I recently worked with an organisation that was concerned about the LinkedIn profiles of its staff. “All the profiles have been written professionally; we think they’re nice and polished,” the Marketing Manager said. “We even had professional photos taken. The problem is that recruiters are now approaching our team members because their profiles look so great! How do we stop recruiters trying to poach our staff? How do we get our LinkedIn profiles to link with what we’re trying to achieve as a business?”
This is a common concern for businesses. This particular organisation wanted LinkedIn to help increase its leads, boost its market share and achieve greater sales. However, I could see two problems. The first was that all the team member profiles were written with the same purpose in mind: to highlight the individual’s area of expertise. This may not seem problematic, but it actually undermined the organisation’s wish to retain its pool of talent by attracting the attention of recruiters.
The second problem was that there was no differentiation between the profiles. They lacked strategy. It wasn’t clear who the intended audience was, and it wasn’t clear what the purpose of each profile was.
LinkedIn has more than 400 million users. Twenty new profiles are created every second, and Australia’s LinkedIn membership base is one of the fastest growing in the world, with more than six million members. This represents a huge opportunity for businesses. LinkedIn, first and foremost, is a search engine. This means your organisation can be found on LinkedIn – as well as in Google searches – based on the type of services and products you want the organisation to be found for.
To be found on LinkedIn and stand out from the crowd, it is important that your organisation’s staff profiles have a clear purpose. A person makes a decision about someone within the first three to four seconds of landing on their profile, so it is vital that your company’s profiles align with your organisation’s LinkedIn strategy. If a profile appeals to a recruiter, then more recruiters are going to contact that person. If a profile connects with clients, collaborators and industry partners, more of these types of people will want to connect with your staff and organisation. Problems arise when you want to achieve more leads and sales via LinkedIn, but your staff members are being contacted by recruiters instead. This indicates that the content of your staff profiles needs a shakeup.
There are four levels of an organisation’s LinkedIn strategy. These are:
Level 1: Forward-facing, customer-based profiles. These are the profiles of your sales team and business development team members – the people through which your business’s services and products are sold. These people are not necessarily your contact centre staff; they are your business-to-business development staff. Business to business is all about the customer relationship, so the content of these profiles needs to reach out to the customer.