If I was to ask a group of Executives what their company’s most viewed external communication channel was, most would tell me it’s their website, some might mention Facebook or Twitter but not many would mention LinkedIn.
Think of it this way, most of us (in fact over 85% of us) check each other out on LinkedIn. If I’m doing business with someone, we check each other out on LinkedIn – that’s become business behaviour and it’s not likely to change anytime soon. We use it as a tool for doing our due diligence and research on our business contacts and why not, the information is there and it’s useful.
Based on this, I would argue that the LinkedIn profiles of their employees is their company’s most viewed external communication channel!!
Like it or not, every day, people who matter (prospects, customers, suppliers and partners) are checking your employees out on LinkedIn. If they like what they see they might do business with you; if they don’t, they might not.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that LinkedIn doesn’t count because it’s your employees’ profile and nothing to do with the company! Your company’s prospects, customers, suppliers and partners are checking YOUR employees out on LinkedIn because they are representatives of YOUR business and what their LinkedIn profile communicates reflects on YOUR company.
What I’m trying to get across is that companies spend thousands if not millions of Pounds / Dollars on branding, corporate communications, marketing and reputation management yet their most viewed external communication channel (the LinkedIn profiles of their employees) is like the wild west. If your employees have a bad LinkedIn profile with the wrong professional footprint, it will negatively impact your business in exactly the same way as having a badly written website, brochure or presentation.
Who you are connected with, how you present yourself and what you say matter. If it doesn’t then why have corporate communications and PR professionals?
We are seeing organisations dictate to their employees what their profiles communicate as well as some recruitment and sales organisations writing into their employee’s contracts that they ‘own’ all contacts within their LinkedIn profile while they work for the company. Now the legalities of that aside, it does highlight how some organisations are starting to take LinkedIn very seriously. I would estimate that in 10 years’ time, most companies will have stringent policies around LinkedIn content and use.
It’s not just about the risks either; people are more likely to do business with your company if your employees have well written LinkedIn profiles with solid connections, a strong professional footprint, some case studies to showcase client work, a Professional Headline that engages potential business contacts, a Summary that is consistent with your corporate brand, and a career history that showcases them as top professionals.
Employees with better LinkedIn profiles display different behaviours; they are more inclined to use LinkedIn as a tool for networking and building relationships. The potential of selling through LinkedIn and using networking as a business development strategy is huge – some companies are making millions from ‘social selling’ and it points to the future of the modern-day sales organisation.
Feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss our corporate LinkedIn training or profile writing services. Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will keep working on your CV until you are 100% happy and if at the end you are not, we will refund your money.
Matthew Craven, Managing Director
Colin is an Executive Lead Coach/Trainer and Career Transition/Communicat...
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