This article appears in our Q3 2022 issue of Finance Transformation Magazine. To download the issue, click here
Melanie Goodman, Founder of Trevisan, an award winning LinkedIn Consultancy supporting leaders in the Financial and Legal Sectors, explains how a CEO can better leverage LinkedIn to help grow their business.
While it is common knowledge that you can use LinkedIn to build your personal brand, many CEOs overlook how they can also use it to draw people to their business. The CEO.com 2015 Report revealed that most Fortune500® CEOs are not on any form of social media and 61% have only a paltry presence, yet 70% of those who are active are on LinkedIn.
I have often faced the challenge that CEOs find social media is too risky, but I believe the benefits outweigh the risks when you adopt an effective LinkedIn strategy.
You may think that Posting to your company’s LinkedIn page is as effective as Posting to your personal Profile, yet this is not the case. In fact, when you Post something to your own Profile, it will likely fetch you far more traffic. This is because your followers know and respect you.
Additionally, the best part is these are not people from your network alone but also people from the network of your followers: When someone reacts or comments on a Post, their network will also be notified and likely shown the Post by LinkedIn.
Personal LinkedIn Strategy
1. Share: However, do not use the LinkedIn Share button, instead follow my Top Tip to gain the highest reach – Click the 3 dots in the top right of your Company Page Post and copy, then start a new Post in your Personal Profile and press paste
2. Highlight Content: Add your best content to your Profile ‘Featured Section’
3. Articles: Share Articles that are likely to find maximum resonance with your followers and follow this up with actionable content they can easily implement. Something that is unique, entertaining, and relevant – for example, the “how-to” Posts
4. Feedback & Comments: Actively encourage feedback and comments. I recommend starting Posts with a question to immediately engage followers – the key is to get them to click the “press more” button
5. Timeliness: To play to the LinkedIn algorithm, reply to Comments on your Post within the first “golden hour” after Posting
6. Tagging: Tag the Author of an Article you are sharing in a bid to encourage other valuable members to connect with you.
Promote Your Company Page
To maximise your LinkedIn marketing like and re-share your Posts on the company LinkedIn page. This will popularise the page to a greater extent, which otherwise remains hidden from the spotlight. These Posts are company updates or achievements of staff and employee advocacy is one of the key reasons that you need to be active on LinkedIn.
Sharing team accomplishments on LinkedIn is a huge morale booster for your own staff and shows people how appreciative you are of their contributions to the company.
Research conducted by Hootsuite, in partnership with LinkedIn, found a 40 per cent increase in employee engagement as a direct correlation to CEO engagement. Interestingly, when your teams are engaged on social media, they’re 50 per cent more likely to achieve sales quotas!
An active LinkedIn presence will allow you to keep abreast of your company culture and pick up on issues that might not otherwise come to your attention. Therefore, these LinkedIn marketing efforts not only help to elevate your company’s image but also help to improve your brand value and performance.
Make sure you engage with your followers Posts as well. If done meaningfully this will demonstrate your industry ‘thought leadership’. However, the LinkedIn algorithm “ignores” comments of less than 5 words so “good post” will not cut it! This will build a strong connection with your followers and increase the likelihood they will engage with your Posts.
Strengthen this bond by adding a human touch through video. This concept is often alien to a CEO just starting out on their LinkedIn journey. However, they can easily be shot from your mobile phone and immediately uploaded via the LinkedIn app. Videos bring the personal touch, so be brave!
A CEO could use video to highlight their interests and skills, great team performance or express an opinion on the latest industry hot topic. For inclusion, do ensure your videos have subtitles since people are more likely to watch them with the sound muted and I recommend the app Zubtitle for this.
Strategy and Targeting
I recommend having a CEO LinkedIn strategy, in place. I am aware that for a busy CEO, the task of Posting regularly on LinkedIn to grow your business can become overwhelming.
As a first step, import your Contacts from your registered email ID, Outlook and other devices.
And use suggestions from the “My Network” page to connect with other LinkedIn members. You can also connect to people who are visible on your Home Page or use the Search tab filters to discover your target audience.
To improve the acceptance rate of your connection request, always add a personalised note to your connection request. Use psychologically appealing words such as “open to” and “would you be against”? to maximise acceptance rates.
LinkedIn is a great marketing tool with its reliability, reachability and relevance, so update, enlighten and captivate on this platform to build both your own personal brand as the CEO and accelerate the growth of your business!