While you may be uneasy about the thought of your employees using LinkedIn, many companies have actually begun to recognize and leverage the potential of this professional social network. If you haven’t considered how (or if) your employees are using the platform, it may be time.
Let’s Weigh the Pros and Cons
Of course, encouraging LinkedIn usage by employees may not be best for every company. There are reasons both for and against, but in the end successfully leveraging the power of LinkedIn through your employees comes down to one thing – trust. We’ll talk about this more, later, but for now, let’s weigh the pros and cons.
Instead of covering the pros first and ending on a negative note, let’s begin by acknowledging some potentially negative aspects of encouraging your employees to use LinkedIn.
Increased Loss of Employees.
It makes sense that, as an employer, you may have a significant and realistic fear losing some of your best employees to better opportunities. However, if you’re treating your employees with the trust and respect they deserve, you have a better chance of holding onto them long-term. But, in the end, if they do decide to leave, it was going to happen with or without the use of LinkedIn. All you can do is provide the necessary tools and support to help your employees succeed, and whether they choose to stay or go is, unfortunately, out of your hands.
Another Employee Distraction.
Of course, if your employees are using LinkedIn while they should be working, then it could be considered a distraction. However, your employees could be doing any number of things while they should be working, so this isn’t a valid fear in our opinion. If you’re worried about whether your employees are providing the value expected of them, you may have a bigger problem on your hands, which probably has nothing to do with LinkedIn. Still, it’s understandable that, as an employer, you’d be concerned about how and when employees are using the platform – especially if they are doing it on your time.
Unprofessional Posting and Sharing of Private Information.
There’s always the chance that, even a well-respected employee may post something unprofessional, or confidential, on LinkedIn. And, while it’s also possible that an employee may write an unprofessional email to a customer, or share private information via email or phone, social media has an unfortunate way of amplifying our mistakes. If you are going to encourage the use of LinkedIn by employees, it will be crucial to discuss any applicable guidelines, restrictions, and penalties associated with abusing the platform.
The Proven Pros
With every potentially beneficial endeavor, there are always a few risks. The good news is, the risks associated with encouraging your employees to use LinkedIn are minimal, and in most cases, can be prevented with the right training and guidance. According to recent studies on the benefits of having your employees use LinkedIn, the following is true:
Increase Your Brand Reach.
When you share an article or news on your company LinkedIn page, it will reach your company’s network and your network. But with the help of your employees, your branded content has the potential to reach a much bigger audience. According to recent research from LinkedIn, “Employee networks have, on average, ten times as many connections as a company’s Company Page followers.” It’s easy to see how that could grow your audience pretty quickly.
Show Off Your Collective Expertise.
Your employees are a big part of your company success. Their collection of skills, knowledge, and expertise not only helps your company operate on a daily basis, but it can also be a great advertising tool or recruiting tool. What client wouldn’t want to work with a business that employs the best in the industry? And, what professional wouldn’t want to work with the best team in the industry?
Loyal Brand Ambassadors.
It’s in the best interest of your employees to speak well of your business on social media. What’s good for you is good for their job security. So, as long as your employees are being taken care of, why wouldn’t they be willing to help you get the word out about your business? It may take some encouragement and guidance, but you could easily build a group of loyal brand ambassadors out of your best employees.
Access to Resources and Industry Trends
LinkedIn members are consistently sharing articles, eBooks, cheat sheets, industry news, and more with their connections. Some of the information available on LinkedIn is extremely educational, valuable, and free! By encouraging employees to take advantage of the free resources offered by LinkedIn, you’re providing them with additional tools and information they otherwise may not have access to.
Thumbs Up to LinkedIn
Being active on LinkedIn doesn’t necessarily mean your employees are actively looking for a new job. There are many features they could be utilizing to increase their productivity and improve their value to your business. Plus, they could even be helping you increase your brand reach at the same time.
Do you need help optimizing your business on LinkedIn?