Ok, so the headline might be a little provocative, but the more I think about it, the more I think many big brands continue to under-utilize one of the more effective and useful social networks on the web today.
What am I talking about?
Think about these three questions:
Why do brands continue to use LinkedIn solely to promote jobs?
Posts like the one above from Fairview are all too common on LinkedIn. Which, for the most part, is OK. After all, LinkedIn is THE network people visit to find jobs, right? But, a steady stream of this kind of thing? That’s a different story entirely. And, we see more of that than most of us would like to admit. Strike one, brands. Instead, too many brands continue to ignore the networking and thought leadership opportunities LinkedIn presents–see below.
Why do executives refuse to complete their LinkedIn profiles?
I did a bit of quick research on one local Minneapolis company: Medtronic. When I reviewed the LinkedIn profiles of their top executives, here’s what I found:
And this (at least Mr. Coyle has a pic!):
What’s more, I looked up Medtronic CEO, Omar Ishrak on LinkedIn. Here’s what I found:
The CEO of one of the top med tech firms in the world doesn’t have a LinkedIn profile. Sadly, this isn’t uncommon. Many exec profiles are either non-existent or literally non-existent.–Mr. Ishrak is far from alone. And why? Because execs don’t need LinkedIn–at least, that’s my guess. They don’t find their jobs through LinkedIn. They don’t network there. They don’t learn there. They simply don’t use it. But, you know who does use it? EVERYONE ELSE! Lets start a list: Employees are no doubt aware of exec profiles on LinkedIn. What do you think their impression is of an exec with an incomplete profile? Or, what about job seekers? What do you think they’re doing when they research a company while going through the hiring process? Of course they’re looking at exec profiles on LinkedIn. Execs may not need LinkedIn “professionally”, but from a business POV, I would argue they do. It’s time they get the hint.
Why do brands continue to under-utilize one of the most under-rated tools in all of social media–LinkedIn Publishing?
The most under-utilized tool in content today? Without question, it’s the LinkedIn publishing tool. Once reserved for LinkedIn’s “influencers”, now anyone can use the free tool. It’s the equivalent of having a free blogging tool at your disposal–but one that reaches all your professional connections! Sure, there are “influencers” like Conan O’Brien, Richard Branson and Southwest Air CEO, Gary Kelly using LinkedIn publishing and seeing great results. But, other leaders who aren’t “influencers” are using it, too, and seeing success. Leaders like Jack Salzwedel. I blogged about Mr. Salzwedel’s social involvement earlier this year. LinkedIn publishing is a big part of it. He uses it to connect with all sorts of audiences–employees, vendors, agents. You name it. How is he so effective? Because very, very few of his C-level peers are using LinkedIn publishing. It’s easier to cut through the clutter when no one else is doing it.
Or, what about leaders who have used their LinkedIn profiles in times of crisis to communicate with employees and external stakeholders. Remember the Target culture kerfuffle of 2014? I blogged about it here. Target CMO, Jeff Jones, used his personal LinkedIn profile to publish Target’s version of the story. That was the ONLY place they told the story and shared the message. We haven’t seen too many execs take this path since Jones’ post last year, but I still believe LinkedIn publishing gives execs a great tool to do just that–in a way that’s a bit more personal, honest and open than other forms of communication.