LinkedIn, a New Territory for Communications


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Our new whitepaper highlights the benefits that a company can reap from developing a structured ecosystem approach to the platform, backed up with a strong editorial strategy for the Company and Group discussion spaces.

In addition, the whitepaper discusses community management strategies on LinkedIn.

Published in: Business, Technology
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  • I’ve yet to read one convincing piece about the usefulness of LinkedIn. Sure there are many applications of LinkedIn but I’ve haven’t come across even ONE true story about someone getting hired solely based on their LinkedIn account. The conversations about LinkedIn seem very redundant and uninspired.
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LinkedIn, a New Territory for Communications

  1. 1. LinkedInA new territory for communicationsSOCIAL HIVE
  2. 2. Executive summary3Avant propos4Entretien 5B LinkedIn, a communications tool that’s underutilized 6C LinkedIn’s Ecosystem 72.1 A look at the Company space 72.2 A look at the Careers space 82.3 A look at the Products and Services space 82.4 A look at the Group space 9D Which strategy should you adopt? 103.1 Define your objectives… 103.2 …and possible focus areas 103.3 Structure your ecosystem 113.4 Activate your ecosystem 123.5 Best practices: Dell and Microsoft 133.6 A content strategy in line with different types of usage 143.7 The Company space: using your audience to generate clicks 15E Resources 164.1 Entry level: Engage employees 164.2 The importance of involving high potentials 164.3 The role of top management 164.4 Community managers and ambassadors 174.5 The role of community animators 17 F Measurement 185.1 Performance measurement 185.2 Proposed KPIs 18 Check list: how can I develop my presence on LinkedIn? 19Summary
  3. 3. LinkedIn Guide for Brands3LinkedIn is the biggest professional social network in the world. Mostcompanies develop their presence on it as part of their recruitment policy,but LinkedIn is so much more than just a recruitment tool – it’s a professionalnetworking platform, and a B2B communications channel. According to arecent study*, LinkedIn generates four times more B2B leads than any othersocial network, including Facebook and Twitter.So why are companies still not using LinkedIn to its full potential?In this whitepaper we highlight the benefits an enterprise can reap from havinga structured LinkedIn ecosystem and outline how to develop the right editorialapproach for the ‘Company’ and ‘Groups’ spaces.We believe that: Most companies aren’t making full use of LinkedIn’s potential forcommunications and building their corporate image Companies need to develop a dedicated editorial strategy and communitymanagement policy to encourage discussion, and increase awarenessamong their target audience (including potential employees, partners andindustry professionals) LinkedIn offers powerful business solutions with a range of tools thatcompanies need to exploit if they’re to grow their influence Employees act as potential ambassadors, and this fact should be leveragedon LinkedIn: those ambassadors can carry corporate messaging, shareexperiences and support the company’s values When measuring the impact of your company’s LinkedIn activity, do takeinto account criteria beyond traditional HR indicators: as for any other socialnetwork (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), the commitment rate, active membership andreach prove to be the main KPIs* Hubspot study, 2011: Summary
  4. 4. LinkedIn Guide for Brands 4SOCIAL HIVEToday, the world of social media and digital communication is heavilyfocused on Facebook and Twitter, based on the significant audienceand creative communications campaigns seen on them. LinkedIn bycomparison is considered a somewhat humble and understated socialnetwork. But don’t be fooled - a look at some factoids about the globalprofessional network tells a different story:• More than 161 million members, across 200 countries• Since December 31st, LinkedIn has seen it’s fastest growth within thestudent and graduate demographic• Two new members join LinkedIn every second, - that is 1 million newmembers every week• Recruiting