Unlocking the power of social media for the good of your business

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LinkedIn turns 22 this year! 22 years of connection, content and community. With over 1 billion members around the world, consumers can trust that they’re doing something right. However, with so many users and an overwhelming number of features, it can be intimidating to start from scratch. Whether you are looking for a job, sharing a job posting for your company, creating thought leadership content or learning from your networks’ experiences, there is a place on LinkedIn for everyone. And a place for you means a place for your business. Let’s explore the positive implications LinkedIn can have on individual employees, the entire organization, and the audience you are speaking to.

To each their own.

The ongoing debate on whether social media helps or hurts our society can be seen as a boost or a barrier to the growth of many companies’ employee engagement numbers. As a twenty-something year old who grew up alongside social media at ADVISA, I’ve quickly become aware of the diversity in opinion on how folks like to use their own platforms. And as a Gen Z marketer, I have been exposed to the ins and outs of social media’s importance to the growth of a business.

First, let me be clear that no one is forcing you to use social media. Some things just aren’t for everyone, and that’s okay. A coworker of mine consistently says, “to stay on top of something, you have to know about it and you have to care about it.” Some folks simply don’t care about it – it makes no difference in their life whether or not they check in on Sally’s last Facebook post. Some folks are interested but not yet fully capable. For example, I know my dad is interested in knowing about the best use case for social media in business. He cares about staying in the know. I get a call about once a week on whether he should or shouldn’t do something, what it means if he does do it, and how his audience may perceive it. He cares, and he is trying to learn.

The challenge comes with the folks who are active on their personal social media regularly but are choosing NOT to engage with their company. Why not? Do they not align with their company’s mission, vision, or values? Does the content not resonate with them enough to share? OR, do they not fully understand the impact their interaction can have on the company’s page growth and engagement? Let’s talk about it.

What’s in it for the employee?

Gallup reports that employee disconnection is one of the main drivers of voluntary turnover.

While there are many practices leaders might use to keep an employee in the know, social media continues to prove itself as an efficient and effective way to connect many humans. It keeps your people in the loop. Depending on the size of your company, varying leadership styles and the level of transparency in communication, each use case might be a little bit different. Ultimately, if used correctly, those who are engaged with what’s going on at work feel empowered. Feeling empowered leads to feeling valued, and feeling valued increases retention and productivity, driving results for the company.

Pro Tip: Sometimes we would prefer to put our own twist on things. And that’s GREAT. Instead of avoiding engagement with a post that doesn’t exactly fit your page’s vibe, try reposting with your own experience and supporting thoughts. When you understand and agree with what your company is sharing, you have the opportunity to build credibility in the industry. Adding your unique thumbprint to the content demonstrates your expertise and pushes your company’s messaging out to a network of folks that might not necessarily be following your organization’s page, increasing visibility and driving awareness.

What’s in it for the organization?

LinkedIn research found that employee social networks are—on average—10x larger than corporate brands. Another study saw that employee shares had a 561% further reach than branded channels. Humans tend to trust other humans. Putting a face (or several) to a brand and building relationships through their digital interactions has proven to improve reach and engagement. Not to mention the increase in visibility that comes with employees promoting your company’s message. Through the practice of employee advocacy on social media, you can also increase exposure without the costs that come with advertising.

Apart from the growth on social media, employees that interact with your content will most likely feel more in tune with what is going on in the business. Gallup shares a direct link between employees’ understanding of their organization’s purpose and culture and key measures of business health. The more aware you are about the action your company is taking on a public platform means the more confident you become to speak out about what they are sharing, increasing that sense of alignment.

Pro Tip: Make it as easy as possible to engage. Encourage your team to like, comment, or repost what you share with their thoughts to increase interactions. When doing so, provide a link to the direct post within your normal communication channel (Teams, Slack, etc.). This saves your employees time, creates clarity in what you are asking and ultimately increases your chances of action on their part.

What’s in it for community?

Throughout the text above, I’ve mentioned the word “align” numerous times. What do I mean by that? Gallup shares, “Alignment means that everyone — from current and prospective employees and customers to shareholders, industry influencers and members of the media — thinks and talks about the company in the same way.”

Just as one would recognize your brand colors, logo and fonts, marketers want to convey the brand message, or promise, to their audience through social media. If I were to ask you to think of a brand that checks all of your boxes (whether that be look, feel, quality, values, mission, etc.), what comes to mind? Personally, I think of Lululemon. Every piece of clothing I own from Lululemon meets a standard of quality that I have yet been able to compare to another, promising anything less than that is unacceptable. Not to mention, their mission to, “create components for people to live longer, healthier, fun lives,” aligns with all that they do. When folks see that omega symbol on various pieces of clothing, they know they’re paying for superior quality and that’s what they’re going to get.

When you can effectively communicate the purpose and values your company holds, as well as demonstrate how you are living them out on a daily basis, you are creating alignment in your community. It all starts from within, creating a sense of togetherness from the inside out. The ability your team has to riff off of the messaging you are sharing on social media in a way that makes sense to the collective implies a cohesive message and purpose. And that is what your community needs to start building trust in your brand.

Create connections that inform where to go next. Learning about your audience and your employees’ audiences creates a sense of content control. When you know the need of your audience, their interests, their questions, their gaps and shortcomings, you speak in a way that is geared directly to them. Providing a solution or helpful next steps is beneficial to both your brand and their perception of your brand.

Pro Tip: Let the data inform your next move. Listen to the community that is consuming your content. Whether you are an employee resharing content or you are creating content from your company’s page, it is important to remain consistent in your message while providing a solution for your audience based on their current needs.

Anyone and everyone can and SHOULD be a marketer for your company.

Taking just a few minutes to like, comment, or repost what your company is posting holds quite a bit of weight. It keeps employees in the know. It builds confidence and creates an opportunity to demonstrate expertise. It improves employee awareness and connection. It exemplifies authenticity, revealing a sense of pride to your audience. It drives traffic to your company’s page, increasing eyeballs and the potential for new business. And it drives your brand’s message, aligning your community on what it is your company has set out to accomplish.

Remember, authenticity matters. And adding a face to the logo that is posting for your company helps to build brand awareness. Humans trust humans.


For more on employee engagement, check out this article from Client Solutions Specialist, Krista Warn.

You may also be interested in this article from Senior Leadership Consultant, BJ McKay.