LinkedIn has been around since 2003 and is without a doubt the world’s leading professional network. Boasting over 560 million users across 200 countries and having recently been acquired by Microsoft, it’s showing no signs of slowing down.
If you’ve ever explored beyond your own profile, you would know that LinkedIn has become much more than an online resume. A sprawling social media platform, LinkedIn is a prime destination for professional networking, recruitment, B2B sales, personal branding, content distribution, content marketing and more. And, most importantly for anyone working in employer branding, it’s one of the few places where brands and people can truly coexist.
Given the professional nature of LinkedIn, user are typically more receptive to brand messages than they may be on platforms like Facebook or Instagram. If someone follows your brand on LinkedIn, they’re likely to want to hear about what it’s like to work for you and what opportunities are available, making for a high quality and engaged audience.
It’s because of this that LinkedIn should be at the centre of your employer branding efforts.
There are countless guides that offer tips on how to improve your personal profile and land the perfect job or harness the platform’s power for B2B selling, however, you may have to dig a little deeper to find any great resource that demonstrates LinkedIn’s power for employer branding.
In this guide we’re aiming to solve that and take you through everything you’ll need to know to activate your employer brand on LinkedIn. From getting started on setting up a company page, to building a monthly content calendar, measuring your efforts and leveraging brand ambassadors across your business, this is your one-stop employer branding resource for LinkedIn.
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Setting up and optimising your company page
Already have a company page? Click here to skip this section.
You can create a new company page from the Work tab next to your profile picture.
Fill out your company’s basic information to get started.
There are both free and paid versions of company pages on LinkedIn. All pages come with an Overview section and the ability to post updates, while paid versions include Life Pages, job posting and various other features. Costs vary and are usually determined on a case-by-case basis, with packages broken up into Gold, Silver and Bronze tiers.
If starting out, we recommend using a free page initially to get a feel for the platform and only upgrading once you are certain you will get value out of the additional features.
(available to free company accounts)
Think of this as your company home page on LinkedIn. This is where you update your company description and basic info (employee numbers, address etc) as well as your page profile picture and cover image. From here, visitors can read about your company, see connections who work for you and view your latest updates.
We recommend filling this out as soon as you setup your page, as this is the first content users will come across when they view your company.
This should be your company logo and will display as a square. Recommended minimum size is 300 x 300px.
This is often overlooked but is a great way to bring an additional visual element to your page. Recommended size is 1536 x 768px, but you can reposition your image if needed. Also keep in mind that the edges will be clipped on mobile so if you have any text it’s best kept to the centre of the image.
This is the equivalent of the About Us section on your company website. Often simply copying this section from your website will work fine, just ensure it’s not too long and clearly defines what your organisation does.
LinkedIn company pages appear in Google search results so it’s important to make sure your description contains keywords that your company wants to rank for. The first 156 characters will make up the search result preview so make the first sentence count.
You can add up to 20 specialities, but usually 5-10 is plenty. These should reflect your company’s core offering.
This is where you update your company website, size, industry and more. Most of these fields are compulsory and self-explanatory.
You can add multiple locations if you have several offices. For larger companies, listing regional head offices is often a good idea as it helps candidates understand where they can work for you.
Use this field to link to any LinkedIn groups your company runs. These can be online forums, Alumni groups, customer help groups etc.
Pro tip: Once you’ve filled out this page, it’s a good idea to try ‘Go to member view’ (top right hand corner) to see how things look for page visitors.
(paid company accounts only)
If you’re using a free company account, click here to skip this section.
Life Pages are designed give an insight into your organisation and are a great place to showcase your employer brand. They can be built to show relevant content to visitors based on their job function (i.e. people in marketing will see a different page than people in finance), ensuring content is as rich and relevant as possible for each individual visitor.
There are modules to highlight your leadership team as well as share videos, images and content to give an insight into different areas of the business. There is also an option to include employee testimonials, blog posts from team members and an image gallery on each page.
For companies who are using a paid company account, it is definitely worth spending the time to optimise these pages.
(paid company accounts only)
If you are hosting any jobs through LinkedIn, they will automatically appear on your jobs page, making it easy for visitors to search through your current roles. Jobs will also show up in search results and can be recommended to potential candidates across the platform.
Building a content strategy
Good branding all comes down to having good content. This can sound easy enough but running an engaging LinkedIn page can be a lot of work, especially if you don’t have the right processes and resources in place.
The more structured you can be in terms of how you collect, plan and post your content, the more easily you’re going to be able to stay on top of regular posting and ensure you share a consistent message that supports your employer brand.
Image posts are typically the highest performing content on LinkedIn, with LinkedIn itself noting that posts with images generally receive a 98% higher comment rate.
