5 Free (and 3 Paid) Ways to Build Your Employer Brand on LinkedIn

April 11, 2017

You already know employer branding is important. In fact, 53% of talent leaders say that they would prioritize investing more in employer branding if money weren’t a constraint. However, more often than not, money is a constraint. But the good news is, there’s a lot you can do without spending a single penny.

With over 450 million members and two new members every second, LinkedIn is a great place to start building your brand. And, there are a lot of ways you can do, whether you are just starting out, making a modest investment, or going all out for best-in-class branding. The best part is, many of these tools are free.

Here are some tools you can get started with. You can read more in our eBook, 2017 Insider's Guide: Top Free and Paid Hiring Tools on LinkedIn.

5 free ways to promote your employer brand on LinkedIn:

1. Upgrade your personal LinkedIn profile (and encourage your team to do the same)

As a recruiter, your personal brand is a key piece of your company’s employer brand. And with viewing the profiles of other users being the number one activity engaged in by LinkedIn users, that means upgrading your profile can be a very effective employer branding strategy in and of itself.

Start with your profile picture — research shows that having a picture alone means you’ll get 14x as many clicks. For best success, choose a photo that actually looks like you (today, not five years ago), make sure your beautiful face is front and center, and stand in front of a background that doesn’t distract.

Your profile summary matters, too—it may be the first time that candidates hear your authentic voice, so you want to make the most of it. Consider these great examples, which reveal the value of authenticity, humor, personal tidbits, candidate-directed messaging, and more.

Once you’ve got your shiny new profile in hand, make sure your team members follow suit. They’ll be able to use yours as a model, and the more colleagues you have with A+ profiles, the stronger your talent brand will appear to candidates on LinkedIn.

2. Create or spruce up your LinkedIn Company Page

Your Company Page is a great place to attract followers interested in your company. And the great news is, followers are 81% more likely to respond to your InMails than those who don’t follow your company—so they represent a much warmer pool of talent.

But, simply having a page isn’t enough—you need to make sure your page aligns with your overall brand, so work with marketing on your approach. In addition, avoid these buzzwords when writing your description.

People are drawn to visuals, so make sure your company page has a great, high-res cover photo. Ideally, it should be both visually stunning and somehow tie back to your employee value proposition, i.e. the reason someone should work for your company. This image is important, as companies with logo images get 6X as many visits to their pages. Check out these examples for some inspiration.

Even more importantly, update your page regularly with fresh content. You can share or create your own content, but don’t let your updates grow stagnant. These posts pop up across different platforms and devices, making them one of the easiest ways to get your brand in front of more eyeballs.

3. Consistently post Company Status Updates and reach key talent pools with Targeted Status Updates

Writing engaging Status Updates increase awareness of your company, which in turn grows your company followers on LinkedIn. And, Companies who post at least one Status Update a week get 40% more views to their LinkedIn Job Posts.

To get the highest engagement on your updates, you should know:

  • Including a video in your update can increase engagement by 74%.
  • Including a link in your update can increase engagement by 84%.
  • Including a photo or image in your update can increase engagement by 147%.
  • Sticking to an average of 120 characters will get you the best engagement.

In addition, consistent, daily posts make all the difference. While a single Status Update reaches about 20% of your followers, posting an average of 20 times a month will extend that reach to a whopping 60%.

If you’re wondering what you should be posting about, here are some great examples from a number of companies, including this one from Network Sunday:

As you’ll see, the most engaging Status Updates on LinkedIn make the viewer feel something: curiosity, humor, inspiration, etc.

And, if you’re trying to attract a particular audience, you can use Targeted Status Updates to provide those followers with highly relevant information based on their company size, industry, job function, seniority, and geography, etc. The more relevant you can be, the more people will engage.

4. Get your employees to share content and become brand ambassadors

While sharing content and updates from your corporate pages and social media is great, getting your employees to share content is even better. In fact, brand messages have 571% more reach when they are shared by employees and employees have 10x more connections than the brand has followers. Plus, they are a more trustworthy source, with 90% of people trusting recommendations from people they know, versus only 33% trusting brand messages.

A great way to start is to provide social media training that makes it simple for employees to chime in on your online platforms and educate them on the specifics of your employer branding efforts. This will help them feel confident in sharing out more content about your company and their experience.

You can also curate share-ready content by collecting and suggestions relevant content that employees can post, such as suggested Status Updates, blog posts, and tweets (check out more tips in these ebook). And, you can you can even highlight individual employees on your Career Page (see below!).

5. Use LinkedIn Groups to build interest and engage your target talent

LinkedIn Groups are more than just a great way to connect with fellow college alumni and network within your industry. Among the thousands of available Groups, there are tons of popular, micro-niches that recruiters can tap into to grow a talent pool.

To take advantage of Groups, first determine which ones will represent the most effective recruiting opportunities by interest, brand, or industry, then join in on the conversation—liking, commenting, and sharing, always with an eye on adding value and representing your employer brand.

You can post jobs directly into Groups, and may benefit from getting more colleagues involved to “divide and conquer.”

The effort pays off, too—being active in Groups extends your recruiting reach significantly, leading to 4x as many views from out-of-network members.

When you’re ready to take the next step, the following 3 paid LinkedIn tools can help further build your employer brand:

6. Make the most of your Career Page by painting a vivid picture of your company culture, customized to different audiences

To support and showcase your employer brand, a Company Page is a great start, but a fantastic Career Page will take your brand to the next level.

As the name hints, your Careers Page is your hub for all things careers-related -- there you can show what your company culture is like and also list your latest job openings. For example, you can use the “Life” tab to create snazzy photo galleries, showcasing your employees in action, or you can highlight relevant employee LinkedIn posts.

You can further leverage your Career Page by writing punchy, interesting content and peppering it with images, multimedia, and a featured employees profiles. To maximize the impact of your page, target different audiences with dynamic, custom content that responds to whoever happens to be visiting the page. For example, Sun Life Financial displays different versions of its Career Page for recent graduates versus working professionals.

The real-time detailed analytics dashboard will show you what’s working and what’s not, so you can adjust your posting and content strategy accordingly.

7. Use Sponsored Updates to expand your reach and target audience who are not following your page

One of the most effective ways to reach talent who are not aware of your company or aren't following your Company and Careers pages is to use Sponsored Updates. By sponsoring a post, you can either throw a very wide net and reach millions of potential candidates/followers on LinkedIn or you can target your message to a very narrow and particular group -- for example, software engineers in Los Angeles who work in the aerospace industry.

The hyper-targeting and rich analytics of Sponsored Updates are particularly helpful for recruiters looking to boost their company’s employer brand. For example, you can perform some simple A/B testing to find out what resonates (through clicks, impressions, and engagement) and what doesn’t, leading to better targeting and actionable intelligence.

If you are looking for guidance on what types of sponsored content perform the best, here is an example from Cisco:

And here are a few ideas from brands like, Twitter, Xerox, and Dropbox.

8. Leverage Work With Us ads to attract your employees’ connections  

Every time a member of your employees’ networks views their page, you have an opportunity to promote your employer brand. You can boost it even further with Work With Us ads, targeted advertisements for your jobs that show up when users view your employees’ profiles.

By directly reaching users who are already connected to your employees, personalized Work With Us ads achieve 50x the click-through rates of the average banner ad. You can also customize and personalize the ads to attract different types of viewers, funneling them to the perfect opportunity.

Whether it’s a simple profile picture swap-out or a full-on campaign, LinkedIn’s tools are the best available to build your employer brand online. Find out which features are right for you, then use our tips to spotlight everything your company does right and hire your next superstar.

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