By Alexis Karis
Launched 18 years ago, LinkedIn has become a mainstay in the world of social media and is an important part of most companies’ communications strategies. According to its website, LinkedIn is “the world’s largest professional network with 774+ million members in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide,” with the vast majority of professionals and companies having a presence on the platform. Besides its use for talent and recruiting purposes, LinkedIn is an important place for building and maintaining communication with your network, as Karen Wickre taught us in her book Taking the Work out of Networking. It’s also an important place to build and maintain your personal or your company’s brand.
In an effort to continue expanding our agency’s knowledge of the platform, I attended a “LinkedIn Bootcamp for Communicators” virtual workshop, hosted by Ragan Communications this summer. With eight different sessions over the course of three and a half hours, the workshop was packed to the brim with helpful tips and intriguing insights on how to take advantage of LinkedIn’s features. Throughout these sessions, I noticed a common thread. The topic that seems to come up the most was storytelling. Given its emphasis, I wanted to share three reasons why storytelling is important to your LinkedIn strategy.
- Storytelling… Builds Community
When building a community around your company or brand, utilizing storytelling in your communications is vital. Sharing stories that are meaningful and personalized to your brand will allow people to better understand who you are, and therefore form a stronger relationship. During our workshop, Rae Hoyt of LinkedIn Learning conveyed similar thinking: taking time to engage with your employees or customers, like sharing milestones, successes or celebrating their contributions, will help “build community through stronger relationships”.
LinkedIn is a great platform to both share these stories and build your community. Not only is your LinkedIn owned content – meaning you create and control it – but the platform truly allows for endless storytelling possibilities. Companies, employees, and customers can share stories via posts, articles, images and videos and connect one another through tagging. Those posts, articles, images and videos can then be re-shared and a community unfolds from there.
- Storytelling… helps conveys authenticity
You can convey authenticity in your LinkedIn communications by telling stories in a way that is true to who your employees are as people and is true to who you are as a company (i.e., your culture). In his presentation, Kevin Robinson of Bright Horizons discussed why employee spotlights are a great tactic for your LinkedIn communications.
Robinson explained that employee spotlights, which tell stories of employees from different levels and parts of an organization, can demonstrate transparency by giving a “behind the scenes” look at your company. Employee spotlights also show others that you value and appreciate each of your employees, their talents, and what makes each of them different. Companies should do so in a genuine way, however, because storytelling of this kind that is “too polished” will not come across as authentic.
- .. Makes Your Brand or Company More *Human*
As Marco Greenberg of Thunder11 put it in his presentation, “People are companies, companies are people.” Greenberg described the importance of adding a human touch in our LinkedIn communications for companies. He emphasized the importance of telling your company’s backstory and who you are in addition to telling the stories of the people who make up your company.
When telling these stories, Greenberg reminded us to share both the good and the bad of what’s going on in your company. Telling stories about the successes you’ve had as well as the mistakes and how you came back from them will make your brand more relatable – and more human.
While there are so many ways to utilize LinkedIn in your communications strategy, consider how you can utilize the platform to share stories from your organization and further build your online community.