If you are the Managing Director, Business Development Director or Marketing Director at a Latin American insurance-related firm, you should be aware that your co-workers are on LinkedIn at this very moment. Yes, right now…. and LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network, which means big numbers when it comes to exposure. Very big.
LinkedIn is a means to be in contact with your clients, prospects, former workers and potential clients. Prospective clients are using LinkedIn for finding and researching your employee’s profiles. As a professional network, unlike other social media platforms, your company is prominently displayed by each individual employee who has a profile on LinkedIn.
Do your employee’s profile pages and online activities optimally represent your brand? Do they know how to achieve the best results for themselves and for their company?
Believe or not, often enough there will be individuals unknowingly promoting their competitors’ brand on LinkedIn. Yes, it is very possible for you and your employees to promote other firms involuntarily and unconsciously!
To avoid such results, it is best to design a LinkedIn strategy which includes training employees on how to properly use LinkedIn.
Everyone in your team should become “brand ambassadors”, who proudly convey the firm’s messages and purposes to the whole network of clients and potential clients.
Here are 3 tips if you want to make the move towards building a team of “brand ambassadors” on LinkedIn:
1. Ensure that you can be found on Google, LinkedIn and other research engines
Your co-workers´ first level LinkedIn network is likely to be much larger than the number of LinkedIn company page followers. Very often, the sum of individual connections can out-number company pages by as far as 10 to 1. Therefore, it pays to have employees post correct and coherent information about the organization and their role on their individual profiles.
Your employee’s contacts may click over to the company page or website if the profile is compelling. Make sure your employees’ pages are correctly linked to the company page, so you don’t lose a possible client!
2. Be consistent sharing your firm´s brand message
Brand messages must be consistent on all the communication channels. Imagine that you post, and seminars promote, that your firm is 100% focused on property claims in Mexico and your employees´ profiles are prominently about cyber risks. This happens too often.
You should train your employees to apply the same brand messages to their LinkedIn profiles. Remember that LinkedIn profiles are “private”, meaning that this exercise should not be mandatory. Success here is more about good leadership and team building. If people enjoy their job and where they work, they will become natural ambassadors for sure.
Just for starters, compose a well-designed LinkedIn background. (1,584 x 396 pixel format is recommended). By doing so, you can increase the reach of your brand communicating intangibles like your core values or give valuable information such as conveying your lines of business. See below two examples:
Also consider sharing content with your employees by leveraging an employee advocacy program. Latin American insurance-related companies should be pro-actively distributing value-content messages to employees, so they can share with their network. Of course, it is much better to begin content sharing after their profiles are completely optimized and branded.
Expert training will lead to a boost of morale, and with time your employees are bound to gain confidence in their ‘LinkedIn voice’ and skills.
3. Do not forget that LinkedIn clearly shows your working environment
LinkedIn allows users to research workers by companies and cities. It is very easy to find out how many employees work at a certain branch office and for how long, for instance.
Let´s imagine that your Human Resources Department and your marketing department communicate that your firm is a great place to work at, but, LinkedIn researches clearly show that 70% of the people do not stay longer than 1 year… Are you being consistent? Is it necessary to modify something?
Do a LinkedIn/Google search of people in your team and see what you find. Bear in mind that most LinkedIn users’ favorite activity is checking-out others, and then, of course, checking out who has checked them out. LinkedIn is not only a branding tool, but also a way of building and motivating your team. Managing directors, Human Resources Departments and marketing teams must be involved.
Whether you like it or not, people are scrutinizing your company using LinkedIn, and there is nothing you can do about it. The question is how your company can capitalize on this situation. Ultimately, it’s a matter of building credibility and trust with the outside world.
In summary, never forget that your employee’s profiles and their online actions can generate interest in your firm -or the opposite! It is very important to lead and assist your team and take advantage of the unparalleled reach of LinkedIn to become a player in the Latin American Insurance Industry. Your competitors are working on that right now. Always remember: Your employee´s profiles on LinkedIn can make a huge difference in the perception of your brand.
David Roig. LinkedIn expert and author of the unique LinkedIn training seminar 100% focused on the Latin American Insurance Industry.
Managing Director at iNLIP, independent Network of Latam Insurance Professionals