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About Desirable Employer Brands: Storytelling on LinkedIn
Campfire – Employer Branding Tools 24 July 2018

About Desirable Employer Brands: Storytelling on LinkedIn

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© John Schnobrich

Employer branding on LinkedIn? Sounds dull at first, and it usually is. If you click through the profiles of a wide variety of companies, you won’t find any inspiring stories that make you want to change jobs or apply for the next job. But the international business network now has over 500 million users worldwide and around ten million in German-speaking countries alone. The IT, finance and automotive industries in particular, but also marketers, advertisers and the start-up scene are on the platform.

“We’re hiring?” LinkedIn can do more than simple recruiting. It offers real potential for building an attractive and sustainable employer brand through storytelling:

More stories: With IKEA Out-of-the-Box

Business networks are designed to do two things: Attract new employees to companies and cultivate relationships with business partners. Here, it is important not only to talk about one’s own advantages and products, but also to create an inspiring brand environment. Young talents in particular also want to sign a certain attitude toward life with their contract. Status symbols and high salaries are no longer attractive – values, meaning and vision are in demand. But how do companies get that across to the target group?

Stories have the power to grab attention and captivate audiences. IKEA Switzerland, for example, writes an online magazine that is simply not about its own products for a change. Under the title “Life at Home,” the authors deal with the future of living. From mini houses to interviews with architects to innovative home textiles, experts and interested parties can scroll through the magazine.

Stories like these, which create a holistic brand world, can be spread on LinkedIn or posted as articles directly on one’s own site using the blogging tool. Well-known “bloggers” rise to “influencer” status in the process, and are then featured on LinkedIn Pulse. This not only brings advantages for sales and HR, but the brand can also position itself as the expert of choice.

Inspiration and vision: How ECONYL® became a mentor

Because one of the most important roles in storytelling is that of the mentor. In his book “Story Wars,” storytelling expert Jonah Sachs distinguishes 15 archetypes. Their individual combinations create a very unique mentor type for each company. The mentor inspires, motivates, shares his knowledge or shows the way to the future. Since it is primarily industry insiders who are on LinkedIn, the business platform is probably the best channel for positioning oneself as an expert and mentor.

LinkedIn is also increasingly becoming a specialized knowledge platform, the potential of which companies should fully exploit. For example, Aquafil Group’s Italian brand ECONYL®, which produces regenerated nylon yarn from ghost nets and production scraps, reflects a mix of mentors pioneer and muse on its own LinkedIn profile. With a company vision to transform the textile industry into a circular economy, followers are regularly updated with industry news, insider knowledge and company news. Posts focused on the beauty and inspiration of green yarns, on the other hand, feature the muse.

Authentic Insights: How innocent drinks makes employees heroes

For an authentic and desirable employer brand, but also to strengthen the relationship with customers and partners, companies should make their employees the focus of communication. The central storytelling tool – the hero’s journey – is particularly suitable here for finding the right plot for genuine employee stories. Where does the team come from? Where do they want to go? What drives each individual?

The faces behind innocent drinks simply introduce themselves on LinkedIn in an image video. Snapshots, voices from the company, stories and great visions thus paint an honest brand image. Companies can also use the Career Pages to expand their company profile and, for example, highlight key characters or important contacts from Sales and HR.

Stories of ideas and visions, of emotions and real people should also make up the LinkedIn presence. Because only authentic communication emotionally connects team, partners and customers with a brand.

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