What are the most important things to have in mind when using LinkedIn? Where in the company should you implement LinkedIn? And why can’t we just look the other way anymore? In this article, we will guide you, as a leader, through LinkedIn.
Why should you have an opinion about LinkedIn?
LinkedIn in recent years has gone from being an online CV-database to becoming an important platform for the company’s communication and marketing effort, for sales work and for recruitment. More than 2 million Danes are now on LinkedIn, and are using it – not just while they are at work, but also on weekends, during holidays and in the evening. It is no longer sufficient for your company just to have a website if you want to reach your customers. You have to be present where your customers, users and future employees are. Moreover, it is important to have a professional attitude towards a platform that many in the company already use.
Where in the company should LinkedIn be incorporated?
LinkedIn’s development has resulted in many new opportunities and products. LinkedIn has now become a medium that can be used across the entire company. Below you’ll find a few examples:
- Marketing & communication: LinkedIn is the number 1 platform to work with content marketing and thought leadership in the B2B market, because it is a perfect place to create awareness and to generate leads. Think about all the information about LinkedIn users we have access to – we know their title, their workplace, their education, their seniority and much more. We can use all of this information to make targeted advertising to ensure that the right people receive our messages.
- Sales department: If the sales people are not already using LinkedIn, now is the time to start! With LinkedIn, it has become easier to find potential leads and reach the right decision makers. LinkedIn is ideal to prepare for a meeting and to strengthen the relation to your customers. Also, we must not forget the possibilities to categorize your personal network, which will give you a perfect opportunity to take care of both your existing and potential customers. You can also read The Sales Director’s Guide to LinkedIn.
- HR department: There are a lot of great ways to use LinkedIn in your HR work. The platform is the perfect place to work with employer branding, to seek potential candidates and to ensure visibility to the right audience – including the more passive job seekers. You can also read The HR manager’s guide to LinkedIn.
In a perfect world, sales, communication, marketing and HR would work together in the use of LinkedIn, but in the real world this is not always possible. Therefore, we recommend that you think carefully about your business purpose in using LinkedIn, as well as your overall goals – and, not least, how well you have reached your target groups through other channels. Maybe LinkedIn is your only channel for employer branding, or maybe LinkedIn is the only platform where you can reach your target group with certainty. All of these considerations should be incorporated in your LinkedIn strategy.
Must employees participate actively on LinkedIn?
The short answer to this question is yes. It is difficult to create successful results on LinkedIn all by yourself. It takes support, amplification of messages and a joint effort in relation to finding and creating content. Also, it is important to look at your colleagues’ profiles. I often see that employees have not recently updated their LinkedIn profile, thus their profile indicates that they work elsewhere. This is quite unfortunate if a potential customer views their profile before a meeting about future cooperation.
What about you as a leader?
The first step is to update your personal profile (Danish article). You can be sure that your profile will have a lot of visitors, so let your professionalism shine. Find out who is viewing your profile by checking “Who’s viewed your profile“. Humans are curious by nature and most people visit people rather than companies on LinkedIn. Make sure that your profile (and your employee’s profiles) are search engine optimized (Danish article) based on the keywords that are important to you. Your customers should be able to find your employees and not your competitors when they search for specific skills.
Be a pioneer. Lead the way and show how it should be done. If you are active on LinkedIn, you can inspire your colleagues to do the same. Spread the word about your company, expand your network and identify new leads on LinkedIn. If you are an experienced writer, then use the Publisher function on LinkedIn, where you can write blog posts (Danish article) and help to establish thought leadership, share experiences and have a voice in the debate.
Stay updated. Show that you are interested and wish to stay updated. By connecting with your customers and following their companies on LinkedIn, you are not only showing that you are interested in them but you also follow their development. You can also follow your competitors and collaborators and consider following some of LinkedIn’s Influencers such as Jack Welsh and Richard Branson to stay updated.
Manage your settings. Many people are not aware of the things you can control on LinkedIn. You can decide, for example, if your network should be notified when you update your profile, if others should have access to your network, if people should be able to see when you visit their profile and who is allowed to connect with you on LinkedIn. Use 5-10 minutes to examine your own settings – and also think about if your company should have a position on your employees’ settings in the case that LinkedIn is used during the day at the office.