SOCIAL HIVE

LinkedIn

A new territory for communications

Summary
Executive summary3 Avant propos4 Entretien  5

B C 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4

LinkedIn, a communications tool that’s underutilized  LinkedIn’s Ecosystem A look at the Company space A look at the Careers space A look at the Products and Services space A look at the Group space

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D Which strategy should you adopt? 3.1 Define your objectives… 3.2 …and possible focus areas 3.3 Structure your ecosystem 3.4 Activate your ecosystem  3.5 Best practices: Dell and Microsoft 3.6 A content strategy in line with different types of usage 3.7 The Company space: using your audience to generate clicks E Resources 4.1 Entry level: Engage employees The importance of involving high potentials 4.2  4.3 The role of top management 4.4 Community managers and ambassadors The role of community animators 4.5  F Measurement 5.1 Performance measurement 5.2 Proposed KPIs
Check list: how can I develop my presence on LinkedIn?

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Executive Summary
LinkedIn is the biggest professional social network in the world. Most companies develop their presence on it as part of their recruitment policy, but LinkedIn is so much more than just a recruitment tool – it’s a professional networking platform, and a B2B communications channel. According to a recent study*, LinkedIn generates four times more B2B leads than any other social network, including Facebook and Twitter.

So why are companies still not using LinkedIn to its full potential? In this whitepaper we highlight the benefits an enterprise can reap from having a structured LinkedIn ecosystem and outline how to develop the right editorial approach for the ‘Company’ and ‘Groups’ spaces. We believe that: Most companies aren’t making full use of LinkedIn’s potential for communications and building their corporate image  Companies need to develop a dedicated editorial strategy and community management policy to encourage discussion, and increase awareness among their target audience (including potential employees, partners and industry professionals) LinkedIn offers powerful business solutions with a range of tools that companies need to exploit if they’re to grow their influence Employees act as potential ambassadors, and this fact should be leveraged on LinkedIn: those ambassadors can carry corporate messaging, share experiences and support the company’s values When measuring the impact of your company’s LinkedIn activity, do take into account criteria beyond traditional HR indicators: as for any other social network (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), the commitment rate, active membership and reach prove to be the main KPIs

* Hubspot study, 2011: http://www.hubspot.com/eBooks/learning-linkedin-from-theexperts/

3 LinkedIn Guide for Brands

LinkedIn – a neglected communications tool
Today, the world of social media and digital communication is heavily focused on Facebook and Twitter, based on the significant audience and creative communications campaigns seen on them. LinkedIn by comparison is considered a somewhat humble and understated social network. But don’t be fooled - a look at some factoids about the global professional network tells a different story: • More than 161 million members, across 200 countries • Since December 31st, LinkedIn has seen it’s fastest growth within the student and graduate demographic • Two new members join LinkedIn every second, - that is 1 million new members every week • Recruiting solutions proposed by LinkedIn are used by 82 out of 100 of Fortune’s 2011 largest companies • More than 2 million businesses have a corporate LinkedIn page • As of 31 March 2012, more than 400,000 unique domains actively use the LinkedIn «Share» button from their web-sites in order to share relevant content on the LinkedIn platform

Digital Identity
Stanislas Magniant,

EMEA Head of Social Hive, MSLGROUP

Twitter account:
@msl_group

Sites:
www.mslgroup.com

SOCIAL HIVE

LinkedIn is a corporate communications platform that is at once both deeply efficient and significantly undervalued

• LinkedIn has evolved and grown significantly over the past few years. It is no longer just an HR platform that caters to recruiters, candidates and professional networking. • With the development of LinkedIn Enterprise, LinkedIn Today, and a slew of social applications, LinkedIn has become a corporate communications platform, as effective as it is undervalued. • Communication directors, marketing directors and even sales departments should focus less on how to grow their fanbase on the company Facebook page and more on the opportunities that LinkedIn presents. They can share their company’s activities, develop expertise and thought leadership, leverage a network of employees to develop an e-ambassadors program and even generate commercial leads using LinkedIn. • In short, companies can replicate what they currently do on Facebook, but in a more professionally appropriate and effective way to engage employees, business partners and potential candidates. • This whitepaper is not meant to be a detailed manual, but an introduction to the opportunities that LinkedIn offers corporate communications and B2B professionals. • It is also a guide for community managers who wish to develop the right editorial strategies on LinkedIn. If you’re looking to develop your company’s presence and reputation on social networks, we invite you to take another look at LinkedIn’s potential using our whitepaper.

