I remember when LinkedIn first came into play, I was just finishing up school. I set up my profile like I would a resume and didn’t think anything else of it. Now, over a decade later, I rely on LinkedIn for the latest industry trends, economic news, and networking. It has been amazing to experience the evolution of LinkedIn from a small employment listing platform to the largest B2B networking platform with over 500 million users.
There is great power in utilizing LinkedIn for your business. In today’s marketplace, the technology crafted by LinkedIn enables us to start conversations with contacts we may never have had a chance to engage with before. It is a social building block to fostering new and current relationships. As a B2B company it is critical to maintain a relevant presence on such a dominant platform but it can't just begin and end with the business page. There has to be a larger scope for utilizing the profiles of your innermost network - your employees.
At present, company profiles on LinkedIn have limitations. You can create a company profile with images, copy, and content but you can not socialize or engage iteratively like you would with a personal profile. It is important to create a strategy for both, but here are my tips for leveraging your companies personal profiles.
Identify Key Players
Identify the individuals within your organization that have the greatest social influence for your brand. You will have to determine this as a business, it may be one person, or it may be a great many. Here are the most common titles of individual profiles wrapped into a B2B strategy:
- Sales Director/VP of Sales
- Marketing Director
- Business Development
Once you identify the individuals within your company who have the best opportunity to socialize your brand on LinkedIn, you can get to work by enhancing their personal profiles.
First, optimize the profile with a professional photo, hero image, full copy, and as much detailed information about that individual as possible. It only takes a few seconds for somebody to scan a profile, but it just may be the education background, the headline, activities from college, interests, or mutual connection that sparks a relatable commonality between visitors. For additional profile punch, check out these examples for inspiration.
Sync Your Posting Calendar
Once the profile is optimized with a great look and feel, it is then time to sync up to your publishing calendar. Most B2B social strategies include a third party software that will publish all of their branded content from one tool onto all preferred social channels. Our favorite social tool has been Hubspot, which has allowed us to sync both our LinkedIn business page and multiple employee accounts. Our content on LinkedIn is not solely distributed on the business page but also has the opportunity to be featured on several personal profiles. Our outreach influence is automatically multiplied as each individual person has their own network of connections to commission.
Create Personal Content
After these personal accounts are polished and synced, it's time to maintain them on a more personal level. It is not enough to build a profile and leave it, there has to be humanization. Encourage these key team members to post live and personally crafted content such as:
- Shared Posts
These individuals need to be seen as experts in the industry, and have the capacity to cultivate an extremely powerful influence for your brand. By posting articles, videos, or images, these individuals seamlessly capture the essence of authenticity, while presenting themselves as thought leaders in the space. In addition to sharing personalized content, they can also add value by commenting on posts. Commenting can increase engagement and creates an opportunity to connect with others outside of your network.
In building a strategy not just for your business page, but key personal profiles within your organization, you can enhance your overall authenticity as a brand; increasing your brand awareness and thought leadership on a more personal level. Leveraging individual profiles gives your audience specific individuals to seek out and identify with. As you build on cultivating these profiles, keeping them fresh and relevant, you will see the growth through LinkedIn analytics: comments, views, shares, likes, followers, and new connections.
Jessica Hicks is the Business Development Strategist at Primitive Social. She has worked in sales for the past ten years, educating and enabling business growth. Outside of work, Jessica enjoys the company of her husband and two boys. You will most likely find them all outdoors playing baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey, or hiking with their golden doodle puppy.