The use of social media in corporate communications is deeply entrenched in today’s world, with very few likely to dispute the crucial role that such technologies play in a firm’s communications strategy.
However, as ways of communicating via social media as well as the platforms in use themselves begin to shift, it will become more and more important to ensure that social media and corporate communications strategies remain aligned.
As X—formerly known as Twitter—becomes an increasingly controversial platform, LinkedIn has only grown in popularity, especially amongst younger audiences. January 2023 data shows that 60% of LinkedIn users are between the ages of 25 and 34. Meanwhile, in a November 2023 interview with FastCompany, Suzi Owens, senior director of corporate communications at LinkedIn, shared that “Gen Z is networking the most on the platform, making the most connections month-over-month,” based on internal company data.
While alternatives to Twitter, such as Threads, Mastodon, and Bluesky, have recently materialised, none of the three has yet emerged as a clear winner.
As a result, it is all the more important to ensure that a brand’s LinkedIn profile works in lockstep with its larger communication strategy, beyond its original employer branding purposes.
From an external communications perspective, LinkedIn can be an essential tool for interested parties to learn about relevant company moves, such as new hires, product launches, and firm expansion.
LinkedIn can also be a useful tool from an internal communications point of view, as in-sync social and traditional media strategies can help welcome new hires or celebrate promotions, for example.
As such, LinkedIn is a platform on which a firm’s internal and external communications strategies intersect, and the use of such channels should take into account the needs and limitations of both communications teams.
One of the most crucial—and often overlooked—elements in aligning communications and social media strategies on such announcements is timing. Arranging a dedicated LinkedIn post to directly follow a broader corporate announcement to the press can maximise audience reach, and also recognise new and existing employees for their accomplishments.
However, LinkedIn is an increasingly personalised platform, where individuals may not always be posting as representatives of a company. Thus, it is important not only to align social media and corporate communications strategies with each other, but also across all areas of a business. Employees from all business areas should be invited to join conversations about communications and social media strategies, as well as welcomed to actively contribute to them to enhance their individual, business and employer brand awareness synergistically.
Becoming comfortable working with relevant communications professionals can help individuals express themselves online while still working within corporate communications guidelines, and towards the firm’s larger goals. To this end, engaging a firm’s key online stakeholders in corporate communications processes can else also help prevent the pre-emptive disclosure of plans which are still in the pipeline.