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L au r e n c e B r e t
MARK ETING DIRECTOR, L i n ked I n E U R O P E

Interview

a platform for editorial content
LinkedIn has significantly evolved over the last year and added apps such as the newsfeed and LinkedIn Today. Can you share with us the reason behind this increased focus on content? Among other reasons, LinkedIn members log on to the network to access information about the sector they work in. Information plays a key role in the decision making process, and we need to offer quicker access to it. That is why LinkedIn offers information applications such as LinkedIn Today, discussion groups, company spaces and members’ status updates. There are more than a million groups on LinkedIn today. 81% of our members subscribe to group discussions and 50% are active participants. In addition, 47% of our members use LinkedIn to find and understand the latest trends in their industry. Tell us more about the editorial feature ‘LinkedIn Today’. LinkedIn Today is a fairly revolutionary tool in terms of content curation: it automatically selects and distributes to each user the information that is most relevant for him or her. Articles are selected based on popularity amongst members on LinkedIn and what fellow industry members are reading. This allows our users to stay up to date with the current trends and receive a continuous flow of information about those trends. LinkedIn Today is a popular feature that builds visitors’ engagement. Do companies use LinkedIn more as a source of information rather than a communications tool? LinkedIn’s activity for recruiters is based on two pillars: sourcing and employer branding. The latter evolves around communication campaigns. In terms of sourcing, our flagship product is the Recruiter, which provides unlimited access to the entire network as well as the ability to post job announcements. We have also recently launched another product called the LinkedIn Talent Pipeline that allows recruiters to integrate external sources into this working environment such as a candidate’s or an employee’s CV. In addition, in the area of employer branding, we offer the Careers space, which allow businesses to promote themselves and disseminate job offers. And we fully contextualize this space based on recruitment needs and the company’s targets. In addition to these products for recruiters, we offer the opportunity for advertisers to communicate through our marketing solutions. This offer includes both “classic” products such as text ads and posters as well as social networking opportunities offered exclusively through LinkedIn. What benefits might one expect as a result of developing a content management strategy for a Company and Group space on LinkedIn? Creating a Company space helps increase visibility on the network. This space can then include paid marketing services. The company space helps in marketing the brand, both business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C). You can also use our advertising solutions to reach a very specialized audience, by targeting your campaign based on member profiles. Companies can publish articles and status updates on their space and allow members to follow their content. Since LinkedIn is a professional network, following a company on it brings more opportunities to engage in a professional fashion, than on other social networks. This allows companies to create more involved communities around their brands and services.

5 LinkedIn Guide for Brands

1

LinkedIn, a communications tool that’s underutilized
Most companies have a very practical approach to LinkedIn, using it primarily to hunt for potential employees. However, LinkedIn has also proved itself as an essential communications tool both from an HR communications perspective and in terms of a company’s image and influence. LinkedIn pages of the 10 most followed companies* as of 01/03/2013
Last year’s ranking 2 1 5 3 4 7 8 6 NEW NEW Number of Status followers Updates 1,008,406 970,787 895,147 797,493 751,519 584,234 567,314 550,587 452,645 432,571 Links to blog Online discussions

Company Hewlett-Packard IBM Google Microsoft Accenture Deloitte Apple Oracle Ernst & Young Unilever

* LinkedIn brands sorted by number of followers

LinkedIn is a communications platform that the majority of companies have not yet fully integrated into their communications strategies. The 10 most followed companies on LinkedIn* animate their space with status updates (in most cases with new hires and job announcements), but only five update their space with blog posts and only three have a proper community management strategy, which involves generating discussions on the page.

