Hanover

24 Sep 2019

A successful business leader must get people to listen, to engage and to follow. They need to communicate effectively to gain respect, credibility and earn trust in order to be able to influence and convince shareholders, employees, the media or the public.

Have you considered what role LinkedIn plays in positioning you as an effective leader and communicator? Ever thought about how it impacts your personal brand and professional reputation as well as the organisation you work for?

LinkedIn now boasts over 630 million members in 200 countries. Professional networking, corporate communications, content marketing and ‘social selling’ activity on the platform are at record levels.

Hanover regularly audits digital channels and content, including LinkedIn, as part of our strategic insight-based approach to integrated communications. Through this work we’ve noticed a real lack of attention and strategy around LinkedIn and that a surprising number of senior executives aren’t leveraging the platform as fully as they could, or at all, in some cases.

We’ve identified a trend where the more senior the executive (particularly at C-suite level), the greater the chance that their profile is underdeveloped and inactive.

We’ve identified a trend where the more senior the executive (particularly at C-suite level), the greater the chance that their profile is underdeveloped and inactive. This could be for many reasons, perhaps down to a simple lack of time for updates, through to a dated misconception that LinkedIn is only for those on the hunt for a new job and that LinkedIn profiles are merely CVs.

Consider an interested prospective customer, enthusiastic new staff member or a journalist conducting an initial search for you by name and job title. Entering this straightforward info into a search engine will likely throw up your LinkedIn profile as a prominent or first result.

If you already are, or are seeking to be, a business leader, then an underdeveloped and inactive profile will reflect badly on you. It risks you coming across as out of touch to both external and internal audiences. It certainly doesn’t say, “I’m an engaged, influential and trusted thought leader and I value my organisation, clients and team”.

we recently noticed one corporate organisation had over 20 people claiming to be the current CEO

It’s also worth checking for namesakes, especially if they are in a similar sector and location. Also check there’s not someone masquerading as you or in your role – we recently noticed one corporate organisation had over 20 people claiming to be the current CEO.

If you haven’t done so recently, then it’s time to review your profile and ensure it’s as developed as possible. Otherwise you risk damaging your own professional brand and reputation as a business leader, with the knock-on effect is that you may miss out on media, networking and business development opportunities.