Optimized and branded employee LinkedIn profiles can help companies gain more visibility on social media, reinforce their brand image, and build trust with prospects and clients.
Prospects, clients, or even job seekers are very likely to end up on your company's LinkedIn page.
Ideally, as a company owner or community manager, you will have set up a professional LinkedIn page for your business, serving as a digital profile of your activities, mission, vision, and achievements.
Now, as you well know, as soon as you hire a new employee and that employee is using LinkedIn, it's likely that new recruit will indicate working for your company and thus become an added ambassador for your company, with a direct link to your company page.
As individuals have, on average, 10x more connections than your company's Linkedin page does (LinkedIn, 2017), you certainly want to make sure you can benefit from that reach.
What do optimized employee LinkedIn profile pages look like?
1. Professional and branded LinkedIn banner
The LinkedIn banner constitutes one of the main visual elements of a company or employee's LinkedIn profile.
Your marketing and communication team can create one in minutes using Canva for example. The best part about it? Once you create one, it can be used by all your employees.
As not all your employees might like your suggestions, why not come up with 4-5 options that they can easily customise while keeping the same branding frame?
Examples of easily customizable branded LinkedIn banner frames
2. Branded LinkedIn pictures
Branded LinkedIn pictures are also easy to make and apply company-wide.
This is also something you're unlikely to face resistance towards; who doesn't like a professional LinkedIn picture?
To brand your employees' LinkedIn profile pictures, you can either make a photo shoot with a common background (e.g: brick wall, office terrace, office logo) or go for a classic profile picture and add a branded frame to it.
Example of a framed LinkedIn profile picture:
As you can see, the LinkedIn profile picture has borders using the company's brand colours. If your company logo has a very eye-catching, bright or unique colour, this is an easy way to harmonize all your employees' LinkedIn profiles in a very easy way.
Again, you can subscribe to Canva's free version to brand your employees' LinkedIn profile pictures!
3. Professional LinkedIn title
Social media such as LinkedIn can be powerful, even more so when you know how the algorithms work. Let's say you're an event planning agency and want to attract leads and clients using the LinkedIn sales navigator.
If your sales managers are in charge of this, you'll definitely want to make sure they have a professional LinkedIn title, indicating they are Sales Managers for your event planning company.
Here's an example:
E.g.: Sales Manager @UrbanEvents - Bespoke Event Planning Agency
4. Link to your website in their contact info
Another small step which can help increase your audience reach. LinkedIn users have the option of adding company websites to their contact details.
This can be done in a few clicks and put your company website a click away from all your employees' contacts on LinkedIn.
How employees can add your company website to their LinkedIn profile
Step 1: Click on "Contact Info"
Step 2: Click on edit (top right icon)
Step 3: Insert the company URL and click save
5. Optimized summary
If some of your employees use LinkedIn to reach out to prospects or seek potential partnerships, they will be the first point of contact on behalf of your company.
To build trust, transparency and authenticity, you'll want to make sure they have professional LinkedIn summaries
Here's what your employees' professional LinkedIn summaries should include
Their years of experience in the industry
The main skills they possess and how they can contribute these to helping your prospects
6. Company presentation and portfolio as an attached file
You probably have a company presentation file, or corporate PowerPoint you share with clients and prospects. If you've done a good job at crafting these documents, it'll have all the information people need to know about your company and convince them you're the team they need.
Among other elements, company decks present:
Your company mission
Your core values
Your previous large accounts
Attaching this corporate document to your employees' LinkedIn profiles can help clients clicking on their profiles easily get an overview of your company and the services you provide.
Of course, make sure this document doesn't include confidential information.
7. Company presentation and personal role in the professional experience section
Your LinkedIn company page should have a professional description of your business, products and services. It should be a short paragraph telling people about the problems you are trying to solve and how you are solving them. In other words, it presents your corporate identity.
Some employees include such a description in their professional experience section to help their audience understand the line of business their company is in. This is great for your brand as your employees expose their contacts and networks to your corporate identity, increasing your reach on the social media platform.
Here's an example of an impactful company presentation in the professional experience section:
How does this benefit your company?
Let's dive into the 4 main reasons why you should consider optimizing your employees' LinkedIn profile pages.
1. Reinforce your branding
As previously explained, employees have a far higher reach on LinkedIn and are more susceptible to engaging with their connections and follower bases.
As soon as they add your company profile to their professional experience section, they will become ambassadors of your business and one of the first points of contact with clients, leads, potential new hires and the other millions of users on LinkedIn.
If your employees have complete, optimized and harmonized LinkedIn profiles, they will signal trust and professionalism. As they represent you, you will benefit from this positive signalling.
2. Increase the reach of your LinkedIn company page
Just like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and others, LinkedIn is a social media platform, where millions of users interact on a daily basis.
Social media has become an important part of company strategies given their reach and ability to make people engage with your brand. In particular, your LinkedIn company page provides a platform where you can share information about your products, your services, the latest teambuilding activities, anniversaries, and so on.
Most importantly, whether you choose to do this in a direct or indirect way, LinkedIn is a place where you showcase your company values and where your employees showcase their professional and personal values to their networks.
Now, if you did your recruiting right, your employees will share at least a large part of your company values and act as ambassadors of what you stand for.
3. Attract talented job seekers
LinkedIn is among the top job search platform out there. If you post some of your job openings on LinkedIn, this job opening will be linked to your company page, which also presents a list of the people currently working at your company.
Many job seekers are seeking a sense of belonging to the organisations they wish to work for. They seek an organisation sharing the same set of values they do and a specific corporate identity.
This corporate identity is apparent on your company page and company website but also on the LinkedIn profiles of your employees. Your employees having branded LinkedIn profiles will demonstrate a strong sense of pride and belonging to your company. This might well play in your favour and help you attract job seekers who are looking for this sense of belonging.
4. Instil trust
Each of your employees proudly representing your brand on their LinkedIn profiles with branded content, profile pictures, LinkedIn banners and company-specific keywords will help you build trust with their networks and grow your own network.
After all, most of us would agree that the employees are what makes a great company, and not the opposite. The point is, that how your employees represent your brand on social media and specifically on LinkedIn has the potential of sending out many signals about your business.
How this benefits your employees
Now, we've talked about how this can benefit your company brand.
How can it benefit your employees though?
After all, we are talking about their personal LinkedIn profile pages, which they 100% own. This means you cannot force your employees to change their LinkedIn banners, add a description of your company in their professional experience section, or upload a business deck onto their profiles.
Offer it as a service
Instead of asking your employees to do all the above, perhaps you can suggest offering a LinkedIn page rebuff as a service to them, where both parties can benefit.
Indeed, many employees don't have time or don't know how to write a professional LinkedIn profile, and we're willing to bet many of them would consider this a great opportunity to freshen their LinkedIn profile.
Perhaps you can even schedule a "LinkedIn revamp afternoon workshop" with your community manager presenting the best Linkedin writing practices.
Present it as an investment for you and for them
By presenting the benefits of an optimized LinkedIn for their careers in addition to the added visibility it can bring your company brand, you present a situation where everyone benefits.
Whether your employees and fellow colleagues leave or stay at the company, their LinkedIn profiles will follow them and serve them well. Having a professional and optimized LinkedIn account should be a no-brainer nowadays and investing in crafting impactful employee profiles might be worth your while as a business owner or manager.