A common misconception on the business side of social media is that companies should take on all the different type of social media profiles to have a wide swath of social presence, pervading all parts of the social Web.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely an advocate for a big social presence, but there are limitations. Many businesses don’t need to be on Linkedin. There, I said it. Now, gather around and I’ll tell you why.
With most social media, the effort and time you put into it is indicative of the results you will inevitably see from it. However, with Linkedin, the effort and level of results does not stop with the person posting on the company profile, it’s the whole team effort of the employees that make your presence there a valid tool or a complete waste of resources. That’s what sets it apart.
If you want your company to be involved on Linkedin, not merely as a passive content distributor, your employees need to be engaged on the site. This is especially crucial if your company is B2B, but salespeople and most employees of any company on the site should be versed in Linkedin and be using it on a daily basis, acting as advocates for their company by sharing company updates, engaging in group discussions, etc.
Not only is it a fantastic networking resource, but Linkedin can also be a place to share newsworthy company updates. I think of it an extension of your company’s ‘newsroom’ where you can funnel PR updates, product launches, management transitions, employment opportunities, etc, giving them a wider audience than their usual static reach of the News section of your site and press releases most people will never read.
However, it should by no means be seen as a content dumping ground from the posts you are broadcasting on other social networks. That post you just made about spring cleaning tips is perfectly fine for Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, but is most likely not appropriate for Linkedin. This can go both ways, as the industry jargon-filled report you just posted to start a discussion on Linkedin may fall flat with your Facebook fans as the audience may be completely different: employees and industry peers vs. consumers.
Oftentimes, people who are encapsulated on a daily basis with their industry and company have a distorted view of what is important and interesting to them and what is actually interesting or social-friendly and appropriate for social media. Not every move your company makes should be broadcasted on social media, but Linkedin is a more appropriate arena than most for company updates.
To reiterate my main point from earlier, Linkedin success goes beyond company profile updates sharing your latest blog post. To truly benefit from this unique site, your employees need to be active on it, sharing and conversing: building relationships.
To benefit from Linkedin, your company needs to do the following:
- Post regularly about company updates, industry news, etc.
- Completely fill out and optimize your company’s profile with products/services, design elements and more.
- Employees connect with your company profile and utilize the site to network, recruit, engage in industry discussions, etc.
Remember, don’t feel like your company has to spread itself too thin throughout all the different social media sites. Excel at a few, and forget the rest, rather than weigh yourself down in mediocrity with a pervasive and overwhelming, but ultimately milquetoast presence.
How are people in your industry using this powerful networking tool? Tell us in the comments below.