Why your staff should have appealing LinkedIn profiles
Starting and maintaining an appealing LinkedIn profile would just be one more thing staff have to remember, so why bother?
Well, turns out there are myriad benefits of using the popular social media platform for both employees and the company as a whole. In this article, we’re going to discuss what those benefits are and explore some how-to tips on getting started.
So, should employees be encouraged to use LinkedIn?
Yes. As a platform with more than 562 million members (according to its own data), LinkedIn can expand the reach and reputation of your brand via its employees.
When employees are encouraged to use LinkedIn you add to the number of potential connection points future networking partners and customers have with your company. This could be through the sharing and liking of relevant content, as well as direct discussion via LinkedIn Groups or InMail.
For employees themselves, an up-to-date LinkedIn profile is like a living CV. They can use it to show off their skills and achievements, as well as their expertise. It will grow as they do, making it a useful tool for when trying to get a promotion, find a new job or if they just want to build their reputation and network.
Now that we’ve covered the short version, let’s dig into this in more detail.
The benefits of staff LinkedIn profiles
1. Increase brand visibility
The more employees you have that interact with your company LinkedIn profile, the more likely new connections are to come into contact with your brand.
According to LinkedIn, employees are 70 per cent more likely to engage with their company’s updates than regular followers. So each like, share or comment spreads these updates to your employees’ connections, expanding your reach.
When people feel proud and happy in their workplace, they brag about it to their friends and family.
2. Gain brand ambassadors
When people feel proud and happy in their workplace, they tend to brag about it to their friends and family.
Now imagine that bragging taking place on a business-oriented platform like LinkedIn. When employees share good work, praise each other or just generally put out positive vibes about their workplace, they are acting like brand advocates.
This advocacy can be incredibly powerful. According to Incite Group, 91 per cent of B2B buyers make their purchasing decisions based off word-of-mouth.
3. Improve recruitment
There are two sides to the LinkedIn coin when it comes to recruitment.
The first is that if you post a job opening on your company profile, employees can then share that with their connections. Not only does this increase the chance that new recruits will see your advertising, but it means some of these potential candidates may come from people you know and trust – if they can vouch for a candidate, this may help you make a decision.
If you are using InMail to contact potential recruits, read this: According to OfficeVibe, people are two times more likely to accept cold emails if they’ve interacted with your brand before.
The second side of the recruitment coin is that, should someone want to apply, they might reach out via their LinkedIn connections to ask questions and determine what life at the company is like. This is again where having brand advocates of your company is important.
Encouraging the use of LinkedIn shows employees that you trust them.
4. Show trust
Finally, there’s trust. What does it say to your employees when you limit or discourage their time on social media at work? It shows you don’t trust them.
According to Michigan State University, open communication, mutual respect and the encouragement of input build trust, whereas micromanagement and suspicion destroy it. When we apply this to LinkedIn, we see that encouraging employees to build their professional profile and helping them use it to its full extent can build trust between you and them.
Some guidelines for staff LinkedIn profiles
1. Make it easy: One major barrier to creating an all-star LinkedIn profile is the time it takes to do so – plus, people may not feel confident writing a description about themselves, or know how to go about doing it. So, do it for them! Create a LinkedIn profile template with as many details filled in as you the employer can accomplish (e.g. a description about their role and your company) so employees who need help jump-starting their profile can use the tools you’ve provided. If nothing else, you should provide LinkedIn training to make sure they get the most out of the platform, and understand its benefits.
2. Check in on them: Check their profiles every now and then after training to make sure they understood and are applying the knowledge to its fullest. You don’t have to spy on them, and as we discussed micromanagement destroys trust, but if staff could use a second opinion or further training, don’t be afraid to approach them.
3. Encourage them to write and share posts: Writing articles and sharing posts is a great way to build a professional image. Teach staff how to write LinkedIn articles and SlideShare presentations – especially your customer-facing staff, like salespeople. An alternative would be to offer ghostwriting services for those that want to build their profile, but struggle to do it themselves.