Do We Have a Connection?

Share this content:
Do We Have a Connection?
Do We Have a Connection?

Only 32% of Gen Y employees (those ages 18-34) feel comfortable connecting with their managers via LinkedIn, according to a recent study from Millennial Branding. What's more, just 24% of managers are comfortable connecting with their millennial employees. This raises an interesting challenge. LinkedIn is the most effective outlet for facilitating social marketing and social selling in the B2B space. It's no coincidence that China bans popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, but allows LinkedIn. Because let's face it: China isn't going to miss out on any business opportunities.

So why should managers and employees connect on LinkedIn? There are a number of reasons, and they're becoming more important as the months go by. To start, your Gen Y colleagues are digital natives who have grown up with an online networking gene that the rest of us Gen Xers and Baby Boomers had to develop from scratch. They're already well accustomed to social marketing and social selling, so they represent an important channel that's at the company's disposal. The challenge is to harness this channel and use it effectively, including showing your Gen Y colleagues that you value their social media skills such as by reaching out and connecting with them through LinkedIn.

The second step is to encourage milliennial employees to share company updates, marketing messages, thought leadership pieces, and other resources with their own personal network. A thought leadership piece published by your organization, shared by you via your network, and then shared by your employees via their networks, can have a huge multiplier effect and increase reach almost exponentially. This reach is facilitated by trusted sources through a network of direct connections.

Another good reason to connect with employees on LinkedIn is to make them feel like they're part of the face of the company and encourage them to represent it well through all of their interactions. Potential customers don't just research your company; they also research the individuals within it and often make judgments (rightly or wrongly) about the kind of organization you are by the way individuals represent you online. Some may argue that their LinkedIn profile is their own, independent of the organization. I would argue that if you're advertising your current role and organization, then you have a duty to represent that organization and reflect its brand and values accurately.

As I said, LinkedIn is the social media channel that best facilitates B2B social marketing and selling. As such, it needs to be viewed as a channel that's beginning to rival the traditional direct channels and distributor channels. You need a strategy to leverage it successfully. Who better to help you formulate that strategy than the Gen Y digital natives on your team? So if you're a manager or an executive, take the plunge and connect with your employees on LinkedIn.

  John Golden is president and CEO of sales performance improvement organization Huthwaite where he is responsible for the company's global financial and operational performance and long-term strategy for success.
Loading links....
close

Next Article in Marketing Strategy

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

We recently were named B2B Magazine's Direct Marketing Agency of the Year, and with good reason: We make real, measureable, positive change happen for our clients. A full-service agency founded in 1974, Bader Rutter expertly helps you get the right message to the right audience at the right time through the right channels. As we engage our clients' audiences along their journey, direct marketing (email, direct mail, phone, SMS) and behavioral marketing (SEM, retargeting, contextual) channels deliver information relevant to the needs of each stage. We are experts at implementing and leveraging marketing technologies such as CRM and marketing automation in order to synchronize sales and marketing communications. Our team of architects and activators plan, execute, measure and adjust in real time to ensure the strategy is working as needed and change things if it's not.

Find out more here »

DMN's Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here