Building Advocacy with a LinkedIn Ambassador Program – Part 1

Why self-promotion on social media is not a dirty word…and how to do it right

Have you ever Googled someone you just met and found that nothing comes up? It’s weird. It makes you wonder if they changed their name, have a secret history they’re not talking about, or are going to catfish us all.

In today’s social media-savvy era, we all have our individual platforms to talk about what we’re doing and what we care about – with LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Odds are, you’re more suspect to media and questionable in terms of your authority and influence if you’re not talking about what you’re doing than if you are.

Authenticity and trust are everything, even for executives of companies with the most cutting-edge technology. A 2019 study from Edelman found that 66 percent of people surveyed would rather stick with their brand of choice than a competitor that is more innovative or technologically advanced, and 75 percent said they’d value trust more than trendiness.

What is the key to differentiating your voice and point of view and establishing yourself as a worthwhile industry player? The name of the game is social influence, which essentially, anyone can gain with the right strategy in place. As long as you have a personality, something to say and a mouthpiece for saying it (which we all do now with social media), you can be an influencer too.

We all hear about the growing barrage of self-promoting influencers, and many of us often picture those Fyre Island influencers who were not totally aware of what they were selling. But the influencer force is still strong – one in three people trust influencers over brands. Influencers are typically self-starters and they can come from anywhere. The take-away on this from my perspective has always been, well, let’s build more of our own influencers.

Wondering how you can become the right kind of influencer for your industry and brand? First, know that self-promotion is not a dirty word. It’s a necessary part of the content-sharing process that establishes credibility for you as an executive. It’s also the way to get the most “bang” for your proverbial buck – by way of social views, engagements and interactions…. That is, as long as you’re doing it well – meaning, listening, engaging and celebrating / contributing to others’ work in addition to your own.

It’s also worth remembering the common adage marketers love to share that content remains king and message resonance is everything. It’s one thing to have your company LinkedIn page cranking out white papers behind a paywall without any indication of awareness to the larger conversations happening in plain sight in your respective industry. It’s quite another to position yourself as a company representative and industry expert who is acutely aware of and actively participating in the evolving discussions and collective problem-solving with fellow trendsetters and tastemakers of the world. In the world of B2B, you’ll want to be categorized as one of the disruptive / innovative execs who is engaging alongside colleagues, like-minded leaders, and the forward-thinking editors, reporters, analysts and influencers covering them.

We all have the tools to become influencers. In Part 2 of this series, we’ll highlight how PR pros can build a company full of influencers – and why it’s a good idea. Subscribe below for part 2 soon!