solutions proposed by LinkedIn are used by 82 out of 100 ofFortune’s 2011 largest companies• More than 2 million businesses have a corporate LinkedIn page• As of 31 March 2012, more than 400,000 unique domains actively use theLinkedIn «Share» button from their web-sites in order to share relevant content on the LinkedIn platformLinkedIn – a neglectedcommunications toolLinkedIn is a corporate communications platform that isat once both deeply efficient and significantly undervalued• LinkedIn has evolved and grown significantly over the past few years. Itis no longer just an HR platform that caters to recruiters, candidates andprofessional networking.• With the development of LinkedIn Enterprise, LinkedIn Today, anda slew of social applications, LinkedIn has become a corporatecommunications platform, as effective as it is undervalued.• Communication directors, marketing directors and even salesdepartments should focus less on how to grow their fanbase on thecompany Facebook page and more on the opportunities that LinkedInpresents. They can share their company’s activities, develop expertiseand thought leadership, leverage a network of employees to develop ane-ambassadors program and even generate commercial leads usingLinkedIn.• In short, companies can replicate what they currently do on Facebook,but in a more professionally appropriate and effective way to engageemployees, business partners and potential candidates.• This whitepaper is not meant to be a detailed manual, but an introductionto the opportunities that LinkedIn offers corporate communications andB2B professionals.• It is also a guide for community managers who wish to develop theright editorial strategies on LinkedIn. If you’re looking to develop yourcompany’s presence and reputation on social networks, we invite you totake another look at LinkedIn’s potential using our whitepaper.Digital IdentityStanislas Magniant,EMEA Head of Social Hive,MSLGROUPTwitter
  5. 5. LinkedIn Guide for Brands5a platform foreditorial contentproduct called the LinkedIn Talent Pipeline that allowsrecruiters to integrate external sources into this workingenvironment such as a candidate’s or an employee’s CV.In addition, in the area of employer branding, we offerthe Careers space, which allow businesses to promotethemselves and disseminate job offers. And we fullycontextualize this space based on recruitment needs and thecompany’s targets.In addition to these products for recruiters, we offer theopportunity for advertisers to communicate through ourmarketing solutions. This offer includes both “classic”products such as text ads and posters as well as socialnetworking opportunities offered exclusively throughLinkedIn.What benefits might one expect as a result of developinga content management strategy for a Company and Groupspace on LinkedIn?Creating a Company space helps increase visibility onthe network. This space can then include paid marketingservices. The company space helps in marketing the brand,both business to business (B2B) and business to consumer(B2C). You can also use our advertising solutions to reacha very specialized audience, by targeting your campaignbased on member profiles.Companies can publish articles and status updates on theirspace and allow members to follow their content. SinceLinkedIn is a professional network, following a companyon it brings more opportunities to engage in a professionalfashion, than on other social networks. This allowscompanies to create more involved communities aroundtheir brands and services.LinkedIn has significantly evolved over the last year andadded apps such as the newsfeed and LinkedIn Today. Canyou share with us the reason behind this increased focuson content?Among other reasons, LinkedIn members log on to thenetwork to access information about the sector they work in.Information plays a key role in the decision making process,and we need to offer quicker access to it. That is why LinkedInoffers information applications such as LinkedIn Today,discussion groups, company spaces and members’ statusupdates.There are more than a million groups on LinkedIn today. 