Part I: TELLING YOUR EMPLOYEES TO “JUST GET ON LINKEDIN”
Just doing something for the sake of doing it isn’t going to help anyone, ever. Unless you’re going to pick-up takeout or order pizza, then definitely just do it. For companies, however, the first step in getting your employees passionate about investing the time to be on a social network (which, let’s be honest, is a full-time investment if done right) is a big first step. One that requires an internal team or external agency team to:
1. Size up: set goals around the number of employees needed to be on LinkedIn month-over-month to show internal growth, adoption, use, and loyalty.
2. Scale out: is the enterprise big? Medium? What percentage of employees are needed to show a sizable footprint on the platform in order to meet KPIs or ROI of the project? Create an adoption plan that scales to the company and is capable of meeting internal social media adoption goals. Bonus if a goal is to also drive additional non-employee traffic.
3. Road map a plan to roll out the WIIFM: What motivates your employees? Do you know? Do the right people know? Do the majority of employees see social media as a way to better their careers or is it yet another burden, another tool to manage? Once the WIIFM elements are identified, present to excite and motivate to engage your employees about what to do, and this is key, what you are asking them to do without getting paid for it. The request needs to be clear, concise, have a time frame, and a goal that can be visualized & is important to all involved. Vague goals like: our company needs more LinkedIn followers won’t help the guy in accounting. Buy-in goals like: our company needs more LinkedIn followers to help us execute on trade shows and every employees profile and personal connections creates a meaningful way for us at Company XYZ to build relevant followers, so please share and comment on our company content! The WIFFM road map is a big one, so spend the bulk of your time making sure you understand how this is going to be communicated and re-communicated over the life of the project. Additionally: if you’re able to offer other incentives down the road, like a reward for posting and achieving a well-read LinkedIn blog, that’s a great way to keep the momentum internally.
4. Ensure employees execute on buy-in: meaning, deal with platform fatigue and understand what a lasting relationship with their company does for them and for the organization. Marsha in IT just spent an hour finalizing her LinkedIn profile and the past two weeks connecting with her employees, now what? What do you want her to do, exactly? How are you going to get her to do that start to finish? Executing on buy-in is a huge final piece of the adoption and success puzzle and one that involves collaboration across business units. While it may seem like one of the more daunting challenges, it does have a silver lining: you’ll quickly identify those employees that are most likely to be employee advocates. That is, your most powerful employee base for leveraging social media adoption and growth and the ones most apt to get ground-level change to happen across the organization. Everyone loves reading and sharing the CEO blog post, but the CEO isn’t going to sit down with you at lunch and talk about the company outing that you shared with your spouse on LinkedIn, that he then shared with his coworkers, and now you have the perfect ping pong team because he told his coworkers. Coworkers who have been trying to land an account at your company for quite some time and see the social invitation as the perfect opportunity to get face time. That type of a lunch conversation with an employee advocate then translates to photo and video sharing and impacts much more than just a couple new company followers on LinkedIn….Remember, everything is connected, both online and offline.
Just getting on LinkedIn is one thing, being relevant to your company on LinkedIn is quite another. What do you want your employees to achieve for their company?