I educate companies on how best to use LinkedIn, and I talk a lot about the importance of empowering employees to be active on the social network.
Among the most frequent questions I get are: “Why should I encourage employees to be on LinkedIn? Aren’t we helping them find jobs with our competitors?”
It’s a reasonable question, given that many people think of LinkedIn as a job-search site. Yet a key reason to empower your employees to be on LinkedIn is that they are your brand ambassadors.
Your company’s future employees are on LinkedIn. Don’t miss the opportunity to show them why working for your company is special and why your current employees love it.
Here are four ways employees can become brand ambassadors on LinkedIn: 1. Use their profiles to make a good first impression .
Every employee’s LinkedIn profile can be someone’s first impression of your company.
As employees join LinkedIn, encourage them to update their profiles-not only with their current role, but also with examples of their and your company’s work. (Make it is easy for them to find that content.)
2. Tell stories on their profiles.
Encourage all-star employees to publish long-form posts on LinkedIn. Not only does this give them an outlet and opportunity to position themselves as experts in the field, but it associates your brand with high-quality talent. This often attracts attention from customers, journalists and future employees. As a bonus, you can amplify your employees’ content by sharing it from your LinkedIn Company Page.
For example, last September I wrote a post about hosting my dad at LinkedIn’s Bring In Your Parents Day. LinkedIn’s social media team shared my post from LinkedIn’s Company Page.
I often hear employees say they’re limited in what they can post on their profiles due to the confidential nature of their work. In this case, you’ll have to get creative about what visuals you add to your profile.
For example, in my previous role at LinkedIn I helped manage our bi-weekly company all-hands meeting. I obviously couldn’t add any of the meeting’s content to my profile, but Business Insider wrote an article titled “9 Creativity-Boosting Perks LinkedIn Employees Get That Every Company Should Steal.” One of those perks was the all-hands meeting, so I added that article to my profile.
Visuals make your profile more engaging while shining light on your organization’s amazing work.
4. Showcase their volunteer work.
Employees want to work with well-rounded people. Culture is essential in today’s workforce, and knowing where employee and employer interests align can only help the hiring process. Encourage your employees to highlight their volunteer experience on their profiles, regardless of whether it’s associated with your company.
When you consider employees your brand ambassadors, you’ll recognize why it’s important they deliver a positive impression on LinkedIn. A simple way to ensure that happens is to provide professional headshots to your employees once a year.
This article originally appeared on LinkedIn’s Talent Solutions blog.