81%of our members subscribe to group discussions and 50%are active participants. In addition, 47% of our members useLinkedIn to find and understand the latest trends in theirindustry.Tell us more about the editorial feature ‘LinkedIn Today’.LinkedIn Today is a fairly revolutionary tool in terms ofcontent curation: it automatically selects and distributes toeach user the information that is most relevant for him orher.Articles are selected based on popularity amongst memberson LinkedIn and what fellow industry members are reading.This allows our users to stay up to date with the currenttrends and receive a continuous flow of information aboutthose trends. LinkedIn Today is a popular feature that buildsvisitors’ engagement.Do companies use LinkedIn more as a source of informationrather than a communications tool?LinkedIn’s activity for recruiters is based on two pillars:sourcing and employer branding. The latter evolves aroundcommunication campaigns. In terms of sourcing, ourflagship product is the Recruiter, which provides unlimitedaccess to the entire network as well as the ability to post jobannouncements. We have also recently launched anotherLaurence BretMARKETING DIRECTOR,LinkedIn EUROPEInterview
  6. 6. LinkedIn Guide for Brands 6LinkedIn,a communications tool that’s underutilizedLinkedIn is a communicationsplatform that the majority ofcompanies have not yet fullyintegrated into their communicationsstrategies.The 10 most followed companies onLinkedIn* animate their space withstatus updates (in most cases withnew hires and job announcements),but only five update their spacewith blog posts and only three havea proper community managementstrategy, which involves generatingdiscussions on the page.Most companies have a very practical approach toLinkedIn, using it primarily tohunt for potential employees.However, LinkedIn has alsoproved itself as an essential communications tool both from an HR communications perspective and in terms of a company’s image and influence.1CompanyLastyear’srankingNumber offollowersStatusUpdatesLinksto blogOnlinediscussionsHewlett-Packard 2 1,008,406IBM 1 970,787Google 5 895,147Microsoft 3 797,493Accenture 4 751,519Deloitte 7 584,234Apple 8 567,314Oracle 6 550,587Ernst Young NEW 452,645Unilever NEW 432,571LinkedIn pages of the 10 most followed companies* as of 01/03/2013* LinkedIn brands sorted by number of followers
  7. 7. LinkedIn Guide for Brands7LinkedIn’s Ecosystem2 A Company space is createdautomatically as soon as aLinkedIn user declares herselfan employee of a given companyon her profile. So your companymight already be present onLinkedIn, but you’re perhaps notaware, and may not control thatpresence. There are two types of LinkedInusers to target: your employeesand users who follow yourcompany.The Company space on LinkedIn can be compared with fan pages on Facebook : it acts as a hub for all the company’s activities onthe network2.1 A look at the Company space LinkedIn offers information andstatistics for your company’spresence on the network, as wellas a News space which is open forother users’ comments. Certaintypes of information are managedby the company, others are not.Statistics :• Number of employees,demographics, dataand history• Number of followersCalls-to-actionsA space dedicatedto your subsidiaries.NEW: if you own groups,you can feature themhere.Logo and company brandingMore space forinformation about yourcompanyThis space shows activities onLinkedIn, including: job offers,new hires and appointments,blog posts and any othercommunications publishedby the company. This spacecan be managed to a degree.Messages published inthis space are visible in theinformation flow of membersof the page. One can like thenews, comment and share it inthe same way as on Facebook.THECOMPANY SPACEThe pages the peoplewho visit your page alsoviewed. Useful to identifyhow you are perceived.