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LinkedIn’s Ecosystem
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2.1 A look at the Company space
A Company space is created automatically as soon as a LinkedIn user declares herself an employee of a given company on her profile. So your company might already be present on LinkedIn, but you’re perhaps not aware, and may not control that presence. There are two types of LinkedIn users to target: your employees and users who follow your company. LinkedIn offers information and statistics for your company’s presence on the network, as well as a News space which is open for other users’ comments. Certain types of information are managed by the company, others are not.

The Company space on LinkedIn can be compared with fan pages on Facebook : it acts as a hub for all the company’s activities on the network

Logo and company branding

Statistics : • Number of employees, demographics, data and history • Number of followers

This space shows activities on LinkedIn, including: job offers, new hires and appointments, blog posts and any other communications published by the company. This space can be managed to a degree. Messages published in this space are visible in the information flow of members of the page. One can like the news, comment and share it in the same way as on Facebook.

Calls-to-actions

A space dedicated to your subsidiaries. NEW: if you own groups, you can feature them here.

More space for information about your company

The pages the people who visit your page also viewed. Useful to identify how you are perceived.

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2.2 A look at the Careers space
The Careers space showcases your recruitment activities on LinkedIn: new job announcements, HR communications and other information about your company can add value to the space. This space is completely under your control. It’s possible to personalize it by adding your company’s colors and your objectives. The space can be further modified to match the type of visitor, so a communications professional would not see the same home page as an engineer for example. The Careers space is paid for and is not mandatory

The Careers page is usually integrated into the Company SPACE. You can have access to your Company SPACE without viewing the Careers SPACE.

Personalized banners for different types of visitors

A personalized introduction with our without video depending on the type of visitor

Job offers at your company personalised for different types of visitors

The company pages’s updates & descriptions also take place on the career page

2.3 A look at the Products and Services space
LinkedIn offers all Company spaces a special tab to promote their products and services. Like in the Careers space, you have full control over the the content under this tab and you can target your content in line with your visitors’ demographics. The space is fully customizable: you can add banners and a video to showcase products or services. Rather than adding an advertisement, consider more personal and original content including expert points of view. Think about managing what you post here, keeping in mind the content should be consistent with the story you want to tell about your business. The only social aspect of this tab is that LinkedIn members can recommend your products and services.

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2.4  A look at the Group space
Current job offers, information about training sessions and best practices can all be shared on Group space. In addition, most LinkedIn users tend to look for expert opinions in the Groups. Unlike the Company space, a Group space is not managed by the company, but by individuals.

A Group is a space for employees to exchange best practices with industry experts. It’s an optimal platform for exchange of ideas within your company!

Logo and description Launch a discussion or a poll Group news, updates on new members

RSS feed with the latest discussions

Ads

The most commented on discussions. It’s possible to like a status, add a comment and share it in the same way you would on Facebook. Types of messages : • Experience, knowledge and best-practice sharing • Job offers or training sessions

A list of the most active users in the Group, which effectively highlights the most influential experts in the discussion space

The Group’s statistics

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3

Which strategy should you adopt?
3.1 Define your objectives…
As with other social networks, simply being on LinkedIn is not sufficient. You need to do more. And before that, you need to define your objectives. Don’t only think of LinkedIn as a recruitment tool. LinkedIn in fact enables companies to build an image that attracts talent and makes people want to work for your company. In addition to advertising, joining in the discussions on LinkedIn also gives you the opportunity to polish your employer brand. So, look beyond traditional recruitment goals, and make sure you set new ones: reaching out to expert communities, attracting new suppliers, influencing professional communities, etc. To achieve your goals, be active on the site, and develop your own tone of voice. A member connects to the network on average 1-2 times a month. The challenge is to find a way to be there when they are connected and have the content you posted highlighted. You can help do this by interacting with more active members who log in several times a day, and exchanging experience and best practices with them.

3.2 …and possible focus areas
On LinkedIn, more then anywhere else, the best way to add value to your company is to animate spaces via editorial content.  Define a focus area that’s in line with your expertise, strengths and the values of your organisation. Why would following you or participating in the discussions be an added value for a professional? Are you considered a talent incubator in your field? Is your expertise acknowledged worldwide? Have you adopted an innovative management system? These are all assets that can add value when shaped through the prism of your ambassadors and your employees, and their stories and experiences. Once you’ve defined your focus area, you will be in a good position to develop an editorial strategy for each LinkedIn space.