Whether you’re highlighting people from your business, sharing open roles or giving an insight into company culture, including an image will go a long way to help your posts stand out and share your stories visually rather than through slabs of text. Below is a guide to different types of images that we’ve seen work well when helping companies tell their story on LinkedIn.
Candid/ authentic images
When it comes to employer branding, authentic is always best. There is a lot of highly produced content on LinkedIn that is easily glossed over, so having real images will help to make your content cut through and stand out on the platform.
LinkedIn is a social network and like with any social network, people want to connect with people. Even when you’re sharing content through your company page, the more personal you can make it, the more likely people are to take interest in what you’re sharing.
Highlighting people in your business is also a great way to encourage comments and shares, especially if they’re tagged in your post. People love to congratulate and support people they know and showcasing your people is a great way to instigate this.
Images with text
Layering text over your images or even posting an image that is solely text works well when you have a clear message you want to emphasise. People can sometimes skim your post copy so if you have something you want to call out, use the image space to do this. We’ve found that images calling out open roles and vacancies are very effective, as well as images that include quotes from people across the business.
Video is fast becoming one of the most shared and popular forms of content across social media. LinkedIn reports that videos on the platform receive up to 75% higher shares than other forms of content. So it’s not surprising to see LinkedIn focus on making it easier to share video content, finally introducing the ability for individuals and pages to share videos natively on the platform. This long-overdue upgrade brings the platform more in line with what users have long grown used to on Facebook.
This upgrade has made video on LinkedIn more viable and important than ever. Without needing to link to YouTube or Vimeo, videos now play smoothly in the newsfeed and may even start to see increased reach as LinkedIn’s algorithm typically preferences content that doesn’t take users off the site.
Producing videos doesn’t have to be an overwhelming or major task, many of the best performing videos are in-the-moment content filmed on smartphones. As we’ve mentioned, employer branding is all about authenticity and putting your people first, and that certainly applies here. While there’s nothing wrong with sharing slick professionally produced videos, you definitely don’t need a high budget to start engaging your audience with video content.
Simple, effective video ideas such as having your leaders share updates, showing your people at an event or short clips welcoming new starters are not only easy to produce, but also go a long way to open a window into your organisation for potential talent.
Pro tip: If you’re looking for a simple way to produce branded videos, this app will have you covered. No video skills are required, you can create a template, film, edit and upload all from your phone. Best part is it’s built specifically for employer branding and sharing video job ads.
Another form of content that has recently become popular on LinkedIn is long form posts that are written in short, punchy sentences. You know the ones, they start with something like “it was the greatest piece of advice I’d ever received” then go on to tell some form of motivating, feel-good story.
This style of post is definitely not for everyone but there’s no denying their effectiveness. And it’s no surprise that with clickbait-style opening lines and easy to skim sentences, these posts have become one of the most common content types on LinkedIn. Even if you don’t want to go all out with this style, using a short and punchy opening line in your posts is a great way to encourage people to read on and see what you have to say.
LinkedIn is a platform that naturally lends itself to sharing articles. From industry news to company updates and professional blogs, articles can be a great way to showcase your company’s initiatives and your people’s stories.
Linking to an article or blog on your website is a great way to drive traffic however linking to external articles can also be a great way to share interesting insights from your industry. Better still, if anyone from your organisation has given an interview or a quote for an online publication, sharing this is a great way to build credibility and put your people at the centre of your content.
Pro tip: One downside to sharing articles is they can sometimes see less reach and engagement than image and video posts. An effective way to get around this is to share your post as an image and include the link to the article as a call to action in your post copy.
LinkedIn has its own blogging platform that allows you to post long form content directly to the site. This needs to be done through a personal profile so you’ll need to identify people in the organisation who are comfortable to write and share their own content, but when done well is an incredibly powerful way to demonstrate your employer brand and company culture in action.
If you have someone in your organisation with an interesting story, whether it be an international relocation, a cross-functional jump or grad to management-style progression, encourage them to write about and share their experiences.
Sharing the perspective of your employees through their own eyes not only gives credibility to your employer branding efforts but also helps potential candidates to gain an in depth understanding of the people in your business and the ways you support them.
Beyond telling a great story, there are several other benefits to blogging through LinkedIn. Firstly, when a user posts a new blog their connections will be notified (depending on their privacy settings), which gives the blog immediate visibility across the author’s network. Secondly, the blog will automatically sit front and centre on the author’s profile, directly under their summary section, meaning anyone who visits their profile is likely to see the article. Finally, blogs published through LinkedIn are more likely to show up in LinkedIn’s search results as the platform can more easily detect keywords in a native blog post than when a post is linking to an external article.
Writing a great post
There’s no right or wrong way to write a post for LinkedIn but knowing a couple of key pointers will help you get on the right track.
