Now, more than ever, people are learning about businesses online before they connect in person. This is why it is critical to effectively build brand awareness, trust and reputation in the digital world.
How can I create a reputable digital brand in a meaningful way?
The simple answer is: with people. After all, people connect with people. People trust people.
This is where employee advocacy comes in.
Employee advocacy helps you to become a people-oriented business that connects and establishes trust with clients. Social media, specifically, LinkedIn, is a great place to do this when you consider that:
- Employee advocacy-related leads convert 7 times 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)
How can I utilise employee advocacy through LinkedIn?
LinkedIn offers businesses the opportunity to increase their influence, strengthen their online reputation, and, therefore, grow their turnover.
The key to a successful LinkedIn employee advocacy strategy is developing a system. This system must ensure that every member of your team has a quality LinkedIn profile. It should also motivate employees to use LinkedIn regularly, making sure they know what to do, as well as when and how to do it.
How will my business benefit from implementing an employee advocacy strategy on LinkedIn?
Here are 4 ways that businesses will benefit from developing and implementing a focused LinkedIn employee advocacy strategy:
GROWS 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, in turn growing your brand visibility.
MAKES SALES EASIER
It has been found that “57% of [a] purchase decision is complete before a customer even calls a supplier” (CEB). A professional LinkedIn presence can make a sales conversion even more likely by providing the additional information a customer needs to complete a sale.
Concise, clear, and consistent LinkedIn profiles are especially valuable to businesses in the professional services sector. They allow potential clients to validate your team members’ internal expertise before engaging with you, making the sales process easier.
One of the main benefits of social media is the capacity to portray your business in a more human manner.
According to PostBeyond, a HubSpot study found that 75% of people don’t trust advertisements, but 70% trust recommendations from consumer reviews. It has also been found that 76% of individuals are more likely to trust content shared by individuals over content shared by brands (AdWeek).
This is something that can be capitalised on through LinkedIn. If employees interact with their followers regularly, it offers face value to the company’s identity.
Externally, your brand becomes less abstract and more human, allowing you to build trust and emotional connections with customers, peers, and investors.
Creating this ‘human’ brand can only be done through genuine 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
Championing a positive culture will result in improved employee engagement, position team members as leaders within the organisation and industry, and support talent acquisition and retention.
LinkedIn reported that companies with employee advocacy programs, something that promotes a positive culture, are 58% more likely to attract quality talent.
On the other hand, employers that implement policies to ‘block’ employees from accessing social media tend to develop a culture of distrust. Even if your intentions to increase productivity seem simple, treating staff like sneaky teenagers is only likely to harm team morale.
Encouraging employees to keep connected and leverage the company’s LinkedIn will create shared values and bonds. The platform serves as an easily accessible source of information, enabling all staff to stay informed and motivated.
Developing and implementing a company LinkedIn strategy may sound overwhelming, but it is certainly something worthwhile. TechRepublic offers the following advice: “See how it affects performance and morale and then decide whether it’s a perk worth keeping.”
In the case of building relationships and brand reputation via LinkedIn, you are sure to reap the rewards.
Looking for some more tips to unlock the power of LinkedIn?
- Start with getting more engaged team members to create/update their profiles and set an example for other employees.
- Integrate your strategy into the onboarding process of new team members.
- Empower all employees by offering a development program focused on brand elevation (personal and company) through LinkedIn.
- Be creative and entice your team by incentivising LinkedIn engagement.
- Have a social media policy so all team members understand what is appropriate.
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