4 Ways for Employees to Become Brand Ambassadors on LinkedIn

December 22, 2014

In my role at LinkedIn I educate companies on how to best leverage LinkedIn from a communications standpoint. I spend a lot of time talking about the importance of empowering employees to be active on LinkedIn.  One of the most frequent questions I get is: Why should I encourage employees to be on LinkedIn? Aren’t we helping them find a job with our competitors?

It’s an understandable question, given that many people think of LinkedIn as a place to find a job. But another reason to empower your employees to be on LinkedIn is that they are your brand ambassadors; they can help amplify your organization’s talent brand. Future talent for your company is on LinkedIn, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to show them why working for your company is special and why your employees love it.

Here are four ways I encourage companies to think of LinkedIn when it comes to how their employees’ profiles can impact talent brand:

1. Using their profiles to make a good first (brand) impression:

We’re all jockeying for the time and attention of consumers, customers, potential employees, or clients, and every employee’s LinkedIn profile view is a potential brand impression for your company.  Encourage employees as they join LinkedIn to update their profiles not only with their current role, but examples of the good work your company is doing, and make it is easy for them to find that content.  When someone finds that employee’s profile, it might be the first exposure they have to your brand, or the first time they get to see a different side of it.

2. Telling stories on their profile:

Encourage some of your all-star employees to start publishing long-form posts on LinkedIn.  Not only does it give them an outlet and opportunity to position themselves as thought leaders, it also shows the type of high-quality talent associated with your brand.  This often attracts the right kind of attention, from customers to press to future employees. As a bonus, you can further amplify your employees’ content by sharing it from your LinkedIn Company Page.

For example, earlier this year I wrote a post about my experience hosting my dad at LinkedIn as part of our Bring in Your Parents Day program. Our social media team decided to also share my post from LinkedIn’s Company Page leading up to this year’s event.

3. Adding visuals to their profile:

Often times we hear that some employees are limited in terms of what they can say or show on their profiles due to the confidential nature of their work. In those cases, you may have to get creative about what visuals you add to your profile. For example, in my previous role at LinkedIn, I helped manage our bi-weekly Company All Hands meeting. I (obviously) wasn’t able to add any of the content from that meeting to my profile, but Business Insider wrote an article titled, “9 Creativity-Boosting Perks LinkedIn Employees Get That Every Company Should Steal.” One of those perks is the All Hands meeting, so I added that article to my profile.

Visuals make your profile more visually engaging while also helping shine light on some of the amazing work teams across your organization are doing.

4. Showcasing their volunteer work:

Employees want to work with well-rounded individuals and vice versa. In today’s workforce, culture is a critical piece of the equation for both parties, and knowing where employee and employer interests and passions align can only help in the hiring process. So encourage your employees to highlight their volunteer experience, whether it’s associated with your company or not, on their LinkedIn profile.

When you think of your employees as ambassadors for your brand, it becomes clear why it’s important that they make a positive first impression on LinkedIn.  How can you help ensure that happens?  One easy simple way is to consider providing professional headshots to your employees once a year. If you need a little more inspiration to get started, check out our company resources here and here.

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