The many faces of LinkedIn

Social media can create a lot of noise – especially now, when everyone is using it as a platform for self-promotion, targeting or offering a “good” deal. Time on mobile apps has increased by over 20% in 2020, the overall usage of broadband in Europe has surged about 50% – of course we can thank the global pandemic for these stats. In any case, one thing is clear: now, more than ever, it is important to understand how and what to do when it comes to your online professional brand.

The concept of LinkedIn is “Show, don’t tell” and allows you to build more than just your Online CV or professional reputation. Think about it at scale – the better you are positioned, connected to the right people, following the right companies and hashtags (yes, you can follow hashtags on LinkedIn), the more likely you and your organization will benefit and get tangible ROI. Let’s dive deeper into the many faces of the biggest professional network in the world.

Everyone is a brand ambassador 

If your people are spending time on the platform and have good LinkedIn profiles it does NOT automatically mean that they want to leave your company. It does however, mean that they can promote your brand, increase the awareness of your product/services/overall visibility and generate positive business interactions. The time when LinkedIn was used only to find your next gig are long gone.

 

Now LinkedIn is a go-to guide for candidates having an interview, recruiters sourcing for talent, companies promoting their employer brand, hiring managers investigating their future employees. Which results in one thing – everyone has become a brand ambassador. Your teammates’ networks offer vast opportunities to generate relevant content (marketing), nurture leads through meaningful interaction (sale), emphasize on your culture/values/spirit (PR), get the attention of the competitors or potential investors. Especially if you follow the golden rules in posting: recognize others, celebrate milestones, offer insights.

Having a great profile that reflects your career, interests, hobbies and values is without a doubt a representation of what you care for. On top of that, you represent not only yourself but the company you work in. And if the impressions are solid and positive based on the research the potential candidate will do, then you are one step ahead of the competitors. A lot of the times the CEO’s profile is either non-existent or classified as “dry” and basic – there is no personalization or details which make it overall challenging to engage on a human level. It is not about overselling and creating an unrealistic image of your company – but if this is something you are proud of, and you have the facts and figures to back it up, then why don’t you?

Hiring is a team sport

A common mistake in hiring is that it’s the HR/recruitment job. C-level executives remove themselves from the equation completely omitting the fact that a candidate is much more likely to respond to an InMail if it is coming from their future boss than from another recruiter… First impressions matter and in most cases, the recruiters do not know the whole inside-out of your team, structure or business goals. There is no better person than the actual manager who can describe the essence of the role, the values of the company and why this specific person could be a great match. If talent is your priority and you complain about not getting the right people in, you should definitely step up your LinkedIn game – not from advertising standpoint but shifting the focus to the relationship building piece. Recruitment marketing is leading the way – because nurturing potential candidates takes time. It cannot be done in a day and it most definitely should not be done by 1 person whose network is limited to around 1000 people (personal network, groups and followers). Think about the reach you can get if each one of your 10 team members share the right message (10 x 1000) with the right hashtag (at least 10x). And all this without investing a euro, only your time.

The Global Yellow pages

I bet you remember the good old Yellow Pages where you could find everyone from your second cousin to the local vet. Excel became the improved digital version with filters based on specific criteria and it quickly became the one-stop-shop for all your supplier, client or partner information. Well, LinkedIn does that for you – with improved filter capabilities, broad spectrum of data and opportunity to connect or follow right away. It is so well optimized on Google that if you type your name most likely your LinkedIn profile will be in the first 5 results. Your potential investors WILL check you up, your future colleagues WILL look at your skills and interests, your competitors WILL look at what your activities are. And this should work in your favor. It is a Contact Database on steroids.

Newsfeed that actually works

I care about 3 things at the moment: remote work, HR and startups. The moment I open my LinkedIn newsfeed, every professional, company or a hashtag I follow represent all or some of my interests. There is no spam, no irrelevant shameless promotions, nor noise. Just high-quality content that helps me do my job (insights, stats, researches, new tools), learn quicker (who is innovating and who is just replicating), understand the environment I am in and shape my message, so I get the best opportunities or interactions.

This takes time, conscious effort and a smart approach – checking what other industry experts are following, where are they active, what sort of content do they publish, are they posting organic content or just resharing? Questions you should ask yourself regularly and revise your focus accordingly.

A few tips in terms of your individual or company posts (based on the LinkedIn algorithm):

  1. Always provide a comment – resharing someone else’s post or just posting a photo might not be ideal unless you are Gary V or Richard Branson. Your words are a powerful tool online, use it wisely
  2. Use visuals – photos of your team/product/solution, interactive videos, links and presentations
  3. Leverage the power of hashtags – no, not #quarantinedforlife, but something that actually makes sense in professional context, e.g. #ContinuousLearning, #Startup, #Culture
  4. Tag a person or a company by using the @ symbol – because personalization is key.

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About the author:

Radina Nedyalkova has 9+ years of international agency & in-house HR and talent acquisition experience. A psychologist and recruitment expert, certified career consultant and guest lecturer with diverse background working for global companies such as LinkedIn and Airbnb. Her expertise lies in establishing talent best practices across multiple regions and cross-cultural/cross-functional teams. Radina has lived and worked in Bulgaria, USA, Singapore and Ireland where she is currently developing her own corporate and individual talent practice through Vox Advisory.

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