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Structure your ecosystem
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The Company space is the center of your LinkedIn ecosystem. It should enhance the visibility of the company’s news, its views, projects and goals. It should also be a hub for your entire LinkedIn ecosystem.

The Company Space

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The Careers space is the space dedicated to HR – opportunities, career paths, testimonials – a showcase dedicated to recruitment. The pages are most useful for medium or large companies that have to manage a significant number of prospective employees.

The Careers Space

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The Groups are the main spaces for conversation on LinkedIn, and need a targeted, clear and contentfocused editorial positioning. A company can create and animate several groups based on various professional communities, its target, its core businesses or its geographical locations... The challenge is to structure these groups so as to be able to tap into both internal and external audiences that are broad enough to encourage dialogue and a fruitful exchange.

The Groups Space
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3.4 A  ctivate your ecosystem
In order to create a real LinkedIn ecosystem, you need to create synergies between the Company space, the Careers spACE and the Groups. The most effective way to do this is to create links between these spaces, but at the same time maintain the particular identity and purpose of each page. Do take into consideration that users spend less time on LinkedIn than on Facebook, therefore it’s better to concentrate on the quality versus quantity where content is concerned.  

Focus on the three components of your editorial policy • Corporate information and news 1. First off, include this on the Company space 2. Add it to the Careers space, if that’s in line with your company’s HR and CSR policy 3. Add news to the Group pages only if it relates to those users • Thought leadership 1. Depending on the topic, add to the relevant themed Groups so as to encourage discussion and attract people to the Group through exclusive content 2. You can also add to the Company space to support the corporate vision, and leverage the discussions and the dynamism of the group 3. Add to themed Groups that are similar to the current Group in terms of either audience of subject matter 4. Add to the Careers space only if the content talks to top management’s vision or throws fresh light on HR and management policy

• Third-party content (*curation) 1. In the first instance, include this on the Group pages. This is essential if you’re going to animate conversations between professionals interested in the same topic (warning : make sure it does not exceed 50% of your editorial content) 2. Include in the Careers space only if the content focuses on career paths within the company 3. Add to the Company space only if the article, which should be available online, provides a new perspective on the company
*Curation is the art of selecting, filtering, organizing, indexing and commenting on content across specific topics

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3.5  Best practices: Dell and Microsoft
Dell is one of the 10 most-followed companies on LinkedIn with nearly 420,000 followers. The company makes the most of this significant community through a content management strategy: interesting articles, company news and an updated calendar help to turn this potential audience into an actual audience. Alongside the editorial approach, the company also engages in real-time community management activity: each post is monitored and as soon as a follower of the page in question reacts, a company spokesperson responds. Thanks to this openness, the company has established a dialogue which helps engage people in the longterm. Moreover, Dell is sharing its messages and values ​​ in a way that brings a strong human element to the brand. Microsoft is one of the most active companies on LinkedIn and its Company page is exemplary. Followed by just under 800,000 people, Microsoft has embraced LinkedIn at the heart of its communications strategy. Working with both company and industry news as well as employee testimonials, Microsoft works off an editorial strategy focused on several new posts each day. That said, you can’t help notice that while their the community manager has adopted a very engaging way of posting articles, s/he is somewhat reserved when it comes to responding to comments. Microsoft’s Company page is an example ​​ of a dynamic company, looking to the future and open to its followers’ comments.

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3.6 A  content strategy in line with different types of usage
Each space that LinkedIn offers includes a number of complementary features and tools. While some content, like news / short updates, can be found in all three types of spaces, other types of content are less or more relevant to any given space.

Help on how to adapt each space according to how it’s used:

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Company News

{TARGETED APPROACH NEEDED}

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Thought Leadership

{TARGETED APPROACH NEEDED}

Job Opportunities

{TARGETED APPROACH NEEDED}

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3.7  The Company space: using your audience to generate clicks
early 2012 a new feature enabling Company space to target the posts published to a very specific category of followers was offered. Do you want to find out what a community of senior telecom specialists, who follow you, think of one of your latest innovations without spamming others? Now you can!

