Want to build a presence that supports your company role?
While many people think of LinkedIn as a place only for jobseekers, salespeople and recruiters, LinkedIn can help employees build influence around any business role.
In this article you'll discover three ways to build a LinkedIn presence to boost visibility for both you and your business.
#1: Align Your Personal Message With Your Company's
Your LinkedIn presence is unique on social media, because while it is your personal profile, the fact that it highlights your professional activities means that it is enmeshed with your employer's online presence.
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Many companies fall flat with their social media approach to employees because it's top down (for example, “put this corporate marketing copy in your profile” or “share this status update”). And understandably, people resist.
But incorporating your employer's brand message can help you, because part of your value as a professional is the team around you. Plugging into that larger message expands your capability and credibility.
Incorporate Company Marketing Copy in Your Profile
If you copy and paste wholesale from your employer's website, your profile will look sterile and untrustworthy. But if you pull in key phrases and ideas, you reinforce your message. Companies spend a lot of money figuring out the best way to communicate their message, and you can piggyback onto that.
The Summary paragraph above is from a Dell executive's LinkedIn profile. It's a great example of how to mix a personal viewpoint with the overall company focus.
Support Your External-Facing Team
You may not deal with clients and prospects on a daily basis, but someone in your company does. In the online landscape, your profile is just a click away. Take look at your colleagues' profiles and see what they're talking about to make sure you align with that message.
One of the easiest ways to show your teammates some love is with the social tools on LinkedIn. If you want to make coworkers look better to their audiences (and by extension, yours), click the Like and Share buttons on their posts. This will also extend the reach of your colleagues' messages.
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#2: Clearly Define Your Role
Don't assume the people you work with already know what you do, because they likely don't. The bigger your company gets, the harder it is for coworkers to know the experience and skills you bring to the table. Whether it's through your profile or a status update, share your unique perspective so that others know how you can help them.
There might not be a direct line between your social media activity and your audience (unless you're a salesperson or recruiter), but your core message needs to be clear. As a professional, you have a unique value that you bring to your work. Think of the people you serve, and share information that is relevant to them.
Connect With Your Target Audience
Your audience might be internal employees you support, or clients and partners who rely on your work. Be very clear about whom you need to “talk to” online.
Use your headline to share information that answers questions people might have about you and how you can help them. Here's an example of effective LinkedIn profile headline from an employee of the company above.
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Be sure to include keywords throughout your profile that resonate with your audience. Think of it as SEO for humans. For example, if you're the compliance officer for a financial services firm, and help your employees stay on the right side of the law, include that in places like your profile headline and experience.
Publish Your Ideas
The ability to share long-form content through LinkedIn Publisher is a fantastic opportunity for internal employees to build a following. More importantly, when you post content on LinkedIn, it doesn't pull focus away from your day job (which could happen if you were publishing on a separate blog platform).
Write about the subject areas that you deal with every day. Share your expertise.
#3: Amplify and Extend Your Reach
One powerful benefit from LinkedIn is uncovering your hidden network. The ability to connect with resources and ideas used to happen only by luck. Now you can reach out to thousands and even millions with just a few clicks.
By connecting with your internal and external networks, you become the hub of this web and the conduit for more business.
But you can take advantage of this network only if you actively participate. Building up your network and sharing valuable information takes time, but it's a high-leverage activity that can get your (and your company's) name in front of your connections on a consistent basis.
Engage With Your Internal and External Network
It's common to feel more comfortable connecting with either your peers at work or your outside network. It's rare to do both, but that's exactly what you need to do. The value of your LinkedIn network rests in bringing the different parts of your business world into one space.
LinkedIn groups are a simple way to plug into various networks. Be sure to include interacting with a few groups from different areas of your network in your LinkedIn routine: your industry or field, company and geographic area. It can be especially helpful to find groups where there is overlap (for example, computer programmers in Seattle who have worked for Amazon).
Share Company Content
Many professionals think of platforms like Twitter and Instagram for sharing content, but don't overlook LinkedIn. Because of LinkedIn's reputation as a business site, the content there has increased credibility. Share content from your company to increase the visibility of the company's message, which benefits everyone who works there.
For example, Microsoft is a relatively large company. With over 2 million followers on LinkedIn, Microsoft has the ability to reach a lot of people with their updates. But if the company's over 120,000 employees on LinkedIn also share the company's content, Microsoft has a theoretical reach to everyone on LinkedIn.
Share content from your company to boost visibility.
Your Next Steps
There has always been a naturally symbiotic relationship between employers and employees, and social media highlights and enhances this process. No matter what your position, you have an opportunity to expand your influence by sharing what your company is doing on LinkedIn.
Your success and the success of your employer go hand in hand. Connect your personal brand to the larger organizational message, and then propel both to prominence.
What do you think? Do you incorporate your company message in your LinkedIn presence? Do you share company content? Have you posted content on LinkedIn Publisher? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Network abstract photo from Shutterstock.
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