This blog is part of our PRedictions series, a collection of posts from PR and communications leaders offering insights, advice, and opinions on how our industry can grow in 2019. To view our full list of 2019 PRedictions, click here. Laura Hamilton, Manager, Client Experience, Weber Shandwick, predicts:
This may surprise you, but my favourite social media platform is LinkedIn. That’s right – while I love my inspiration boards on Pinterest, post regularly to Instagram, begrudgingly keep Facebook for work, and air my thoughts to Twitter hourly, it’s LinkedIn that holds my fascination. I even paid for the premium upgrade out of my own pocket for full access to the vaults of LinkedIn’s knowledge.
My obsession aside, the information, data and reach that LinkedIn collects is still untapped. It’s the platform that our clients as PR professionals most need to improve their presence on, as it’s not getting the attention it deserves. Its potential is massive and exciting!
How you present yourself as an individual on LinkedIn can make or break your next application to your dream company. It’s so easy to get it badly wrong.
But how you promote your organisation on LinkedIn is integral to your business – how your position yourself in the market, how you engage with users, and what you share and the language you use creates a strong impression on potential sales leads, potential clients and future team members. LinkedIn is primarily a PR and marketing function, but it also plays into recruiting talent. If a company shares engaging content, showing pride and appreciation in its team as well as knowledge, you demonstrate your company culture. LinkedIn isn’t just about talking the talk – you have to walk the walk, too. It’s not about spin – it’s about opening up parts of your organisation that you want to show off – creating a dialogue, brand awareness and transparency.
An outsider can glean a lot of information on an organisation by how it presents itself on LinkedIn – what it tells you and what it hides. And that’s before you opt for a premium and find out about a company’s HR retention!
While some companies will be on board with my passion, LinkedIn leaves others cold – it strikes them as boasting, or superfluous to its business plan and they ignore it.
But the power of social media is undeniable. A company without a LinkedIn page or an incomplete page looks untrustworthy, and sporadic posting looks lazy and like your organisation is underachieving. If you post nothing, it looks like you do nothing, you have no achievements – and for the most part, that simply isn’t the case. There has been a lot of research into how the public perceives LinkedIn profiles with no image and the answer is universally untrustworthy. It’s better to have no presence on LinkedIn than an incomplete presence. And to have no presence is to be out of the game and miss valuable conversations and opportunities.
LinkedIn is a tool – you just have to use it to your advantage.