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Social media platforms are powerful tools for building and promoting a brand’s image and, this year, the phenomenon that is “LinkedInfluencers” is on the rise. LinkedIn, the be-all, end-all network for professionals, provides a unique opportunity for brands to tap into the personal networks of employees, harnessing their online reach in ways beneficial for both your company as well as each individual’s personal brand.
By encouraging and empowering employees to become advocates or brand ambassadors on LinkedIn, companies can extend their impressions, enhance their reputation, and drive serious business growth. Read on for a closer look at some ways to unlock LinkedIn’s full potential for your brand.
Create a Culture Worth Celebrating
All of the great advice that follows in this article is moot if your employees don’t believe in your company. If you don’t stick to your word, honor your commitments, and treat your employees fairly, how can you expect them to advocate on your behalf? It all comes back to creating a culture worthy of celebration.
This goes for standard thought leadership, but is especially critical if you’re hoping your employees will champion big-picture values in the realm of diversity, equity, inclusion, and sustainability.
Any company can string pretty sentiments together for a press release or values webpage, but it’s what you to do action on your values that counts.
For example, ask yourself:
Is your commitment to DE&I a footer on your ‘About Us’ page? Or, is your dedication evident across the people you hire, the internal committees you sponsor, the donations you make, and the events you hold?
Put your money and efforts where you mouth is, and you’ll find that you won’t have to jump through hoops to generate brand ambassadors. Your employees will naturally want to vocalize their support for your brand.
🏳️🌈Related Reading: 3 Brand Campaigns Celebrating Pride ’23 With Sincerity
Encourage and Reward Employee Engagement
When it comes to company culture, leadership sets the tone. That’s why the first step to encouraging your employees to act as LinkedIn brand ambassadors is ensuring that execs are setting an active example. By consistently sharing valuable content, commenting on relevant posts, and connecting with industry influencers, folks can follow suit and start to establish their own presence on the platform.
It’s also important to encourage employees to share their experiences, insights, and success stories on LinkedIn. Establishing a safe and supportive environment where employees feel comfortable expressing their opinions and showcasing their expertise is crucial. Because in an environment that values diverse perspectives and drives active participation, employees will be more inclined to share positive experiences on LinkedIn.
Offer LinkedIn-Specific Training and Workshops
Many employees may not be aware of the impact LinkedIn can have on their company’s reputation or their personal brand. That’s where professional development comes in. To bridge the knowledge gap, provide training sessions, exercises, and insights into the network’s features and best practices.
Get specific and make sure everyone knows how to best approach mechanics, like:
- showcasing professional achievements
- optimizing headlines and bios
- sending personalized messages
- joining industry-related groups
- participating in relevant discussions
Be sure to dive a little deeper to also include information about leveraging advanced search features to more easily identify and connect with potential clients, partners, or industry influencers.
With LinkedIn brand ambassador workshops that focus on the platform’s benefits, employees can work to enhance their professional image while simultaneously promoting the workplace. But to keep everything consistent and on-brand, companies also need to establish and implement certain guidelines on maintaining professionalism, adhering to ethical standards, and what’s appropriate to share as well as what should be avoided.
Create and Share Relevant Content
The best thing for employee brand ambassadors to share on LinkedIn is, of course, your brand’s original content. A strong, consistently-updated content hub is key so employees are equipped with engaging content to share, like industry news, thought leadership pieces, and key product or company updates. You can also maintain a repository of relevant content for employees to easily access and share with their networks. Ideally, this centralized space might include top-performing blog posts, industry reports, case studies, or updates about upcoming events or webinars.
♻️ Related Reading: How to Repurpose Content for Social, Email, Sales Outreach, and Beyond
By curating and sharing valuable content, employees can position themselves as thought leaders in their respective industries. And you can make it even easier for them by providing pre-written copy that they can use and personalize to share on LinkedIn.
Adding their own unique perspectives and experiences will ensure employees maintain authenticity while pushing the brand’s key messages. This positions employees as knowledgeable experts within their respective fields, thus attracting more followers and heightening their influential status — a win worth celebrating!
Recognize and Celebrate Employee Advocacy
Encouraging active participation on LinkedIn demonstrates that a company values its employees’ expertise and personal growth. Make sure they know this by sharing success stories and highlighting employees who have built strong professional networks, attracted new clients or customers, or received industry recognition through their LinkedIn presence.
Highlight their contributions and the positive impact they’ve made by featuring their posts, articles, or achievements in internal communications such as newsletters, company-wide emails, or team meetings.
Another idea could be to establish awards or recognition programs to honor employees who consistently demonstrate outstanding advocacy efforts on LinkedIn. Recognize their efforts publicly and reward them with incentives such as gift cards or professional development opportunities.
Acknowledging and appreciating employees who actively promote the brand is crucial for building a strong LinkedIn brand ambassador program. And celebrating their contributions not only reinforces the value of their efforts, but also fosters a sense of pride and ownership in the brand that could encourage others to become ambassadors as well.
Monitor, Measure, and Optimize Results
You didn’t think you’d get away without some analytics, did you? As with any significant marketing effort, tracking key metrics is essential to evaluating the effectiveness of a LinkedIn brand ambassador program.
KPIs may include engagement rates, post impressions, profile views, connection requests, or the number of leads generated through employee advocacy efforts. Whatever they may be, clearly define these metrics to ensure accurate measurement and evaluation.
LinkedIn provides valuable insights such as content reach and engagement, and follower demographics. Encourage employees to utilize these tools and regularly review their LinkedIn analytics to gain actionable insights, but don’t stop there.
Seek feedback on their experience as brand ambassadors on LinkedIn with surveys that inquire about their challenges, successes, and suggestions for improvement.
It’s also smart to track the traffic and conversions generated by employee advocacy efforts by implementing unique UTM parameters for the content they share. That way, you can evaluate how effective each piece is while identifying top-performing employees as well as areas that need more work for consistent strategy and content refinement.