How to Use LinkedIn for Corporate Branding?

July 8, 20162:08 pm2236 views

In fact, surveys conducted by different companies have all shown that job seekers believe employer brand/reputation is more important today than five years ago, and up to 75% would consider an employer’s brand even before applying for a job.

Companies that are already well-known can leverage LinkedIn to show thought leadership, and build goodwill. Ultimately, all these efforts can translate to a better corporate image, drive business and enhance recruitment efforts.

However the majority of workers in Singapore work for SMEs or startups. Vivek Kumar, Director of NTUC Membership, shared in an earlier interview how there are 55,000 startups hiring, 345,000 professionals, and how difficult it is to find employees who see ambiguity as an opportunity.

Hence NTUC Future Leaders create learning events such as branding clinics to help companies navigate the plethora of tools and platforms to more effectively package and market themselves in the digital era.

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photo: NTUC Membership

For small businesses and one-man-shows, LinkedIn is a great place to connect with potential business partners, showcase what you do, create your community and grow awareness of your brand.

Do you know you can use LinkedIn to build greater awareness of what your company does, and drive your corporate brand and image to the next level?

In a digital age where a negative experience with a brand can spread rapidly, corporate or employer branding becomes more important than ever.

 

What’s the Difference between Branding on LinkedIn vs. Facebook?

To help companies and individuals better develop their brand image, NTUC UFuture Leaders organized a branding clinic with Chris J Reed, CEO of Black Marketing, and one of LinkedIn’s Power Profiles in Singapore.

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photo: NTUC Membership

Chris explained the difference between being on LinkedIn and Facebook, “Facebook is social and casual. It’s about friends and Facebook users may not want to be disturbed by marketers and companies.”

“LinkedIn is a business platform and is like a business networking event. Users want to be approached by people, whether its headhunters, employers looking to hire, potential clients, or investors who want to know what’s going on.”

“LinkedIn is very much about the PR benefits of corporate branding and the benefits of elevating the personal brand of your CEO as a leader,” Reed added.

Here are Chris J. Reed’s top three tips to boost your company’s profile and brand on LinkedIn:

  1. Leverage your Employees’ Personal Page To Elevate Your Corporate Brand

Tap on your employees who are active on LinkedIn and who are happy working in your company. Get them to upload profile pictures with your company logo or name in the background.

If you have organized an event which can garner good for PR mileage, withphotos of your employees taken  as a part of the event memorabilia, for example, wearing the corporate T-shirt or hat for the event.

The point though is that you should be consistent in how these photos are framed by for example, all having the same background. An individual’s profile is often viewed by their networks and may have wide reach. You can tap into these networks and goodwill just by leveraging on your employees as your brand ambassadors.

If an employee holds an interesting or important portfolio at work, you may wish to get them to blog about their job on their page.

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Picture:LinkedIn articles written by Vivek Kumar, Executive Director of NTUC Membership

For example, your director of technology can be blogging about their projects or thoughts about the industry and technology. Or your marketing directors can blog about the company’s campaigns and behind-the-scenes insights. This helps to showcase the caliber of your people and the exciting work your company does. It also helps to build your brand image among job seekers.

Of course, this also raises the profile of your people, and brings them to the attention of headhunters and your competitors. Chris’ rejoinder is that “good people will always be poached, with or without LinkedIn. Companies need to devise a strategy to keep their best people. You can’t keep them a secret in the digital age.”

  1. Develop a Content Marketing Strategy by Doing Regular Blog Posts

Content keeps your followers engaged and updated on what is going on. It also helps people to understand more about your company. You can post company news and events and even stake out positions on economic, legal and other issues that impact your company or industry.

Chris says one strategy is to post thought-provoking relevant content that elicit comments and promotes discussions. This widens the reach of your posts, and may even get the attention of the news media, thus elevating the profile of your company.

He feels that discussions are more rational and substantive on LinkedIn than on other social networking platforms because LinkedIn users are professionals with a real profile and reputation to protect. So companies are likely to have better control managing the discussions on LinkedIn.

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Picture: J&J’s LinkedIn Announcement

Content does not have to be limited to text. Share Infographics and reports. Share videos of interviews done with company executives. Showcase photos of company events. Market your upcoming events. Crow about your company’s awards.

Once you start, do not leave your company page not updated for too long. Nothing is worse than seeing the last update one month ago.

  1. Market your Company By Building the CEO’s Personal Brand

Establish the CEO as a thought leader. Showcase his/her personality and their views through regular posts on their personal page. Post their thoughts on important issues from the perspective of the company.

Flamboyant Virgin Group CEO, Richard Branson, is a good example of a CEO, who embodies the company brand. He blogs about work issues ranging from work-life balance to never being too old to learn entrepreneurship, to workplace equality to social issues like the war on drugs and encouraging children to learn.

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Picture: Richard Branson’s LinkedIn Posts

And every post is accompanied by him smiling, doing things, being with people. Through his posts, his personal LinkedIn page builds an impression of Virgin as a fun, caring and even meaningful company to work for.

Building the CEO’s personal brand is perhaps most important for founders of companies and entrepreneurs trying to establish a network and awareness.

 

Authored by:

LK Lai is a writer and has worked with many local and international news organizations covering socio-political and business issues. She’s also worked in a local technology start-up as well as in the public sector, and understands first-hand the complex challenges faced by HR professionals today.

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