Unlike platforms such as Twitter or Instagram, you can typically get away with saying more in a LinkedIn post. People are often more engaged given the professional nature of the platform, especially if your message is interesting and relevant.
For a company page post, the maximum allowed character count is 700. Posts will be cut off and the ‘see more’ link is added at about 215 characters (approximately three lines of text). Note that if you add a paragraph break, while this doesn’t add to your character count your post will still cut off at roughly the end of the third line.
That being said, don’t be too concerned if your posts cross over the cut off point, just be sure your first line or two are attention grabbing and make people want to read more.
Tone of voice
This will largely come down to your brand and comms guidelines but there are a couple of rules of thumb that are good to keep in mind. Overall, content on LinkedIn tends to adopt a ‘professional conversational’ tone. Posts aren’t overly formal (it is social media after all), but most users shy away from slang and colloquialisms that are more common on platforms like Facebook or Instagram. You don’t see a lot of emojis, for example.
The easiest way to approach writing a LinkedIn post is to think ‘how would I explain this to a colleague or someone I know professionally?’ Your language should be clear and direct, but also easy to read and natural.
Building a content calendar
Absolutely central to your content strategy should be your content calendar. A good content calendar will help you to plan upcoming posts while also allowing you to be reactive to news and updates as they come up. And don’t worry if you’ve never got around to setting one up, you can start at anytime.
When building a content calendar, we recommend planning one month in advance. This will save you from constantly having to chase content but doesn’t have you planning so far in advance that you’re not sure what will be relevant.
Start by mapping out any key dates or events you have coming up that you might want to share. Things to keep an eye out for can be PR announcements, team events, volunteer days and so on. Even if you don’t have content ready, this will prompt you to gather any photos or info you need on the day. The key to having a content calendar that works is to make it flexible. Don’t be afraid to move posts around and add in reactive posts as you need.
CoSchedule is a great tool that allows you to easily get a monthly overview of your content as well as preview and schedule posts, leave notes and assign tasks to other users – particularly handy when collaborating. The calendar also acts as a multi poster (similar to Hootsuite) so once your posts are loaded in ready to go, your calendar takes care of the rest.
Another useful way to build your calendar can be to set up a Trello board. For example, you can set up columns to arrange posts by Drafts, Waiting Approval and Ready To Post and add posts as individual cards. You can then move posts through each column and easily see where you’re content is at in the development and approval process at any point in time.
Your people on Linkedin
At its core, employer branding is all about people. Potential candidates who are interested in working for you want to hear stories from people inside the business to understand what it’s really like to work for you. It’s one thing for a company to say “we have a great culture”, but that message is much stronger and authentic if employees can share specific examples that showcase great culture in action.
LinkedIn is a great platform to give your people a voice, many of them may already be sharing updates about their role and life at your organisation with their networks. By letting people know you have a LinkedIn strategy, you can not only encourage them to be active on LinkedIn but also ensure their content is consistent and aligned with your employer brand. Having a bank of user-generated content is also a great way to keep your content calendar authentic and people-focused.
Building Brand Ambassadors
One of the best ways to showcase your people is to build Brand Ambassadors. Everyone has an interesting story to tell and LinkedIn is the perfect platform to start sharing these stories with your audience. Naturally, the spotlight is not for everyone but if you put the word out you might be surprised to see who’s happy to get involved.
When building Brand Ambassadors, it’s important to share insights from people at different levels of the organisation, as they all bring an interesting perspective to potential candidates. Naturally you’ll want to show off your leaders and their vision for the company, but it’s just as important for potential candidates to hear from people at a peer-to-peer level who are living and breathing the company culture everyday.
Developing Brand Ambassadors should include updating their LinkedIn profile as well as giving them the tools and support required to share their own content. Depending on your Ambassador’s capability and workload, a profile update could mean helping them to rewrite their summary and role description (maybe even writing it on their behalf), or simply giving them some tips and pointers on how they should talk about their role and the type of language they should use.
Once you’ve built your Brand Ambassador profiles, start feeding their stories into your existing content calendar. Content can be mix of videos, blogs, images or even short quotes and statements. Start with whatever you can produce easily and with what your ambassadors are most comfortable with. On LinkedIn, sometimes the most effective content can be the most simple – a natural looking picture of your ambassador with a simple quote about why they love coming to work can often drive more engagement than highly produced content.
At the core of your Brand Ambassador program should be the LinkedIn profiles and personal brands of key influencers within your organisation. Sharing your leaders’ stories helps to give potential candidates an aspirational view of your organisation as well as an insight into the direction and vision of the company.
Start by identifying high performers and leaders who are interested in increasing their online voice, network strength and telling your organisation’s story. Review their profile and help them make any necessary changes to ensure your employer brand and EVP message is reflected throughout their summary and role description.
