4 Ways to Engage Employees Using LinkedIn
January 29, 2015
There’s a lot of buzz around talent branding and companies of all sizes have realized just how important it is for snagging new talent.
But, what about the talent you already have?
Many companies have become so focused on outsider perception that they’ve forgotten the importance of their internal employer brand. If your employees don’t feel positively about your brand, all your external branding efforts are of little value.
At LinkedIn, we’ve implemented several initiatives to bridge the gap between employer and employee by opening up more channels of communication. The result has been increased employee engagement and an overall enhanced internal employer brand. Now it’s your turn - here are some of the first steps any company can take to become more proactive in managing their internal employer brand:
1. Leverage LinkedIn’s Internal Work With Us Ads
In case you’re not familiar, LinkedIn Work With Us ads occupy the real estate on the right hand side of employee profiles. When people outside of the company interact with your employee, they see their profile picture with your company’s logo underneath and the slogan “Picture Yourself At (insert company name)” or recommended Jobs.
Now, if an employee were to visit the profile of another employee at the same company, this feature wouldn’t really make sense (since they already work there) and the default setting is to have these ads turned off. However, we encourage customers to keep this ad space turned on and use the ads to promote internal engagement/communication.
Work With Us ads can be used internally to publicize company-wide events, internal job openings, or company initiatives like surveys and other employee engagement programs. Having ads that visually prompt your employees to become more involved within your company makes them more engaged, boosts their perception of the company and ultimately lays the foundation for them to become better employee ambassadors.
Tips for using Work With Us Ads internally: Create visually appealing custom ads and keep content fresh and relevant. Ideally, there should be a balance of ads that are evergreen (such as promoting a regular company all-hands meeting) as well as some ads that will be switched out as soon as their expiration date is reached. The evergreen ads should also be refreshed often to avoid a stale perception of the ads’ space.
Here is an internal LinkedIn ad to promote our themed inDays (Fridays when employees are encouraged to pursue an activity outside of work):
2. Create an active company group
Having a forum where employees can openly communicate with each other is invaluable. LinkedIn Groups are a great platform for this and are an excellent way to establish a sense of community within the company. They also serve as a microphone for the employee voice. At LinkedIn, we have our own company group and sometimes a thought posted by one employee is supported by many other employees. This snowball effect has resulted in Town Halls and other discussions to implement real change within the company.
Encouraging employees to communicate, and share their experiences, concerns, suggestions for change, etc., not only improves employee connectivity, it also demonstrates a company’s commitment to their employees opinions and happiness.
3. Encourage every employee to publish on LinkedIn
Another way for companies to gauge employee satisfaction is by encouraging them to publish content on the LinkedIn publishing platform. Whether it be industry trends, the use of new tools or methods, best practices, or even a response to the latest viral story on social media – the platform gives employers insight into what’s on their employee’s minds. This is also an excellent way to boost your company’s talent brand on LinkedIn, as posts are often a demonstration of thought leadership and engage employee’s networks..
Tips for promoting employee publishing on LinkedIn: Leading by example is one of the most effective methods. If executives begin posting more content and giving employees a glimpse into what is influencing them at the moment, employees are more likely to respond and follow-up by publishing their own content.
4. Create a program to guide employees in improving their LinkedIn profiles
Some employers worry that helping employees with their LinkedIn profiles might make them more susceptible to being poached by other employers. In reality, it’s about investing in your employees and preparing them for growth opportunities. Today, prospective candidates learn more about a company they are considering working for by visiting the pages of its employees. This means that every employee is a brand ambassador.
And, helping your employees improve their profiles doesn’t have to be complicated – it can be as simple as creating a tip sheet or 30 second video about the benefits of having a presence on LinkedIn and how they can make their profile stand out.
If employees feel their employer is invested in their growth opportunities, they will be much more likely to be happy with the company and thus better brand ambassadors.
To improve your talent brand, start focusing on your internal brand by helping your employees engage with the company and each other. Creating some grassroots momentum will not only improve your employee-employer alliance, but will also have a long-term positive impact on your external perception and recruiting efforts.