is the employee presence. As stated earlier, 76% of all page impressions are member profile views. This is a massive amount as the activity feed, company pages, and other features are only left with a combined 24% of page impressions. Your employees are directly connected to your company page and thus their profiles reflect directly on the employer’s brand. The company page also links back to the employees, which allows potential candidates to not only look at which company they would like to work for, but who they would be working with. The goal should be to have employees give a unified, professional, and complete image that aligns both with their personal and company values. Aligning your employees can do a lot to boost your company’s image while also helping them get more benefits from their presence.
The first step in getting value from your employees' presence is by increasing their social literacy and understanding of LinkedIn. This can be done with our Smarp Academy online training center.
Company and individual status updates
Last but not least there is the content that both the company and individuals share as status updates, group discussions and comments. This content should be aligned with the overall goals of the company on LinkedIn, which usually consist of employer branding, raising awareness, and marketing. A company can share status updates to its followers who can then like the updates, comment on them or share them forward. By creating interesting content a company can expand its follower count which increases the future reach and impact of its messages.
The part most companies at the moment ignore is the sharing done by employees. As the main reason to join LinkedIn is the desire to network with other professionals (leading to large amounts of connections per employee), we have found that getting your employees involved in sharing a consistent message to their networks usually has at least 10x the potential reach of company status updates (not including viral elements such as liking, sharing, and commenting). Employers need to encourage their employees to share positive updates related to their work and reward them for doing so in order to tap into this vast potential. The message should be consistent and, again, give a unified image of the company as a whole. Preferably, the employer should provide the employees with guidance and information about what they want shared. This can be done with our upcoming SmarpShare product (more details coming soon).
These three areas together constitute your company’s LinkedIn presence. Together they can create a powerful tool to enhance your brand. The investment in both time and money is minimal compared to the potential benefits. The longer you wait to really activate all these categories, the more opportunities you are missing!