Our firm frequently works with organizations who are seeking ways to make their company more attractive in the marketplace. When we review how they depict themselves to their potential customers, we look at their messaging, directional marketing approaches, social media and how they promote their organization’s capabilities.
We start with a company’s website to better understand how their products and services are presented. We then turn to their leadership and other team members. We generally find websites that promote the leadership group well with bios – but what about the rest of their team? That’s when we turn to LinkedIn to learn more.
LinkedIn has become the de facto tool to learn more about the people working at a company – in other words, how a team is presented to current/potential clients, as well as to current/future employees. Yet it’s amazing how few organizations have recognized the opportunity to take advantage of LinkedIn to promote their brand by showcasing their best assets — their employees, especially their skill sets and backgrounds. Shockingly, according to a recent study, one in ten organizations do not allow their employees access to LinkedIn in the workplace. For some employers, their concern is that an employee’s LinkedIn profile would allow competitors and recruiters to more easily target the organization’s best talent and steal them away. The truth is that employees are much less likely to leave an organization that shows how valued they are by helping them tout their competencies and responsibilities — and LinkedIn offers a great way to make that happen.
When searching for key staff at a company on LinkedIn, we find that most profiles fall into one of four categories: 1) no LinkedIn profile for key positions, 2) a very rudimentary and non-informative profile, 3) a profile that looks more like Facebook (including a too casual photo), or 4) a professional profile that provides a comprehensive overview. The goal, of course, would be that your entire team falls into the fourth category.
How can you help your employees (and your company) get the most out of LinkedIn profiles?
Encourage the use of LinkedIn as a professional tool — not to be confused with a person’s Facebook, Twitter or another social media outlet.
Lead by example, everyone on the executive team should have an up-to-date, first-rate profile.
Include developing a LinkedIn profile as part of new employee on-boarding by helping all new employees create or modify their profile as part of new employee orientation.
Facilitate making the profile as professional and comprehensive as possible, starting with the profile picture and including job descriptions/position responsibilities, education, certifications, volunteer activities and awards. Help determine the 10-15 skills that could be endorsed for each person. Finally, particular attention should be given to developing a 2-5 paragraph summary that best describes the unique blend of personality, passions, experience and skills each individual brings to their position.
Make industry-related stories, videos and links available for your employees to post on LinkedIn.
Help your employees keep their profiles up-to-date with reminders during annual reviews, following a promotion, special project or a presentation.
An organization that embraces LinkedIn as a significant component of how it promotes its brand and each of its team members will stand out in the market to prospective customers, as well as, helping the organization’s current employees feel more valued.
Note: We have not received any compensation from LinkedIn (nor have we even spoken with them). Our firm focuses on helping our clients with strategic development at all levels and felt that many companies are missing an easy opportunity to promote their organization.