Why You Need to Move Your LinkedIn Message Beyond the Marketing Team
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As a marketer, you spend a lot of time and money focused on developing your digital assets and getting potential customers to engage with them. You are always looking for ways to increase your digital footprint and grow your traffic.
There’s some low-hanging fruit that you’ve missed, though. And it’s hanging out right under your nose (or down the hall in a less metaphorical sense).
The Hyper-Connected World Makes Everyone a Marketer.
Instead of looking at marketing as something only the marketers do, what if you considered everyone on your team to be a marketer? With the rise of social media, almost everybody has a public-facing presence online. Which means that everybody is a marketer of themselves and their employer, no matter their job title.
A prime example of this is LinkedIn. With over 500 million users, LinkedIn is the professional network. There’s a good chance that every employee in your company already has a LinkedIn Profile. While each person’s profile is reflective of his or her individual career, it also touches on where he or she currently works. With each profile and content post, there’s an opportunity to share your brand message. And that’s an opportunity for a lot of free visibility.
If you harness it.
And it’s worth harnessing. Moz gives LinkedIn.com a domain authority ranking of 100, which means Google loves the heck out of it. And according to a study by Econsultancy, LinkedIn is responsible for 64% of all visits from social media channels to corporate websites.
Why rely on just ads and company posts when you can add the profiles and dynamic posting of your entire organization? When you add in everyone’s social activity (LinkedIn is getting billions of page views a year), you can amplify your message on LinkedIn and on your total digital presence.
Amplify Everyone’s Message on LinkedIn.
Every employee has a vested interest in helping the company grow and thrive (getting consistent paychecks is a good thing). Roles that aren’t traditionally customer-facing can still have a positive influence. Everybody is just one Google search away from being seen by a potential client, hire, partner, vendor. Even if those employees are in accounting, research, or operations, the information they share through their profiles adds up to a stronger message.
And there are a few groups in the company that you want to get on-board quickly because they can have an out-sized branding impact. They are the groups that already have a lot of contact with your customers and the public. If you can get them engaged with the company messages, you can quickly and cheaply magnify your reach.
The Sales Team
The sales world and the marketing world are quickly becoming more intertwined. Your sales team spends its day creating new connections with potential customers. Your salespeople are your partners in getting the word out. But does their own personal social presence reflect how you help your customers?
If sales is the first point of contact for customers, HR is the first point of contact for new hires. That means HR team members provide the first impression of the culture and vision of the company for your employees. What they share will influence your new colleagues throughout their stay.
Gone are the days when the members of the C-suite could hide behind closed doors. By the very nature of their positions, your leaders are at the forefront of the company and industry. Are you harnessing and demonstrating their thought-leadership?
The Marketing Team
Look in the mirror. Are the cobbler’s kids running around barefoot? If you don’t share effectively on your LinkedIn profile, and you’re a professional marketer, how can you expect anyone else in the organization to do it? Model great behavior
How to Enlist Your Colleagues to Help
The question becomes how to align everyone’s LinkedIn presence to magnify your company message. Here’s what you DON’T do:
Send out a company-wide email telling everybody to cut and paste some bland marketing copy.
That’s a great way to get zero people on board. Nobody wants to be told what to do, especially when they haven’t bought-in to the premise in the first place. Instead, we have to look at their social presence from their point of view. When you understand why they haven’t polished their LinkedIn Profile already, you’ll see how you can help them adopt and integrate your messaging.
They don’t know why they should.
Sure, you know how much effort goes into marketing. It’s what you look at every day. But most employees don’t realize this. (That’s why your sales team doesn’t always appreciate you). They don’t understand how much impact they could have on the company’s bottom line.
Solution: Show them how their engagement on social will help. Help them understand the why. Connect your marketing goals with the goals they have in their department. Give them an overview of your traffic and conversion goals and how they can move the needle.
They don’t know how to use the platform.
It might surprise you, but not everyone spends their whole day engaged with digital media. Although you might understand the ins and outs of LinkedIn, most people don’t. And they don’t necessarily have time to devote to it.
Solution: Provide the resources and support necessary to get them up and running quickly. Don’t assume they are social media whizes. Give them tools that walk them through the process. Provide access to online videos, checklists, or training documents that show how to update their profiles and post content.
It’s their personal site.
You don’t own their LinkedIn profile or their social media activity. They do. Would you like someone to tell you what you had to put on your profile? Of course not. At the same time, employees spend a lot of time working, and their professional life is an important part of their identity. Partner with them to help them share their stories instead of forcing them.
Solution: Respect your team. Ask for their engagement vs. requiring it. Make sure that you have clear policies to them make the best online decisions and then give them guidance. Want an example? Check out the US Marine Corps’ social media policy.
They aren’t professional writers.
Too often, marketing teams just dump their branding messages into a document for their colleagues to use on social. But the marketing copy that you’d use on a website, brochure, or mailer is rarely how people talk in real life. Your team members don’t want to use your cheesy brand messages on their profile because they are going to feel stupid. And they aren’t comfortable re-writing it themselves.
Solution: Most employees aren’t professional writers, so don’t make them do the hard work. Spend some time creating and then sharing “social-ready” messages that they will feel comfortable putting on their profiles. You can include these in easily referenced documents or shared file folders.
They haven’t been asked.
Most of us aren’t sitting at our desks, bored and looking for something to do. Everyone’s busy! So, unless they have another reason to work on their LinkedIn profile, your colleagues aren’t going to do it on their own. But, more than likely, you haven’t asked them to help.
Solution: Don’t stop at showing them why it’s important (refer back to #1). Ask for their help. Then be sure to share the successes you see because of their participation. Let them know they are having an impact.
Written by David J.P. Fisher, a sales expert, professional keynote speaker, and best-selling author.