Leveraging LinkedIn for Employee Advocacy

Now more than ever, people will learn about businesses online before they connect in person.  Building brand awareness, trust, and reputation are critical in today’s noisy online world.

How do you do this in a meaningful way? With people. People connect with people.  People trust people.

Employee advocacy makes you a people business that connects and has the trust of your clients and social media, specifically, LinkedIn is a great place to do this when you consider:

  • Employee advocacy-related leads convert 7x more often than other types of leads (Tribal Impact).
  • 76% of individuals surveyed say that they’re more likely to trust content shared by individuals over content shared by brands (AdWeek)
  • Employees who participate in a social employee advocacy program organically grow their social networks by 10%+ per year. (EveryoneSocial)

LinkedIn offers businesses the opportunity to increase their influence, business, and online reputation. The key to a successful LinkedIn employee advocacy strategy is developing a system that sees your team have quality LinkedIn profiles. One that motivates employees to use LinkedIn regularly. So they know what to do, when, and how to do it.

Here are 5 ways that businesses will benefit from developing and implementing a focused LinkedIn employee advocacy strategy:

Grow your brand visibility

According to Social Media Today, posts by employees achieve 8 times the engagement of content shared directly by a brand. This means that if your employees have targeted connections your LinkedIn visibility will increase within your target market. And grow your brand visibility.

Makes sales easier

“57% of the purchase decision is complete before a customer even calls a supplier.” ( CEB )

Concise, clear, and consistent LinkedIn profiles are even more valuable to businesses in the professional services sector. It allows potential clients to validate your team members’ internal expertise before engaging with you. A well-validated profile can make your sales process easier.

Improves trust

One of the vital benefits of social media is the capacity to portray your business more humanly. This is achieved when employees interact with their followers regularly, offering face value to the company’s identity. Externally, your brand becomes less abstract and more human. This allows you to build trust and emotional connections with customers, peers, and investors.

According to PostBeyond, a HubSpot study found that 75% don’t trust advertisements but 70% trust recommendations from consumer reviews. A survey by AdWeek found that 76% of individuals surveyed said that they’re more likely to trust content shared by individuals over content shared by brands.

Creating this “human” brand can only be invented by actual human interaction. If your goal is to be seen as an engaged organisation, team members and their online profiles are instrumental in this process.

Champions positive culture

By championing a positive culture improves employee to company engagement, allows team members to position as leaders, supports talent acquisition and retention.

LinkedIn reported the  companies with employee advocacy programs are 58% more likely to attract quality talent. Some employers have a policy of “blocking” their employees from accessing Social Media. This can potentially develop a culture of distrust.

Relationships built on treating staff like sneaky teenagers will only make them want to keep the back door open. Your intentions as the employer may be straightforward. Your rules might be based on being more productive during office hours, but the perception of your rules may harm team morale. By encouraging employees to keep connected and leveraging the company LinkedIn portal you have the opportunity to create shared values and bonds.

LinkedIn serves as an easily accessible source of information that enables all staff to stay informed. They have the opportunity to be motivated by all company activities based on what different sectors share. Rolling out and implementing a company LinkedIn strategy may sound overwhelming. But if you focus on the benefits, LinkedIn can improve relationships with your team.

TechRepublic offers the following advice, “See how it affects performance and morale and then decide whether it’s a perk worth keeping.”

Looking for some more tips on setting out to unlocking the power of LinkedIn?

  • Start with your engaged team members to set the example and standards of creating/ updating profiles and their activity.
  • Integrate your strategy into the onboarding process of new team members.
  • Empower all employees. Offer a development program focused on elevating their branding on LinkedIn.
  • Be creative and entice your team to engage by incentivising LinkedIn engagement.
  • Have a social media policy so your team know what is appropriate.

About Kylie Chown

Kylie Chown is the current #2 LinkedIn expert in Asia-Pac, 2020 Finalist Best Social Media Educator & Best Use of LinkedIn, Australia’s first Certified Social Media Crisis Advisor and founder of My Digital Brand, helping professionals, businesses and corporates create a world-class digital brand.

She has worked with thousands of businesses and professionals in Australia, New Zealand and the USA, helping them to create online strategies across social media.

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