July 9, 2021

LinkedIn Optimization for Board Directors: Don't Skip This Critical Training

How your Board of Directors present themselves on LinkedIn is an important source of information for those looking to learn more about your company and its board. While your company website may feature director bios, critical stakeholders (like current and prospective investors, strategic partners and potential directors and executives) will look on LinkedIn to dive deeper. What these audiences find (in profiles and content engagement activity) will shape impressions they have about the directors (individually and as a board) as well as your company. Ensure your directors make best impressions possible by helping them pay attention to -- and strengthen -- their LinkedIn presence.

Your directors serve as brand ambassadors, perhaps more significantly than many employees, due to the prominence of the board. When they highlight their connection with your company on their LinkedIn profiles, it communicates their involvement (and sometimes even investment) with a sense of pride, showing a key vote of confidence in your company. Additionally, director engagement with content on LinkedIn (that is about or originated by your company) provides further endorsement and amplifies brand reach, building public trust and attracting greater visibility to the business.

Savvy companies don't waste the opportunity to leverage the potential influence of their directors on LinkedIn. They help guide directors to understand the impact of their presence on the platform and how to strengthen their content interaction (if they do it) so it aligns with and best reflects the company.

Whether your board is comprised of mostly highly experienced or first-time directors, here’s a checklist to help them make optimal impressions on LinkedIn.

Does each director:

  • Mention board experience in their About section and include that they serve as a director of your company?
  • State that they’re a member of your board in the Experience section? 
  • Describe your company in a way that aligns with your current brand messaging? 
  • Follow your LinkedIn Company Page? 
  • Engage with content (like, comment, share) from your company that’s posted on your Company Page?   
  • Post or share content about or relevant to your company? 
  • Connect and engage with fellow board members and company leadership on LinkedIn?

Although board members will have varying degrees of familiarity and proficiency with social media, they all need some level of guidance to strengthen their LinkedIn presence. First-time directors and experienced directors alike often require additional support for how to leverage LinkedIn as a board director (vs. as a corporate executive).

Achieve this by including LinkedIn training as part of new director onboarding. For current directors, hold a special session. Share LinkedIn optimization guidance and, most critically, communicate why it’s important in the first place so you steer (and motivate) directors to implement improvements.

Outdated LinkedIn profiles of directors, for example, reflect poorly on them as well as your company and board, yet they’re easily remedied. An outdated profile can unintentionally communicate indifference or lack of caring. Completing and communicating information optimally in critical profile sections isn't just helpful to profile viewers, it can enable others to identify areas of commonality (like mutual connections, board seats in the same industry, shared work or education experience and volunteer leadership). This enhances trust and interest in your directors -- and by extension, your company. Updated director profiles also ensure that information shared by and about your directors on LinkedIn complements strategically-crafted company narratives found elsewhere.

Providing board directors with guidance on how to best represent themselves and communicate their value (as directors) -- plus, clearly convey their affiliation with your company on LinkedIn -- will help strengthen impressions others have of them and your company. This is a worthwhile investment because it will drive credibility, visibility, connection and trust.

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