  8. 8. LinkedIn Guide for Brands 8 The Careers spaceshowcases your recruitmentactivities on LinkedIn: newjob announcements, HRcommunications and otherinformation about your companycan add value to the space. LinkedIn offers all Companyspaces a special tab to promotetheir products and services. Like in the Careers space, youhave full control over the thecontent under this tab and youcan target your content in linewith your visitors’ demographics. The space is fully customizable:you can add banners and avideo to showcase products orservices. Rather than adding anThe Careers page is usually integrated intothe Company SPACE. You can have access to your Company SPACE without viewing the Careers SPACE.2.2 A look at the Careers space2.3 A look at the Products and Services space This space is completely underyour control. It’s possible topersonalize it by adding yourcompany’s colors and yourobjectives. The space can befurther modified to match the typeof visitor, so a communicationsprofessional would not see thesame home page as an engineerfor example. The Careers space is paid for andis not mandatoryadvertisement, consider morepersonal and original contentincluding expert points of view.Think about managing what youpost here, keeping in mind thecontent should be consistent withthe story you want to tell aboutyour business. The only social aspect of this tabis that LinkedIn members canrecommend your products andservices.CAREERS SPACEJob offers at your company -personalised for different typesof visitorsPersonalized banners fordifferent types of visitorsA personalized introductionwith our without video dependingon the type of visitorThe company pages’s updates descriptions also take placeon the career page
  9. 9. LinkedIn Guide for Brands9 Current job offers, informationabout training sessions and bestpractices can all be shared onGroup space. In addition, mostLinkedIn users tend to look forexpert opinions in the Groups. Unlike the Company space, aA Group is a space for employees to exchange best practices with industry experts. It’s anoptimal platform forexchange of ideas wit-hin your company! 2.4 A look at the Group spaceGroup space is not managed bythe company, but by individuals.Group news, updateson new membersAdsA list of the most activeusers in the Group,which effectivelyhighlights the mostinfluential experts inthe discussion spaceThe Group’s statisticsLogo and descriptionLaunch a discussion or a pollRSS feed with the latestdiscussionsThe most commented ondiscussions. It’s possible tolike a status, add a commentand share it in the sameway you would on Facebook.Types of messages :• Experience, knowledge andbest-practice sharing• Job offers or training sessionsGROUP SPACE
  10. 10. LinkedIn Guide for Brands 10Which strategy should you adopt?3 Don’t only think of LinkedIn asa recruitment tool. LinkedIn infact enables companies to buildan image that attracts talentand makes people want to workfor your company. In additionto advertising, joining in thediscussions on LinkedIn alsogives you the opportunity to polishyour employer brand. So, lookbeyond traditional recruitmentgoals, and make sure you setnew ones: reaching out to expertcommunities, attracting newsuppliers, influencing professionalcommunities, etc. Define a focus area that’s in linewith your expertise, strengths andthe values of your organisation.Why would following you orparticipating in the discussions bean added value for a professional? Are you considered a talentincubator in your field? Isyour expertise acknowledgedworldwide? Have you adopted aninnovative management system?These are all assets that can addvalue when shaped through theprism of your ambassadors andyour employees, and their storiesand experiences.As with other social networks, simply being on LinkedIn is not sufficient. You need to do more. And before that, you need to define your objectives.On LinkedIn, more thenanywhere else, the best way to add value to your company is toanimate spaces via editorial content.3.1 Define your objectives…3.2 …and possible focus areas To achieve your goals, be activeon the site, and develop your owntone of voice. A member connectsto the network on average 1-2times a month. The challenge isto find a way to be there whenthey are connected and have thecontent you posted highlighted.You can help do this by interactingwith more active members wholog in several times a day, andexchanging experience and bestpractices with them. Once you’ve defined your focusarea, you will be in a good positionto develop an editorial strategy foreach LinkedIn space.
