Are you making the most of LinkedIn for lead generation? Lots of professionals like to share content they find interesting to strengthen their brand and network, but few have an intentional curation strategy aligned with business marketing objectives. Furthermore, most business professional share content on Twitter or Facebook, overlooking the benefits of LinkedIn for content sharing. That's bad news for companies and their employees. When employees do share on LinkedIn, the benefits are significant. While only 2 percent of employees share content on LinkedIn, they’re responsible for 20 percent of overall engagement. For every six pieces of content a LinkedIn member shares, they generate two new connections and receive six profile views, strengthening their professional brands and furthering their company’s brand.
LinkedIn, Businesss Thought Leadership & Personal Branding: How Does it All Fit Together?
On paper, it’s easy to see why thought leadership is a marketing imperative for businesses. But reality is a different story: creating engaging, authoritative content – be that white papers, blogs or eBooks – and publishing this content on a consistent basis can be a huge challenge for busy small businesses. Inevitably, thought leadership becomes an afterthought without a clear, company-wide strategy in place. Maybe you publish a few sporadic blog posts or occasionally share interesting articles you read, but there’s no company-wide plan in place to engage your employees in a broader thought leadership initiative.
Successful thought leadership campaigns – and the industry credibility that comes with these campaigns – is not a “happy accident.” Successful campaigns require an intentional strategy built on a clear understand of industry trends, audience needs and your company’s unique expertise. Compounding this challenge? It’s not enough to just publish your own content. You need to be curating the best of your industry, too. That’s a pretty tall order!
Last week we touched on a few strategies for using LinkedIn as an employee advocacy platform to kick-start your thought leadership initiatives (and improve your employees' personal branding at the same time). But remember, content creation is just one part of the LinkedIn employee advocacy puzzle. Content curation – sharing “best of” industry content – is just as important. Good news: LinkedIn has a solution for this, too!
Why Your Business Needs LinkedIn Elevate
Elevate is a paid service that combines algorthimic recommendations from content shared via LinkedIn Pulse and Newsle with human curation. Elevate equips your employees with a steady stream of relevant content that they can share with their networks in a single click. Elevate also provides companies with powerful backend analytics to track the numerous micro-conversions associated with a single piece of shared content (job views, Company Page follows, etc.)
So is it worth the investment? Adobe test-drove a beta version of Elevate for one month. The company found that LinkedIn Elevate drove 80 percent more job views than the previous month. Every employee share drove three to four new trial downloads for Adobe solutions. Most importantly, Elevate made it easy for employees to be steadily engaged in social sharing.
“Our employees want to be active on social media, and LinkedIn Elevate offers an easy platform to provide them with insightful content that they will want to share,” said Cory Edwards, the head of Adobe’s Social Business Center of Excellence “It helps our employees start social conversations about Adobe and the industries we serve.”
Other companies have achieved similar results:
- Quintiles employees who participated in the pilot received four times more profile views and made two times more connections.
- Unilever employees drove four times more Company Page views, two times more Company Page followers, and six times more job views.
How to Make It Work for Your Business
Elevate empowers employees with a steady stream for relevant, credible content to share across their social media profiles. While many employees may be eager to get more involved on social media and build their professional brand, don’t assume all employees will immediately understand the benefits of Elevate. Additionally, remember Elevate is one tool in your over-arching thought leadership/social content marketing strategy. To be successful, you need to clearly explain the benefits of Elevate to ensure employee buy-in AND have a concrete engagement strategy in place from day one. With a strong foundation in place, your company will be best positioned to build out a robust thought leadership program.