LinkedIn now gives companies a legitimate way to talk directly to their target audience…..

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4

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4.1 E  ntry level : Engage employees
When you’re starting out, the most cost-effective and efficient approach is to let employees know, via your traditional internal communication channels, that your spaces and groups on LinkedIn exist. The core of your LinkedIn community are your  employees. It may be useful to incentivize contributors so as to create a little competition.

4.2 T  he importance of involving high potentials
LinkedIn provides a forum for high potentials. Their involvement in LinkedIn’s Groups discussions can humanize communications, highlight their talent... and keep them in the company! They can animate one or more groups by posting articles, links and opinions... It’s a win/win strategy : personal branding is the motivation while you’re also helping develop the company’s employer brand.

4.3 T  he Role of top management
As well as average users and high potentials, the role of top management can be crucial in bringing to life internal and professional communities. Simply posting a «like» or commenting on a colleague’s post can be powerful, and encourage further participation.

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4.4  Community managers and ambassadors
Creating a thriving social network is impossible without a community manager, and LinkedIn is no exception. A question left unanswered, a post that’s been ignored.... These are factors that can dampen enthusiasm in a community, and cause your audience’s engagement levels to dip. Every post, message, question... should be addressed, no matter how small or insignificant. As far as professional communities are concerned, the level of expertise must be extremely high. That’s why you must identify Ambassadors, high potentials who embody excellence within their profession, their peer group, their role… These people need to actively participate in the animation of their thematic groups – supported by a community manager, someone who is responsible for the flow of communications, for measuring it and helping members and followers find their way around.

4.5 T  he role of community animators
Community Manager • Monitoring • Editorial planning • Content publication • Comments management, answering members/followers • Help/redirect members/followers • Acts as a link between the company and LinkedIn users • Alert management should a sensitive topic come up • Moderates Ambassadors • Sectors and topic monitoring • Content publication, providing links, posting thought leadership… • Answering questions/comments on expert topics • Engages the company’s employees

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5

Measurement
5.1  Performance measurement
What are the KPIs for LinkedIn? If you decide to implement an editorial strategy, the KPIs should be the same as those of the other social networks where your company has a presence: engagement rate, audience, loyalty, etc. In addition, any impact on the employer brand, the number of CVs received, and the cost of hiring using traditional methods should be taken into consideration.

5.2 P  roposed KPIs
Quantitative • The engagement rate for the Company space posts (based on the number of interactions with the audience) • Visitors to the Company and Group spaces • Internal and external reach rate • The number of discussions where your company’s experts participate on Group spaces (yours and affiliates’) • The number of CVs received • The number of information requests received Qualitative • The tone of comments received across the company’s LinkedIn presence (Company and Group spaces)

18 LinkedIn Guide for Brands

Check list: how can I develop my presence on LinkedIn?
1. Audit what you have
How many pages are linked to your company and its focus areas (name, audience, employee usage rate)?

2. Define your objectives
There are three types of objectives : - Business objectives - HR objectives - Image/reputation objectives

3. D  efine your focus areas and structure your LinkedIn ecosystem
- Restructure your Company space, and if you have them, your Careers and Products and Services spaces according to the objectives you’ve already defined - Outline your editorial strategy for spaces you manage - Identify Groups in which your company can legitimately add comments, and also new Groups it can create - Identify your internal ambassadors - Produce a guide for employees as to how they can best be part of your company’s LinkedIn presence

4. Community management
Implement a community management strategy.

Contact us
Stanislas Magniant
stanislas.magniant@ consultants.publicis.fr

Follow us
http://www.linkedin.com/company/ MSLgroup http://www.twitter.com/msl_group http://www.youtube.com/ mslgroupofficial http://www.mslgroup.com/

Dimitri Granger
dimitri.granger@ consultants.publicis.fr

Tel. : +33 (0)1 44 82 45 00

SOCIAL HIVE

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20 LinkedIn Guide for Brands

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