  11. 11. The Company SpaceThe Company space is thecenter of your LinkedInecosystem. It should enhancethe visibility of the company’snews, its views, projectsand goals. It should also be ahub for your entire LinkedInecosystem.The Careers SpaceThe Careers space is thespace dedicated to HR –opportunities, career paths,testimonials – a showcasededicated to recruitment. Thepages are most useful formedium or large companiesthat have to manage asignificant number ofprospective employees.PROPRIETARY GROUP01THIRDPARTY GROUP01Structure your ecosystemTHEPRODUCTS AND SERVICESSPACETHECOMPANYSPACETHECAREERS SPACETHIRDPARTY GROUP01PROPRIETARY GROUP02PROPRIETARY GROUP03THIRDPARTY GROUP02THIRDPARTY GROUP03THIRDPARTY GROUP03THIRDPARTY GROUP02The Groups SpaceThe Groups are the mainspaces for conversationon LinkedIn, and need atargeted, clear and content-focused editorial positioning.A company can create andanimate several groupsbased on various professionalcommunities, its target,its core businesses or itsgeographical locations... Thechallenge is to structurethese groups so as to be ableto tap into both internal andexternal audiences that arebroad enough to encouragedialogue and a fruitfulexchange.LinkedIn Guide for Brands11
  12. 12. LinkedIn Guide for Brands12• Corporate information and news1. First off, include this on theCompany space2. Add it to the Careers space,if that’s in line with yourcompany’s HR and CSR policy3. Add news to the Group pagesonly if it relates to those users• Third-party content (*curation)1. In the first instance, includethis on the Group pages. Thisis essential if you’re going toanimate conversations betweenprofessionals interested in thesame topic (warning : make sureit does not exceed 50% of youreditorial content)2. Include in the Careers spaceonly if the content focuseson career paths within thecompany3. Add to the Company space onlyif the article, which should beavailable online, provides a newperspective on the companyIn order to create a real LinkedIn ecosystem,you need to create synergies betweenthe Company space,the Careers spACE and the Groups. The most effective way to dothis is to create links between these spaces,but at the same time maintain the particular identity and purpose of each page. Do take into consideration that users spend less time on LinkedIn than onFacebook, therefore it’s better to concentrate on the quality versus quantity where content is concerned.3.4 Activate your ecosystem Focus on the three components of your editorial policy• Thought leadership1. Depending on the topic, addto the relevant themed Groupsso as to encourage discussionand attract people to the Groupthrough exclusive content2. You can also add to theCompany space to support thecorporate vision, and leveragethe discussions and thedynamism of the group3. Add to themed Groups that aresimilar to the current Groupin terms of either audience ofsubject matter4. Add to the Careers spaceonly if the content talks totop management’s vision orthrows fresh light on HR andmanagement policy*Curation is the art of selecting, filtering, organizing, indexing andcommenting on content across specific topics
  13. 13. LinkedIn Guide for Brands 13Dell is one of the 10 most-followedcompanies on LinkedIn with nearly420,000 followers. The companymakes the most of this significantcommunity through a contentmanagement strategy: interestingarticles, company news and anupdated calendar help to turn thispotential audience into an actualaudience.3.5 Best practices: Dell and MicrosoftAlongside the editorialapproach, the company also engagesin real-time community managementactivity: each post is monitoredand as soon as a follower of thepage in question reacts, a companyspokesperson responds. Thanksto this openness, the companyhas established a dialogue whichhelps engage people in the long-term. Moreover, Dell is sharing itsmessages and values ​​in a way thatbrings a strong human element to thebrand.Microsoft is one of the most activecompanies on LinkedIn and itsCompany page is exemplary. Followedby just under 800,000 people,Microsoft has embraced LinkedInat the heart of its communicationsstrategy. Working with both companyand industry news as well asemployee testimonials, Microsoftworks off an editorial strategyfocused on several new posts eachday. That said, you can’t help noticethat while their the communitymanager has adopted a veryengaging way of posting articles, s/heis somewhat reserved when it comesto responding to comments.Microsoft’s Company page is anexample ​​of a dynamic company,looking to the future and open to itsfollowers’ comments.
