Whilst you might (understandably) balk at the thought of your employees spending all day on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn is the social media platform with a difference. It's genuinely maddening, but many firms are still blocking LinkedIn from all company computers because they see it as a waste of their employees' time or believe they'll use it to look for new jobs. This is rarely the case, but as a result, many employees might feel as if they need to hide their social media use from their employers, when their employers should actually be encouraging it. This is especially true in the case of solicitors, who could be using LinkedIn to find new clients. By using LinkedIn through your employees, you'll be able to maximise your digital footprint, drive traffic to your website and drive awareness of your brand or firm without spending a penny.
Why Everyone at Your Firm Should be on LinkedIn
Visibility – LinkedIn themselves state that “Employees are 70% more likely to engage with company updates” on LinkedIn. So if you have a company profile set up and update it frequently, your employees might 'like' or 'share' the update, which will make it visible to all of their contacts. In this way, every member of the firm who is on LinkedIn becomes a brand ambassador almost be default. It's estimated that 9 of the top ten firms with the most followers on LinkedIn have over half their employees signed up to the service. So imagine how valuable having 100& of your workforce signed up could be!
Ranking – Brand visibility on LinkedIn will result in a higher page rank on search results, which means after a while, you might not even need to search for leads, they will be searching for you! The best part is, you don't have to put in any extra effort in order to be seen. As long as you have set up a company profile, once your employees have listed your firm as their place of work, your logo and link to your page will automatically show up on their personal profiles.
Encouragement – Once you have everyone signed up, encourage them to share links, videos and updates. Not only will this increase your firm's Google value, but it will hopefully mean people your employees are connected to might end up on your company profile or website.
Reflection – If your employees have compelling profiles, it reflects directly on you as a firm. If you actively encourage your staff to build their profiles and make connections with people that matter, it speaks volumes of your company brand. Think of each of your employees profile pages almost like a 'product' page, because in many businesses (at a solicitor's firm for example), it's the talent that you're really selling. Of course, this has the unwanted side-effect of also advertising your staff to other firms, but it's up to you to keep them happy, so if anything, this will encourage you to create a more rewarding workplace environment.
Emotion – Social media has allowed businesses to create a more emotional connection with their clients and become more 'human', which is especially important to solicitors, who are often seen as quite 'cold' and 'clinical'.
Morale – If you're preventing your staff from accessing LinkedIn, they might feel as though you don't trust them. Trust, as we all know, is an essential element in any business, especially with a solicitors. If you can't trust your employees, your employees' clients won't be able to trust them.
Connections – Keeping your employees connected works on two levels. It not only makes them feel like they're part of the same 'team', but also allows them to endorse each others skills, which makes their profiles look better, therefore making your business look better.
We'll finish this section with a list of tips you could follow in order to further entice the members of your firm to join LinkedIn and become actively engaged with it.
- Start at the top and let it trickle down. In other words; start by convincing the top brass at the firm to create a profile.
- Make LinkedIn profile integration part of the process when it comes to integrating new hires into your firm. Not only will they be impressed with your forward-thinking approach, but you'll instantly gain a slew of potential new connections through them.
- Make LinkedIn a consistently important part of your everyday operations. Consider creating programs specifically focused on LinkedIn and on how to use LinkedIn in order to better do their jobs.
- Have a few partners demonstrate what a valuable lead generator LinkedIn can be and then use the results as a presentation to get buy in from the rest.
- Create interesting content specifically for your LinkedIn page. Consider holding a weekly brainstorming session with the members of your firm. You might be surprised just how savvy they are when it comes to social media marketing.
- Educate your employees by holding a seminar on LinkedIn or by pointing them in the direction of an online tutorial that teaches them how to use LinkedIn effectively.
- Ask your employees for feedback on how you could better be utilising your LinkedIn presence. They might have more experience with the platform than you, so don't overlook their opinions.
- Encourage your employees to take the initiative to make their own LinkedIn posts and updates relating to the firm.
- Make it fun! Incentives and competitions can help make the process feel less like a slog and more like a game.