There are a lot of opportunities for companies to improve their presence online by creating a brand ambassador program. Employees are already brand ambassadors. The question is - are they good ones? For many employees being a brand ambassador can be a powerful way to enhance their personal brand while improving the company brand too.
Even if your company does not officially ask employees to be brand ambassadors, it is critical to check on their LinkedIn profiles and see how they reflect your brand as a company.
Here are 5 ways your employees currently under leverage LinkedIn and do a disservice to your company as well as themselves.
1. Get a Great Profile Picture, Better Yet - Get Profile Pictures as a Team
In the past, one of the companies I searched for (Google) had unprofessional and inconsistent head shots. One could argue this is part of their brand, however it still does not convey a sense of team. Another regional company, called Helios HR, had consistent branded profile photos that made them look professional, consistent, and intentional. Even if you don't want the exact same background, at least having polished, professional photos can convey professionalism and increase the likelihood of a great first impression. Especially if your company is a smaller firm, this is a great way to look bigger.
"There's a lot of assuming when it comes to employees' LinkedIn profiles. Employers assume their employees' profiles are automatically linked to the company page; they assume their description of the company is compelling and correct; they assume their profiles are professional. We find that often even C-suite staff members have zero description about their own company."
- Susan Kim, Digital Caffeine
Work with your marketing team to understand what messages would be useful to share. It could be recent press releases, or even information like company events and community work. Brand messages are re-shared 24 times more frequently when posted by an employee versus the brand’s social media channels (Ryan Erskine, Brand Yourself, Entrepreneur). Think about it - people want to hear from people, not just a company logo sharing information. If an employee vouches for a company, that speaks volumes. Plan what messages and information you can provide to employees to help them develop content - make it easy.
3. When Employees Market - Better Reach, for Free
Additional data shows that when employees share content, it actually reaches farther than a company's social media could. "They get 561 percent more reach than the same messages shared by the brand’s social media channels." (Ryan Erskine, Brand Yourself, Entrepreneur) Partly because employees tend to have more followers than the company, especially if these are smaller firms. Wouldn't you love to reach more potential customers? As a company, be sure to reward and recognize employees for helping increase visibility.
4. Showcase Your Experts
Some firms believe that if people know you have great talent, they will be poached. The reality is that if you have great talent and you help them be visible and feel valued - they will be more likely to stay. It also showcases what makes your company unique - the people and what they bring to bear. Don't be afraid to have your key employees write blogs, speak at conferences, and represent the company at networking event. People want to feel valued, and if doing work externally is challenging, then there is likely a way you can give them visibility internally.
5. Leverage Your Company Page
Many employees have not connected their LinkedIn profile to their company page correctly. Be sure to type in your company name in the experience section for each role to attach the company profile to you. This is critical because it creates a better company page, you can become a follower, and you can also get notifications when your company posts on their page - which you can easily comment on and share out to your network.
Be a Noisebreaker and Create Opportunities,
Jen Dalton has 15 years’ experience in brand strategy. In 2012, she launched BrandMirror, becoming a certified master personal brand strategist.
In 2016, Jen published The Intentional Entrepreneur, a bestselling book that shares her process for building your personal brand as an entrepreneur. She has spoken to and coached thousands of individuals and entrepreneurs about how to stand out. She is an international speaker, and has worked with the Navy, GE, IBM, Capital One, 1776, and more.