LinkedIn Elevate: Because Your Employees are Cooler than You

linkedin elevateOne undeniable truth about social media is that, no matter how you measure success, the number of people you’re connected to will always be an important part. Why? Because, for the most part, your ability to be “social” is dependent to the number of people you are “networked” to. It makes a lot of sense.

Along those lines, it’s always helpful to remember that people prefer to connect to other people rather than to businesses. For example, LinkedIn estimates that the average user has ten times as many connections as companies have followers. So, if you’re a company with content you want shared, it makes sense to ask your employees to help get the word out. More connections = better distribution.

LinkedIn Elevate is the newest attempt to do just that.

Your law firm’s content could use a boost.

As a recent post on The Next Web described, LinkedIn has really gone all in on content recently. Between the creation of LinkedIn Pulse and the development as LinkedIn as a publishing platform, they want to be the place that professionals go for industry news. And, if we look at it objectively, it’s been pretty successful. Personally, the plurality of my blog traffic comes from LinkedIn, and I don’t even use the LinkedIn publisher (although based on that last sentence, I probably should).

According to social media guru Kevin O’Keefe, one of the crucial ways for law firms to get their content to a wider audience is for employees to share the content with their own networks. Part of that post is based on a finding from the New York Times that posts that get shared by editors and reporters get considerably more views than those just found on the website.

Part of the reason for this is that traffic no longer comes through your website’s home page. As Kevin noted, the New York Times lost 50% of its home page traffic in the past year. Was that because nobody was checking out the New York Times anymore? Nope. It’s because more people were being connected directly to the content they wanted through social media.

Your law firm is less credible than your employees.

Ok, so the premise is clear – for your content to get wide distribution, you need it to be shared on social media. Moreover, it needs to be shared by someone with credibility. While your company might have credibility, apparently your employees have a LOT more. As in three times more. That’s right, your paralegal will be trusted significantly more than your law firm’s company account by followers on Twitter or connections on LinkedIn.

If that seems scary, just remember that authenticity is important on social media.

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One of the most trusted sources of news.

It’s why I recommend that law firm blogs shouldn’t be ghost written. It’s why your social media strategy needs to have your tone – something that can be easily replicated because it isn’t faked. If your online persona is who you really are, you’ll be viewed as authentic. For example, most people by now expect me to throw in some sarcasm, humor, or somewhat inappropriate (but always safe for work) memes.

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You build up authenticity on social media the same way. People read what you share because they have read stuff you shared before, and enjoyed it (or, quite possibly, the opposite). Your employees are trusted by more people than your law firm, and are considered much more authentic by the people who follow you both.

LinkedIn Elevate allows you to take advantage of your employees’ networks…

LinkedIn Elevate wants to give you the tools to take advantage of that. LinkedIn Elevate pulls content based on the algorithmic data they’ve collected from the LinkedIn Pulse news feed to push relevant content to your employees. All your employees have to do is share the information they’ve been sent, and they become part of your content marketing organization.

… but not in a creepy, bad way.

I’ll be honest, I looked at this information a bit cynically when I first saw it. Until I remembered Kevin O’Keefe’s article I posted above. Your employees really are your best ambassadors. Particularly your pool of associates, who are most likely to be the active members of your firm on LinkedIn. They have a massive pool of connections, many of whom are other attorneys, who will find your content useful.

LinkedIn Elevate even provides a bit of a carrot to your employees, an incentive if you will, to share the content. According to LinkedIn, members who share six pieces of content, they receive on average six profile views and two new connections. So your employees actually boost their own authority and personal network, all while lending the strength of each to your content promotion.

Yet, you only get so far by being authentic. To get people to see your content on social media, it needs to be shared effectively. That means being shared at the right time, on the right day, using the right media. I’ve written extensively about how to post properly on social media, as have hundreds of other incredibly important and well-respected marketing gurus. And we certainly learn new things about how to improve our social strategy on a regular basis.

How, in the name of, well, anyone, are your employees supposed to figure it out? Thankfully, LinkedIn Elevate seems to have a solution for that problem too. Last year, LinkedIn purchased the social media analytics company Newzle to boost its ability to deliver the right content to the right people.

Combining all the tools available, including stats on the best-performing content on Pulse, LinkedIn will pull content and suggest when each item should be posted for maximum exposure. There’s no point sharing your content if nobody’s going to see it!

Furthermore, LinkedIn Elevate will allow you to track the results of content shared through your employees, including likes, re-shares, and comments. You’re even able to track how your content boosts your company page followers and your company’s job postings.

In the end…

Unfortunately, LinkedIn Elevate is only available to a select number of companies at the moment, but is scheduled for universal release in Q3. However, you can sign up to be added to the beta list on LinkedIn.

While LinkedIn Elevate may not be for everyone, there’s no question that it can benefit law firms’ content distribution. While it will require a company that has the right type of internal culture, law firms are probably the perfect type of company to get significant benefit from this type of sharing.

You need to reach people for your content to be effective. LinkedIn Elevate makes it easier to make that happen.