LinkedIn has evolved to more than an online job hunting site and emerged as a hub for personal branding.
“When LinkedIn launched, it was primarily an online resume and e-networking site and its functionality was geared toward job search,” says William Arruda in an article for Forbes. “Today, with features like Groups, Influencers and Blogging – and dozens of other career-boosting enhancements – LinkedIn is the place to manage and advance your career.”
The evolution of LinkedIn is not in perfect parallel with corporate thinking about employees engaging on social media at work. Some still view social media activity as a waste of time. But, according to Arruda, other companies are taking a more forward-looking view and encouraging employees to build reputations on platforms such as LinkedIn.
Impressive statistics developed by MSL Group back up Arruda’s point:
- Brand messages reach more than 500 percent further when shared by employees in their networks versus the same messages shared via official brand social channels; and
- Employee-distributed brand messages are shared 24 times more frequently than official brand messages.
Because of its professional orientation, LinkedIn is an effective vehicle to demonstrate thought leadership and expertise and share your community and civic activities. You also can show your ability to write coherent sentences. It is a content marketer’s dream come true.
While email and one-on-one chats over coffee can keep you in touch with your existing close-by community, LinkedIn allows you to expand your community to different business sectors and geographical locations. There is an argument that diversifying your community leads to new gateways to personal and business growth. It is an intentional strategy to get lucky in finding contacts that open doors you never dreamed possible.
Participation in LinkedIn groups or reading comments from influencers can be learning opportunities that you can repurpose with your reflections in your blog.
When employees develop and enhance their personal brands, there is a risk others will come calling to steal them away. The job search aspect of LinkedIn remains. But employees leave for lots of reasons. Encouraging your employees to build their personal brands may provide satisfaction and a great reason to stay put and take on greater responsibility.