How Your LinkedIn Profile Is Connected To Your Company’s Success

July 28, 2008

As Director of Advertising Sales here at LinkedIn, I spend most of my time talking to companies about their marketing and advertising strategies and how LinkedIn can help them achieve their business objectives.  One topic that comes up often is the idea that the employees of a company are now a very visible part of that company’s overall brand, thanks to the proliferation of profiles on social networks like LinkedIn.

First, it’s important to note that a business' brand is much more than just a logo and a tag line – it’s a promise of value, a promise made and delivered by the employees of that company. Historically, that promise was communicated to customers through advertising, packaging, PR, promotions, merchandising and in-store experiences, and the only contact with the company's employees came from salespeople, customer service agents and communications managers.  The rest of the company’s employees where rarely exposed to customers.

That’s pretty crazy when you think about it: people don’t just buy from a company.  They buy from the people at a company. They buy from the people who create the products, the people who design the features, the people who make everything work, and it helps to see the experience levels, expertise, and skills of the people who provide and develop a company's products and services. Yet it’s been relatively hard for customers to learn about the people who work at a potential supplier.

That’s all changing, and for the better. LinkedIn makes it easy for a potential customer to learn about who works at your company, which will very likely impact their purchase decisions. Let’s say a customer was considering an enterprise software purchase and had narrowed their selection down to two potential vendors. Using LinkedIn’s People Search and Company Profiles, the potential customer could learn a lot about the people who work at each company: What experience do these people have? Who recommends them? Who are they connected to. What insights have they shared in Answers and what kind of expertise have they earned? The answers to those questions – in addition to the strength of the company’s product and its brand reputation – can greatly affect the purchase outcome.

If you’re reading this, chances are you have a LinkedIn profile. If your company needs customers to be successful, then everyone else in your company should have a LinkedIn profile too. Your product people should have profiles, your technicians should have profiles, your CEO should have a profile. You may even want to ask your marketing department for advice on how best to describe your company in your LinkedIn profile, as well as what is that you do to ensure there’s a consistent message about the promise of value that you, your company and your colleagues are making to existing and potential customers.

Is your profile doing all it can to help your company (and you) be more successful?

Tip #1: Have you checked out LinkedIn's Advanced People, Name and Reference Search

Advanced People Search on LinkedIn

Here's Adam Nash's 5 Tips on how you can search LinkedIn like a Pro

Tip #2: Have you checked out LinkedIn's Company Profiles?

LinkedIn Company Profiles Page

Here's a blog post from product manager, Maisy Samuelson, which includes a video demo.