In my last blog post, I wrote about the power of using LinkedIn to reach clients, prospects and industry influencers online. C-suite execs typically have the most extensive networks, so any brand striving to improve engagement, customer loyalty, employee advocacy or investor confidence should be looking to tap into their contacts.
As a member of a brand’s comms team, it’s your role to support and advise your C-suite on how they can be visible and active across their social platforms.
But where do you even begin? Here are some of our top tips and recommendations that your execs can easily implement to help them reach that mighty ‘digital hero’ status:
- Own a narrative: your execs need to develop their personal brand in a specific niche. Having a voice on a topic or theme that is relevant to their expertise and passions (for example in tech innovation, diversity or data science) will go a long way to establishing them as a go-to expert and credible voice on those subjects.
Encourage them to write a list of as many that come to mind and see if there are any links between them. Stick to two or three topics tops to give their personal brand identity as much focus as possible.
- Engage, engage, engage: it sounds simple but liking and commenting on the posts authored by the people they want to get in front of is key! Once or twice a day is more than enough. Not only does this mean they are likely to click on to your execs’ profiles, but if they then engage with their comment the clever LinkedIn algorithms will trap them in their ‘content bubble’ for 72 hours. As a result, they’ll be more likely to see each other’s content in their feeds over the next few days.
- Post daily, particularly between 7–8am. These are the posts that will receive the most engagement. But, why so early? That’s because the post is public for the highest number of waking hours. It takes two hours for LinkedIn to index and rank the post, so it’s ready to roll at the start of the working day.
- Publish diverse content: there are two types of posts: promotional (news about the company) and engagement (industry news stories, personal and interest and humour). The people within your execs’ network who know them are likely to engage with your promotional posts, but the ‘lurkers’ won’t. They’re more likely to respond to engagement posts that relate to wider industry news stories. So, make sure they sandwich promotional posts between the engagement posts.
- Upload a branded header: the cover image on LinkedIn gets overlooked by so many LinkedIn users. This is prime real estate on any LinkedIn profile, but most tend to stick with the default light-blue background embellished with dots and lines… a wasted opportunity. Instead work with your execs to upload an image that represents the company you work for, which is great for brand awareness.
- Use a forward-facing professional headshot: your LinkedIn profile is your digital identity; that tiny round image is the first thing customers and prospects will see when they land on your execs’ pages. Research shows that profiles with professional headshots receive roughly 14 times more profile views and are 36 times more likely to receive a message on LinkedIn, so it’s important they look the part… But tell them to avoid selfies and filters at all costs.
If your C-suite are ticking these boxes, then there’s no doubt that they’re already ‘digital hero’. But if not, they’re likely to fall into the ‘digital contender’, ‘digital bystander’ or even ‘digital recluse’ camp.
Find out where your execs are on the scale by encouraging them to take our quiz.