LinkedIn is finally living up to the hype. Long billed as the ultimate professional network, it didn’t always feel that way. It felt more like a place people went to find a job. But little by little, LinkedIn has grown into a powerful communication tool for companies to show who they are and what they stand for.
But if your business is still communicating most prominently through organic posts to your LinkedIn company page, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. Like Facebook did before it, LinkedIn’s algorithm now limits the reach of organic posts from a company page.
But when one door closes, another opens. In this case, that door looks like the personal profiles of your company’s leaders. In this blog, we’ll explain why your LinkedIn strategy should start with your CEO’s profile, and how to set yourself up for success.
Why a CEO’s LinkedIn Profile Matters
There are many different audiences the CEO’s LinkedIn profile can reach. But let’s use the example of job seekers. We are facing an international labor shortage and the battle for talent is real. The power has shifted to job seekers who are often choosing between your company’s offer and perhaps several others. Job seekers today care about more than the job description, pay, and benefits. If they can pick their landing spot, they want to work for a company that values employee contributions, operates on values that align with theirs, and is committed to making a difference in the world.
Job seekers know that culture starts at the top. They’re using LinkedIn to peel back a layer and find out what matters to the company, by learning what matters to the CEO. What issues are they speaking out on? How often do they praise and recognize their team? Does this leader project the kind of environment where I can make a meaningful contribution and grow my career? Learning about the type of person the CEO is provides a snapshot of the culture and environment.
In addition to job seekers, who else might be tuned in to the CEO’s LinkedIn activity? Current employees often make up a significant portion of the CEO’s LinkedIn following. Employees look to the CEO to provide a clear vision and leadership. LinkedIn is a very effective place to demonstrate your priorities and vision for the future to current employees. Business partners, acquisition targets, and potential investors tune into the CEO’s LinkedIn profile for the same reason. A business relationship is never just between two companies- it’s between people. The LinkedIn profiles of your company’s executives give potential partners a feel for the kind of leader they’re preparing to do business with.
How to Get the Most Value Out of the CEO’s LinkedIn Profile
In a perfect world, your company executives would buy into this idea, and start posting content on their own. But CEOs are busy people juggling many priorities at any given time. If you can get executive buy-in for this process, this is where marketing comes in. You and your team will likely be responsible for developing the content, and possibly posting it on your CEO’s profile. So where do you start? Here are the most important tasks to get you headed in the right direction.
Complete The Profile: Obviously, this starts with a great headshot for a profile image and a compelling background for a cover image. It’s estimated that people are at least 40% more likely to click on a LinkedIn profile if it has a profile image. It’s also important to ensure sure other sections on the profile, like the About section, are complete. We always recommend clients treat the About section like a story, and not a resume. Tell the story of the CEO’s career through the lens of what matters to her or him as a leader.
Get to the Root of Their “Why”: If you’re going to be developing content on behalf of your CEO, you need to know what they care about.Have a conversation about the business goals and challenges they’re most excited about. Get to know their passions inside and outside of work.Understand who they’re trying to reach and what they wish more people knew about the great work your company is doing. The answers to these questions should give you the mindset you need to develop LinkedIn content on their behalf that aligns with the direction the company is headed from a strategic perspective.
Develop a Content Plan: This is where the rubber meets the road. You need to work with the CEO to determine a posting frequency. We usually suggest clients start with once per week. You’ll also need to agree on tone and content types. LinkedIn offers the opportunity to publish long-form blogs directly in the platform. Will video be a part of your strategy? Explore the possibilities and agree on a plan for what types of content will be published by who, and how frequently.
Execute with Consistency: A well-run LinkedIn strategy grows like a snowball rolling downhill, but only if you maintain consistency. If the strategy gets shelved for any period of time, it loses momentum and is hard to get started again. If the frequency you’ve established turns out to be too much of a commitment, it’s better to post less frequently than it is to completely stop.
How Do We Know It Works?
We know this strategy works, because we’ve implemented it in real life for several clients. It requires patience, diligence, and commitment. But it has the power to get your company’s message out to a wide and influential audience. One of our clients, who was previously minimally active on LinkedIn, generated over 104,000 views and 2,000 profile visits within the first five months of our engagement with them.
Kolbeco has your back. If you recognize the value of a CEO-driven LinkedIn strategy, but don’t have the time or people to pull it off, reach out! We can work with you to walk through each step, lay out all the details, and execute for success.