Social media managers: you know what I'm talking about. 

You're responsible for social media, and you're plugging away trying to raise your company's brand profile across social media platforms like LinkedIn, through posting some good content...but you feel pretty alone in your efforts. 

This is me about a year ago.

Your non-marketing colleagues are out at meetings, away, scared of the tech behind what they might have to do, or otherwise too busy to help - none more so than your senior manager colleagues - your c-suite. 

This group of people in particular are bound to have some really valuable contacts and connections on LinkedIn, so how can you tap into these networks in order to raise your firm's profile and multiply your current reach considerably?

The answer is really simple: with their explicit permission, you take control of their accounts. 

This may sound crazy - it's a lot of leg work for you to do on an almost-daily basis. Equally, this suggestion may sound obvious, except... how many companies actually use this tactic? I strongly suspect it's not practiced widely. 

Having a single view of these accounts through a social update scheduling tool where you can 'plug' all the accounts in and centralise the posting and measurement is even better, and the increased capture of stats etc will help you to prove the value and effectiveness of what you're doing.

It's a no-brainer; your c-suite and senior managers have (potentially) hundreds on hundreds (maybe thousands on thousands) of high quality, 'active' connections on LinkedIn, but without that push to launch your content out to them, how are those contacts going to see and engage with all that great content and thought leadership? How are you going to boost the number of people coming into the top of the funnel, and increase the likelihood of conversion into leads?

Once you've got control of those valuable accounts, put on your camo gear and get to work. Yeah!! 

Actually, you don't need camo gear - you just need to be methodical, diligent and disciplined in coordinating activity across the accounts you manage.

So Here are FOUR things you should be doing to make the most of the access you've been granted:

1. Optimise their actual profile.

Make sure they've got the right job title on there for a start, for god sake - these bods aren't always so active, and don't have time to update things themselves.

  • Are there company achievements you can add?
  • Is there a standard company paragraph or two you can add?
  • Are there images of company awards / achievements you can upload?
  • Are they connected to THE REST OF THE C-SUITE? I have seen cases of this not happening (outside of my own company) - true story
  • Have they authored any blogs you can retrospectively publish using the 'write an article' tool? Make sure you turn off their 'share profile updates' first (if you can find where this lives on LinkedIn now - I have no idea), and then away you go
  • Lastly, are their 'featured skills' the right ones? Do they make sense, or does it have something really random in there? If so, remove. 

2. Selectively ‘Like’ and ‘share’ your company profile posts (i.e blogs, company news, CSR activities, etc) on behalf of that account.

I say 'selectively' because you have to imagine you're in the shoes of that person (what content would they engage with?), but also from a strategic standpoint, you don't want your director of economic policy to necessarily be 'liking' a post which relates to monster trucks. You want to be reinforcing where their field of expertise lies as much as possible. Mix this with a bit of liking focused on CSR and non-controversial fluff.

Sharing and 'Liking' your company’s own content is a quick way to instantly increase your potential reach, as well as the opportunities for engagement. It’s a ripple effect.

3. Join your colleague up to some relevant external groups on Linkedin that make them and the company more visible.

Review the groups your senior manager is attached to at the moment - are they all needed, or are there any which are just noise / not so relevant anymore, that you could do without?

Make room for new ones which will help your content go further. Which ones will help boost your colleague’s profile, whilst simultaneously creating awareness of your brand?

Is your senior manager a member of even one group? You might be surprised at how much scope you have to improve the clout their profile has in future.

Joining these kinds of groups can also enable new contacts to be made, and allows your colleague the opportunity (albeit digitally) to position themselves amongst peers; even emerging as a thought leader in their field / industry.

Don’t forget to turn on group notifications to get real-time updates if you want to stay on top of a discussion. Due to LinkedIn’s recent ‘revamp’ (or backwards step if you ask me), you can only really view these by using the ‘Groups’ app on a mobile device.

4. Post your company’s blogs as long-form articles using LinkedIn’s ‘write an article’ tool.

If you manage to find the one place this feature now lives since the revamp (on the 'Home' newsfeed), it’s a good idea to make use of it. As before, post company content that’s as relevant as possible to your senior manager colleague, but particularly ones actually authored by your senior manager in the first place – this can often be a missed trick.

When you publish a blog in this way:

  • Hyperlink relevant keywords to relevant content on your website if at all possible. This helps encourage traffic to your website, and you might even get them to sign up for something so their details are captured (if you’re using certain marketing platforms, allow you to follow that person and see what they did).
  • Ensure you make use of the quote button within the formatting tool – this allows you to pull out choice paragraphs; helping add a feeling of gravitas and conveying real expertise / something of value to the reader.
  • Make sure there’s a call to action for the reader where possible. You could also add a generic call to action link at the end of your article like “Read more insight from <company>” which links to your site and/or “Follow <company> on LinkedIn” (linking to your company profile page, obviously…)

For more stuff about LinkedIn, go here.