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Corporate social media marketing certainly has its challenges. Over the years, brands have seen a drop in organic reach as social media networks are trying to monetize their networks by enticing brands to spend ad dollars.
On the other hand networks keep adding features that encourage engagement with the platform. Some experts have joked that networks send you notifications to say “You haven’t opened us in 22 seconds.”
Along those lines LinkedIn has rolled out a new tool that could help with corporate social media marketing amplification. Brand pages can now send updates to employees to notify them of a new post!
Here’s how that looks on your page:
The “notify employees” button shows up on top of each post when using LinkedIn in a web browser – like Safari. It’s not currently available in the iPad or iPhone app.
One reason why you need a company page
Once you click that button it sends an alert to all employees that have the company listed on their profile and have it linked to your official page. Here’s how that looks by way of example of my profile. All my positions are linked to official company pages. You can tell that by each role’s company having a logo in the left spot.
When no company page exists LinkedIn shows those roles like this:
From a corporate social media marketing perspective a LinkedIn page is worthwhile just so your employees don’t have that generic button next to their company name.
When you notify employees of brand posts on LinkedIn
A brand social media marketer clicks the “notify employees” button. This appears to send a notification to everyone that has that LinkedIn page listed on their profile. The notification looks like this to employees:
Once clicked, it takes the employee right directly to the post:
From there, employees, can like, comment or share.
So notifying employees has different functions:
- To make them aware of the post. There’s no official ask to do anything. It could be interpreted as an FYI.
- To hope they will like, comment and share, which can help with organic social media reach.
Read next: How to maximize organic social media
Keep in mind though that the FTC in the United States considers employees as influencers so the relationship must be disclosed on social media.
Once an employer notifies employees of a new post, they have to wait seven days before they can send another notification:
LinkedIn states: “To maintain quality notifications, admins can only notify employees every seven days. You can notify again on…”
Things to consider before notifying employees of posts on social media
I have always warned brands to not overdo the ask for company posts to be shared. I’ve seen marketing teams that send company-wide emails that look like this (slight parody):
We have just shared this latest award-winning, state-of-the-art post on all of our networks. Please share it:
<Links to posts>
And employees as a whole might not be opposed to sharing company updates. I conducted a quick Twitter poll to get a pulse on it.
If your employer’s LinkedIn page sends you a notification asking you to share an update would you do it?
15 percent said yes.
30 percent said no.
55 percent would consider if it’s a good post
“I used it to notify our employees when we posted about a recent award we won. It has a limited use, so we use it only for big announcements or other content we want them to push.”
India-based digital marketing expert Bhautik Sheth mentioned that “this is useful only if employees will share company posts on their profiles.“
Digital Policy Expert Kristina Podnar has some additional items corporate social media marketing teams need to consider: (This section is her thoughts).
The feature is a good one in theory, but the notifications settings need to be far more granular in order to be useful, especially in regulated industries. Consider for example, if an admin of a pharmaceutical company notified employees of a drug approval.
Good news to be shared for sure, but only by those located in countries where companies are allowed to market directly to consumers. Employees are seen as an extension of the company, and even something as simple as sharing a press release on LinkedIn could cause a regulatory misstep.
And how about former employees?
There are also other issues to be concerned about, such as pushing notifications to former employees. Often times employees who separate from the company under less than happy circumstances (layoffs, firing) tend not to update their LinkedIn profile right away. Do you really want to blindly push to them and the rest of the universe notifications around a new product launch? What if that causes a disgruntled ex-employee to post something negative or even start a negative online campaign?
Use or not use?
Point is, the idea is good, but the high-level LinkedIn capability does not match the nuanced social media policy that most organizations either have, or ought to have. Until such a time, I think admins ought to be weary of using the feature.
Kristina makes some good points. The former employee use case is one that’s easy to miss. I know of several cases where people were let go or left a company and they didn’t update their LinkedIn. They would still see the corporate social media posts notifications.
I assume the bigger the company the more likely this is to happen.
Consider the importance of posts
It is indeed important to consider the newsworthiness to all employees of posts. Is this really worth a company-wide push? And if it is, why wouldn’t it just be an email or in a company-wide Slack channel?
Also consider that there likely are employees that do not even check their LinkedIn and some may not be on LinkedIn. The point is that not all employees will see it. If the idea is that they should see it an internal channel might be better. If the intent is to get them to share it, make sure compliance with FTC rules is adhered to.
Tim Williams, CEO of Onalytica, joined me on the Business Storytelling Podcast and talked about employee advocacy previously. He mentioned that employee advocacy is often thought about in this way:
- Company puts out social media posts
- Ask employees to share
Sometimes that’s okay but employee advocacy as part of your corporate social media marketing program goes deeper:
- Empower employees to share their stories
- Offer training on how to spot stories and how to share them
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As always, at the least it’s good to know that you have this feature available and could test it as part of your corporate social media marketing strategy. Do keep in mind the potential issues mentioned here and weigh the value versus risk.