4 Ways to Build Your Brand on LinkedIn
When companies think about their online presence, they typically jump to search engine rankings, website optimization and social media campaigns on Facebook, Twitter and other social sites. However, LinkedIn can be beneficial for growing an organization's brand visibility, improving search engine optimization, recruiting new employees and keeping customers engaged.
For companies to maximize the benefits of LinkedIn, they should encourage their employees to actively participate and maintain a strong brand presence via their LinkedIn profiles. That means urging employees to complete profiles with consistent company messaging and keywords, join active LinkedIn groups, and request endorsements from peers and colleagues. Consider the following tips to help you get the process started:
1. Offer training sessions to encourage employee LinkedIn participation. While some employees might be well acquainted with LinkedIn, others might not have a profile or be familiar with the site. Providing a few brief training sessions on how to use LinkedIn — with a tips guide for creating a profile — can help point employees in the right direction. Once employees’ LinkedIn profiles are complete, ask them to add company information to their profile with consistent descriptors and keywords to boost SEO visibility. Next, ensure they're following and interacting with your LinkedIn company page and, if appropriate, posting updates.
2. Urge employees to keep their profiles fresh. Outdated employee profiles will not help search rankings or an overall LinkedIn campaign. Rather than presenting LinkedIn as another obligation on employees' to-do lists, explain the reasoning behind taking a universal approach to integrating LinkedIn as part of the company's online marketing presence. Often new partners or customers review LinkedIn profiles to determine if they'll do business with a particular company. LinkedIn can help add credibility for individual employees and the overall organization. Knowing this, it's important to clearly communicate expectations, including the potential benefits for employees that maintain their LinkedIn profiles with new skills and experiences. Some companies even offer incentives for employees that go above and beyond, or they create a fun work environment around LinkedIn and other forms of social media.
3. Encourage employees to join LinkedIn groups. LinkedIn is only beneficial to users that are actively engaged with the site and their LinkedIn connections. One way to promote employee participation is to require that employees are active in one to two relevant LinkedIn groups. Setting clear requirements is one of the easiest ways for employers and employees to successfully tackle LinkedIn. For example, it's more viable for an employee to participate in a LinkedIn group every Wednesday than follow vague instructions such as "You need to be an active LinkedIn user."
4. Endorse LinkedIn connection skills for all employees to boost SEO rankings. Search engines are increasingly incorporating LinkedIn's endorsed connection skills into search results. LinkedIn content-referencing organizations and their employees help increase the chance that a company will be found in search results for various search terms. Show employees the power of asking for endorsements and how it can help raise the company's online visibility.
When using Linkedin, it's important to get employees to buy in. Focus on engaging willing employee participation, as it's wise to either fully embrace LinkedIn or focus on other marketing channels. Half-baked social media strategies can be detrimental to public perception, so make sure to develop a cohesive plan before enlisting your employees for support.
Chris Marentis is the CEO of Surefire Social, an integrated internet marketing company.
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