Social media can, without a doubt, boost your business. Buying behaviour has changed and these days it’s all about relationships and trust, rather than broadcasting your wares. However, as we already know: a brand is only as good as its people. Making sure your messaging extends to your employee profiles is a wise idea.
This isn’t Orwellian. I’m not saying that you should control their Facebook profiles or have their Twitter passwords. What I’m talking about is the key business network across the world: LinkedIn.
What is LinkedIn?
Most commonly known as ‘Facebook for business’, users have a profile, are able to connect with others and post status updates. You can also post articles, and have a company page for your business that people can follow. It’s great for B2B networking, as there are a lot of useful forums and you can connect with anyone – if you know their email, you can send a direct invite, and if you haven’t met them but someone in your network is a ‘first degree’ connection, they can introduce you.
Invest in headshots
People are far more likely to connect and engage with others if they have a professional photo in their profile. This is not the place for that holiday bikini shot or grainy webcam photograph. Invest in your team members and their engagement on the social network will reflect well on your company. A smart, well-lit headshot in office attire puts out a professional image and shows that your staff take your business as seriously as you do.
Ensure each key member of staff has a standard summary about your business in their profile. Allow their personality to show through later on – the summary is the first thing people see and you want it to be connected to your business. Create a standard blurb about your business, including ethos, vision, and goals. This only needs to be a few lines long.
If your employees are reticent to have the blurb in their summary, ensure it is at least in the employment history/company profile below.
Identify key groups across LinkedIn which are relevant to your business as a whole, or to specific teams. Encourage your staff to join these groups and engage in valuable conversations. Start discussions on forums – and answer other people’s questions, too. Remember: providing value is one of the fastest ways to build trust.
Post a status
The status posting function brought LinkedIn closer to Facebook’s social element and is a nifty function for promoting your latest blog or news. Encourage members of your team to post links under a public setting to achieve a wide reach, and this will make a difference to your web traffic.
Your employees can also share your statuses, which is a great way of gaining a broader spread of your messages.
Have a company page
Set up a company profile, and have all your staff connect to the page. This profile is a great tool to tell LinkedIn users more about your business, spread your latest blogs, and share industry insights.
Write LinkedIn articles
A great tool on LinkedIn is the ability to post articles. These are essentially blogs, but rather than being hosted on your website they’re hosted on the LinkedIn platform.
This is a fantastic way to demonstrate your thought leadership and innovation in your field. You can prove your authority and knowledge within your sector, and increase traffic to your website as a by-product.
Online and offline work in harmony
When you’ve established good online relationships with key industry players, move the social aspect into the real world. Talking through forum posts and email is all well and good – but nothing beats meeting someone and connecting on a real level.
This also works in the reverse: when you meet people at events, business networking meetings, or at your auntie’s wedding, connect on LinkedIn. Try not to leave it too long between meeting and connecting, and keep the conversation going by sending a short message with your invitation.
I can help!
If you need a hand writing a blurb for your LinkedIn profiles, or setting up a company page, I can help.