From here you can help them to produce engaging and insightful content that can be shared both with their personal networks and through your content calendar. Again, this content will depend on their ability and what they’re comfortable with – we recommend starting with a simple quote or image and building up to more rich content such as videos or blogs. Alternatively, ghostwriting blogs on behalf of leaders can be an effective way to share their insights without adding to their workload.
Group training and LinkedIn info sessions
In many cases, your people will be the front door to your organisation and employer brand. The power of LinkedIn means potential candidates have visibility of who might be in their team if they were to join your organisation, who they would be reporting to and who they’re likely to engage with throughout the hiring process. For this reason alone, it’s crucial that your people are reflecting the company’s values and EVP message both when sharing content and through their LinkedIn profiles.
A great way to get your people active on LinkedIn is to host team training and info sessions or even a day where people can come and get advice on their profile in 10 minute mini-sessions. These days are a great way to not only raise awareness about the company’s efforts on LinkedIn but also helps people to understand how they can play their part.
Help to make sure their profiles are up to date and and that they’re showcasing the great work they do in their roles. By spending time with people interested in LinkedIn you will also have a great opportunity to explain your broader employer branding and content strategy and identify people who might be interested in getting involved or becoming Brand Ambassadors.
Pro tip: A common criticism of helping your people build their LinkedIn profiles is that it will help them to find another job. Make sure you’re clear that the focus is to make sure everyone’s profile is showcasing how their role impacts the company and ensuring a consistent message is shared across everyone’s profiles.
Most people will update their LinkedIn profile whether they’re encouraged to or not, but by front-footing the conversation you can provide direction to help them articulate what they achieve for the company and how their unique skills make your organisation a great place to work. This is much more powerful than leaving people to simply boast about their skills and achievements, which is more likely to attract headhunters than inform talent.
Analytics and reporting
Once you have your content up and running and there’s a strategy to your LinkedIn employer branding efforts, you’re going to want to understand what is and isn’t working. This is where LinkedIn’s powerful reporting and analytics features come in.
Social media report can be overwhelming at first, especially if you’re not familiar with key terms. As with any digital marketing or content platform, there is a wealth of metrics you can measure so it’s important to understand what you want to report on to avoid becoming lost in the data.
You can access your analytics dashboard from the navigation bar in the admin view of you company page. There are three main sections to LinkedIn’s analytics dashboard: Visitors, Updates and Followers.
Visitors is where you’ll find information on people who have viewed your company page.
Updates is the breakdown of engagement on your company page posts.
Followers contains any information on people who have followed your page.
Pro tip: Deciding what to report on is often half the battle when it comes to demonstrating social media performance. Understand what your business wants to learn about before sharing every detail, as things that you find interesting when browsing through your dashboard may not always align with the broader business goals for the platform.
As you browse through your dashboard, there are a few key terms you’ll need to be familiar with. LinkedIn includes descriptions for many of their metrics however these can sometimes be unclear if you're not familiar with social media reporting, so we've included a breakdown below.
Impressions: The number of views your content received.
Unique impressions: The number of people that viewed your content.
Note: if one person saw a post three times it would equal three impressions and one unique impression.
Likes, comments, shares: These are exactly what they sound like, you can break down post engagement based on the actions users took.
Clicks: This is possibly the most ambiguous metric on LinkedIn. It is simply the total of any clicks on your post (not including likes). These can be clicks on a link, the ‘see more’ button, a photo view or any clicks on your company name/ image.
Note: you can not break down clicks to see specifically where they were taken. If you want to track clicks on a specific link in your post we recommend using a link tracking platform such as Bitly.
Social Engagement %: This is also to referred to as ‘Engagement Rate’. It is the total of all actions on your post (likes, comments, shares and clicks) divided by the number of impressions.
Note: This metric is often the easiest way to determine if content is engaging as you can directly compare post engagement levels, regardless of how many views the post received. Typically, an engagement rate above 0.8 - 1% is considered strong.
Click Through Rate (CTR): This is the same as Social Engagement %, but only looks at clicks. It is the ratio of how many people clicked on your post vs how many saw it.
Note: While this is used in organic post measurement, it is more often used when reporting on the success of an ad or sponsored post.
With a user base of over 560 million professionals, LinkedIn is a powerful platform for building your employer brand and engaging with potential candidates. Much more than an online resume, LinkedIn has become a prime place for brands to share their stories, showcase their people and connect with their followers in meaningful ways.
By building a content strategy and helping to activate your people on the platform, you can elevate the power of your employer brand while giving talent the opportunity to learn first hand what it's like to work at your organisation. If you're looking to boost the reach and presence of your brand, LinkedIn should be at the centre of your efforts.
This guide prepared by:
Head of Marketing and Content