by Josh Druck
on June 26, 2013

Social Business ROI – Start with your employees

Add it to the list! ROI is quickly becoming an overused buzzword in corporate settings. However, whenever you make an investment in a business tool, whether it is actual dollars spent or simply your time, it is important to measure the impact so you can assess the effectiveness of your efforts. The old adage that you can’t improve what you don’t measure is the name of the game here. However, social business can be a little tricky to measure because it doesn’t neatly translate into traditional business metrics.

As a Relationship Manager at LinkedIn, I loved showing clients all the great ways they could leverage the LinkedIn network to positively impact existing company branding initiatives. There was usually an “aha” moment in the discussion

when I showed how much of an influence their employees can have on the company’s larger initiatives, even by just having an up-to-date profile. I mention this because your social business ROI starts with your employees’ profiles, as they are the foundation for your entire social strategy on LinkedIn.

The LinkedIn network is an ecosystem that facilitates information consumption via many different inputs, such as an individual’s profile, company page updates, content sharing, etc. LinkedIn members often arrive on a company’s LinkedIn page after first visiting one of their employee’s profiles. The member was likely impressed with the individual’s profile and wanted to learn more about the company. This also happens in reverse; a LinkedIn member will visit a company page on LinkedIn and if they are impressed, they will look at employees’ individual profiles. In both very common scenarios, your employees’ profiles not only act as a reflection of the company, but they are also effective traffic drivers to your corporate assets.

How does this relate to your ROI? Before you can measure more advanced indicators such as content sharing and customer acquisition, you must first assess your most important brand assets – your employees. My recommendation is to start with an audit of how many of your employees have profiles on LinkedIn. Compare this number to how many employees currently work at your organization to see what percent of your employees are on LinkedIn representing your brand. This information is easily accessible, right on your organization’s company page!

Once your employees have LinkedIn profiles, they become brand ambassadors and can amplify all corporate messaging and job postings that your company is pushing out to followers. At PeopleLinx, we’ve been helping our clients develop content sharing programs to support a variety of goals, from brand awareness to lead generation. The results are promising: each time a piece of content is shared, it garners 15 clicks on average. Imagine what this could do for YOUR company. Think about the exponentially larger audience you could reach if all your employees had a consistent brand identity on LinkedIn, and shared a company update with their networks.

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