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12


Spring 2016


SOCIAL MEDIA


Engaging Your Employees on LinkedIn


Want to expand your company’s brand footprint on LinkedIn? Your employees just might be your best resource.


Two LinkedIn experts share advice on building your brand on LinkedIn. (Check out their websites for additional free resources.)


WAYNE BREITBARTH


Author of The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success • LinkedIn Trainer • Speaker • LinkedIn Expert/Consultant


Featured in Forbes, NBC, American Express OPEN Forum, Fox Business, and WIRED


www.powerformula.net TAPPING INTO YOUR NETWORK I


n all likelihood, your company has a branded Company Page on LinkedIn, complete with a spiffy banner, job


listings, a well-written description of your products and services, and occasional posts on topics that your followers are interested in. That’s a start. Like Facebook, however, LinkedIn now shows us only what it thinks we want to see, meaning that, unless you pay for results, many of your connections/followers never view what you post as a brand. The good news: To increase brand reach on LinkedIn, you don’t have to look far. Your employees can collectively touch more people and are more believable as brand advocates. In fact, the 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer found that the credibility of employees has increased 20 percent since 2009, well above trust in CEOs and PR departments.


To tap into this in-house network, start by


educating your employees on the importance of their own online profile and how that filters back and forth between company and employee, says Wayne Breitbarth, author of The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success. “If employees aren’t educated, they think the company is telling them what to do with their own profile,” he says. “Employees need to understand that their LinkedIn profile is part of their brand. Someday they will likely need to switch companies, and they may be evaluated on the depth of their LinkedIn profile, which is their résumé on steroids.” Most of the companies Breitbarth works with seek to use LinkedIn to increase sales and find talent. By using LinkedIn’s platform to publish content from company thought leaders—the CEO, VPs, or R&D—or to


MELONIE DODARO


International #1 Best-selling Author of The LinkedIn Code • LinkedIn Expert • Consultant • Keynote Speaker


Featured in CBS Inside Edition, Huffington Post, ABC World News, Wall Street Journal, New York Times


www.topdogsocialmedia.com


share important industry news, you can drive brand awareness and become a company other professionals trust and learn from. “In recent research I was conducting, I found that there were 250,000 posts about the lumber industry on LinkedIn,” Breitbarth says. “Who would think that? Previously, those people would not have been connected other than via their industry association.” To unlock the potential of your employees on


LinkedIn, start by enlisting what Breitbarth calls the “love-this-stuff” people within your organization to act as a sort of social media broadcast team. “These employees don’t see this as work, love the content for their own personal brand, and usually have lots of connections,” he says. “And if those people are getting branding traction, make sure it’s shared in a company newsletter, because that next group of people will soon follow.”


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