Over the years, I have worked with companies who block access to all social media platforms within their network. This move was probably intended to keep employees focused on their work. However, the marketing, HR, and sales teams really needed access to these networks! No, I’m not talking about encouraging everyone to go waste their days on YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, etc. I’m also not counting the necessary marketing tasks of running advertising and content campaigns.
I’m referring to those of us in marketing and search roles who don’t have a perceived good reason to be on social media daily – as well as those managers or decision-makers who direct the time and activities of their teams.
Social media has matured into a major digital marketing channel. It shows up in attribution models and customer journey maps in nearly all industries. While arguments can be made about niche and old school industries, it is hard to ignore. Using social media at work is a positive thing for marketing and SEO professionals.
We should be encouraging social media use in our companies.
When given direction and focusing on the seven reasons marketers and SEO pros should be using social media, we can leverage its power and accomplish things that wouldn’t be possible from the brand’s profile and perspective alone.
1. Company Branding
The more content employees share about their work, role in the industry, involvement in their company, and engagement in their community, the more a brand can benefit. As long as guidance is given on how to ensure profiles are tied to the company and the content is tasteful, employees can serve as brand ambassadors on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and more.
We have all been to the stale and sterile profile of a brand that doesn’t showcase what employees are doing and isn’t connected with the people that make up that company. If your employees are doing awesome things in their circles, make sure they are encouraged and empowered to talk about it on social media.
2. Personal Branding
Years ago, I had a client’s HR department worry that marketing’s encouragement of employees and sales team members to be on LinkedIn and engaging in their industry would make them ripe for recruitment by competitors. This was backward thinking and thankfully, they learned to embrace the power of what their employees’ personal brands could do.
By building personal brands through sharing content, building larger networks, and engaging others, they found that individual employees were able to establish their own thought leadership and personas in the industry. This could mutually work for the employee’s career benefit as well as the company’s overall profile. Additionally, they found that their attrition rate didn’t change despite more visibility.
3. Business Development
Not all social media platforms are intended for business development. However, for B2B companies and even B2C when working on deals with wholesalers and suppliers, LinkedIn can be a fantastic avenue for new business. The mantra “helping, not selling” is key in any social media arena. LinkedIn (and even to some extent Twitter and Facebook) is much more than a modern Rolodex. It allows for building networks, sharing information, and doing outreach. While we don’t all think “yay, another unsolicited InMail!”, there is a place for direct messages and sponsored content in informing and reaching target audiences.
I spent hours on a Christmas Eve years ago on LinkedIn going through every search result bookmarking specific candidates I found for a web developer role. I ended up landing on the perfect candidate through that search. It was far better than was I got from listing the job on all of the job posting websites. With a hot economy and marketing and search talent at a premium, LinkedIn is a great recruitment tool. At the very least, it great for filtering candidates as well. The standardized format of profile pages with skills, experience, and recommendations in one place, it can show more than a flat resume document.
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