  14. 14. LinkedIn Guide for Brands14Help on how to adapt each space according to how it’s used:Each space that LinkedIn offers includes a number of complementaryfeatures and tools.While some content, like news / short updates,can be found in all three types of spaces,other types of content are less or more relevant to any givenspace.3.6 A content strategy in line withdifferent types of usagegroupsTHECOMPANY SPACETHECAREERS SPACECompany News{TARGETEDAPPROACH NEEDED}CurationThought Leadership{TARGETEDAPPROACH NEEDED}Job Opportunities{TARGETEDAPPROACH NEEDED}Discussions - -
  15. 15. LinkedIn Guide for Brands 15LinkedIn now gives companies a legitimate way to talk directly totheir target audience…..early 2012 a new feature enabling Company space to target the posts published to a veryspecific category of followers was offered.Do you want to find out what a communityof senior telecom specialists, who follow you, think of one of your latest innovations without spamming others? Now you can!3.7 The Company space:using your audience to generate clicks
  16. 16. LinkedIn Guide for Brands16THIRDPARTY GROUP03Resources4When you’re starting out, the most cost-effective and efficient approach is to letemployees know, via your traditional internal communication channels, that yourspaces and groups on LinkedIn exist. The core of your LinkedIn community areyour  employees. It may be useful to incentivize contributors so as to create alittle competition.LinkedIn provides a forum for high potentials. Their involvement in LinkedIn’sGroups discussions can humanize communications, highlight their talent... andkeep them in the company! They can animate one or more groups byposting articles, links and opinions... It’s a win/win strategy : personal branding isthe motivation while you’re also helping develop the company’s employer brand.As well as average users and high potentials, the role of top management can becrucial in bringing to life internal and professional communities. Simply postinga «like» or commenting on a colleague’s post can be powerful, and encouragefurther participation.4.1 Entry level :Engage employees4.2 The importance of involvinghigh potentials4.3 The Role of top managementTHIRDPARTY GROUP03THIRDPARTY GROUP03
  17. 17. LinkedIn Guide for Brands 17Creating a thriving social network is impossible without a community manager,and LinkedIn is no exception. A question left unanswered, a post that’s beenignored.... These are factors that can dampen enthusiasm in a community, andcause your audience’s engagement levels to dip. Every post, message, question...should be addressed, no matter how small or insignificant.As far as professional communities are concerned, the level of expertise must beextremely high. That’s why you must identify Ambassadors, high potentials whoembody excellence within their profession, their peer group, their role… Thesepeople need to actively participate in the animation of their thematic groups –supported by a community manager, someone who is responsible for the flowof communications, for measuring it and helping members and followers findtheir way around.Community Manager Ambassadors• Monitoring• Editorial planning• Content publication• Comments management,answering members/followers• Help/redirect members/followers• Acts as a link between thecompany and LinkedIn users• Alert management should asensitive topic come up• Moderates• Sectors and topic monitoring• Content publication, providing links,posting thought leadership…• Answering questions/comments onexpert topics• Engages the company’s employees4.4 Community managersand ambassadors4.5 The role of community animators
  18. 18. LinkedIn Guide for Brands18Measurement5What are the KPIs for LinkedIn? If you decide to implement an editorial strategy,the KPIs should be the same as those of the other social networks where yourcompany has a presence: engagement rate, audience, loyalty, etc. In addition, anyimpact on the employer brand, the number of CVs received, and the cost of hiringusing traditional methods should be taken into consideration.Quantitative• The engagement rate for the Company space posts (based on the number ofinteractions with the audience)• Visitors to the Company and Group spaces• Internal and external reach rate• The number of discussions where your company’s experts participate on Groupspaces (yours and affiliates’)• The number of CVs received• The number of information requests receivedQualitative• The tone of comments received across the company’s LinkedIn presence(Company and Group spaces)5.1 Performance measurement5.2 Proposed KPIs
  19. 19. LinkedIn Guide for Brands 19Check list: how can I develop mypresence on LinkedIn?1. Audit what you haveHow many pages are linked to your company and its focus areas (name,audience, employee usage rate)?2. Define your objectivesThere are three types of objectives :- Business objectives- HR objectives- Image/reputation objectives3. Define your focus areas and structureyour LinkedIn ecosystem- Restructure your Company space, and if you have them, your Careers andProducts and Services spaces according to the objectives you’ve alreadydefined- Outline your editorial strategy for spaces you manage- Identify Groups in which your company can legitimately add comments, andalso new Groups it can create- Identify your internal ambassadors- Produce a guide for employees as to how they can best be part of yourcompany’s LinkedIn presence4. Community managementImplement a community management strategy.Contact usStanislas Magniantstanislas.magniant@consultants.publicis.frDimitri Grangerdimitri.granger@consultants.publicis.frTel. : +33 (0)1 44 82 45 00Follow us HIVE
  20. 20. LinkedIn Guide for Brands20