As a company leader or business owner, you think about at least 20 important things at any given time. Yet chances are that not one of them is how optimizing employee LinkedIn profiles increases the visibility of your brand. Nor is it that employee LinkedIn profiles impact how your company appears in search results -- both on and off LinkedIn.
If you look up individual personnel on Google, their LinkedIn profiles will likely appear towards the top of search results. This is important to you as their employer because their profile quality impacts first impressions of that person and possibly your company. This is critical when:
And remember, once someone clicks on one employee profile, they’re likely to check out other members of your organization, thanks to LinkedIn’s display of “People Also Viewed.”
For these reasons, it’s critical that your public-facing -- and especially client-facing -- employees have strong profiles.
Optimized profiles are complete, informative and show how the person adds value to business relationships. They showcase the quality of your staff and client base, how your company hires, staff retention, career paths, corporate culture etc. When employees have rich profiles, it signals a company’s trust in them, as well as the pride that people have in their jobs and company. Optimized profiles also include important industry and functional area keywords so that search results on these terms display your employees’ profiles, maximizing exposure and engagement opportunities for your company. In addition, LinkedIn profiles with rich media content can showcase the value of your company’s capabilities and drive a more powerful first impression on potential contacts.
Ideally, employee profiles should communicate current, accurate and consistent company-related information that aligns with your brand message and company culture. Profiles do not have to be cookie-cutter, but potential clients, employees and industry contacts should not see your staff talk about your company in completely different ways, use inconsistent company names and logos, make outdated references, mention incorrect target markets etc. Similarly, incomplete or inaccurate content and unprofessional headshots reflect poorly.
Employees on LinkedIn serve as de facto brand ambassadors. The engagement, visibility and content they share about your company provide active advocacy for your brand and organization.
For many organizations, especially small- to medium-sized businesses, individuals involved in organizational branding often focus on primary marketing areas (website, social media, collateral materials, presentations, corporate identity etc.), not employee LinkedIn profiles. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to leverage your employees’ LinkedIn profiles to strengthen their virtual presence and your company brand –- everyone benefits.