Over the last month, we’ve shared one of the most underused and effective ways to promote your business on social media: employee advocacy. While Twitter and Instagram are both hotbeds for social media activity, LinkedIn remains ground zero for B2Bs. But even with the best company page optimization strategies in place, companies can still struggle to turn LinkedIn into a lead generation engine. Part of this is a numbers game. When it comes to LinkedIn, employees average approximately 10 times as many connections on LinkedIn as their companies.
It’s also a trust game, too. When it comes to the information shared via social media, people are three times more likely to trust information when it comes from another employee rather than a CEO or “official communication channel” like a company page. It’s no surprise then that many SMBs find themselves in a bind: they want to promote their companies on LinkedIn and establish their businesses as industry thought leaders. But since they’re not on the same level as Google, Microsoft or GE, gaining the necessary traction to raise their visibility is a challenge. Once again, employee advocacy to the rescue!
When it comes to making the most of LinkedIn for social media advocacy, it takes one part content creation and one part content curation to boost brand awareness and drive lead generation.
How to Use LinkedIn for Employee Thought Leadership
Does your business have a company blog? Let’s be honest: most B2Bs are so busy solving problems for their clients that publishing regular content on the company blog quickly becomes an after thought. Inevitably, a member of your marketing team gets tasked with writing a whole bunch of blog content at once to make up for the fact nothing has been published in the last six months! Despite your best intentions, blogs are written and published without being part of a broader thought leadership strategy. Or worse, the content is generic and doesn’t accurately reflect your company’s deep expertise in niche industry knowledge or innovative approaches to solving common industry problems.
I know what you’re thinking: why are we talking about the company blog when this article is supposed to be about LinkedIn? Hear me out: the two actually go hand-in-hand. Even if you do publish great content, without an effective distribution and amplification strategy, that content is doomed to languish on your blog and never reach its intended audience. Your solution: get every member of the company involved to write and publish their own content– and thenuse social media advocacy to distribute this content via their LinkedIn network.
Thought Leadership Success Story: Lucas Group
Lucas Group is an executive recruiting company that has different team members author blog posts on a variety of job search best practices. These folks are the experts; they’ve been working with executive leaders on everything from resume best practices to interview tips– and now they’re sharing their expert knowledge via the company blog, Your Career Intel. Each company associate authors a variety of articles on a range of topics most relevant to his or her expertise. Associates then cross-post these articles on LinkedIn.
It’s a win-win-win for the company, the company’s employees and job seekers. Employees gain invaluable exposure, build their personal brand and establish their reputation as knowledgeable executive recruiters. The company also elevates its own profile with a steady stream of thought leadership that’s reaching a huge audience. Job seekers gain useful advice on everything from nailing the interview process to deftly negotiating salaries. Plus, since employees use their personal LinkedIn accounts to share their articles, they’re reaching out to a huge audience that goes beyond what Lucas Group could reach through its own company page. The result: smart thought leadership and employee advocacy that drives brand awareness and ultimately leads to more business.
Content Creation + Content Curation = LinkedIn Employee Advocacy Success
But content creation is just part one part of the LinkedIn employee advocacy puzzle. Content curation matters, too. Last year, LinkedIn launched Elevate, its proprietary tool for discovering and sharing industry-relevant information. Check back next week for the final part of our employee advocacy series, where we’ll take a closer look at how to integrate Elevate into your company’s social media and thought leadership strategy.