You may not realize their importance, but your employees’ LinkedIn profiles reflect your company’s brand.
As a company leader or business owner, you think about at least 20 important things at any given time, but chances are that one of them is not how optimized employee LinkedIn profiles can increase the visibility of your brand. Nor is it that employee LinkedIn profiles can impact how your company appears in search results both on and off LinkedIn.
If you Google individuals in your company, their LinkedIn profiles will likely appear towards the top of search results. This is important to you as their employer because the quality of their profiles can be the first impression of that person and possibly your company. This is critical when:
- Prospective clients/partners search for companies, products or services you offer;
- Current/potential clients, vendors and business partners look at your employees’ profiles before or after meeting your staff;
- Candidates seek or evaluate employment opportunities at your organization;
- Media or conference organizers search for industry experts;
- Organizations or people do due diligence and evaluate opportunities to engage with your company.
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.
What Optimized LinkedIn Profiles Look Like
Optimized profiles are complete, informative and show how the individuals can add value to a business relationship. 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 searches on these key terms bring up 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.
What Employee LinkedIn Profiles Communicate
Employee profiles must 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 on employee LinkedIn profiles. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to leverage your employees’ LinkedIn profiles to strengthen your company’s brand –- everyone benefits.