LinkedIn as an internal communications tool in professional services firms

by Kirsten Hodgson

When you think of internal communications you tend to think of tools such as Yammer. LinkedIn doesn’t automatically spring to mind. BUT if you’re a lawyer, accountant, engineer, or internal marketing professional it should definitely form part of your internal communications arsenal.

At a basic level ensure your profile positions you well with your colleagues. Even if your clients are internal, they may well look at your LinkedIn profile to find out more about you, your skills and how you can help them.

What conclusions would they draw from your profile? 

By connecting with your colleagues on LinkedIn you can not only leverage one another’s contacts but can also use LinkedIn to help break down silos and make them aware of issues their clients might be facing with which you can help (through the status updates feature). If you use this in conjunction with one on one meetings, door-stopping, news-alerts, key client, industry sector and cross-practice group meetings, it can be very powerful indeed.

A couple of weeks ago LinkedIn launched its targeted updates feature to all companies on LinkedIn. This gives internal communications teams (and the professionals they work for) the ability to send tailored messages to their colleagues. While these will be visible to anyone viewing the company page they will only appear in the updates stream of those ‘followers’ you select. This could be a great way to communicate or reinforce key messages and sharing these on LinkedIn makes it easy for your colleagues to share these with their networks. 

When using LinkedIn for internal marketing purposes, focus on helping your colleagues. If they share information that your contacts would benefit from seeing, share their update (or at a mimimum ‘Like’ or ‘Comment’ on it). If you become aware of a skill they have that one of your clients may need, offer to make an introduction. Each month aim to introduce one of your colleagues to one of your connections who would benefit from meeting them. 

In large firms it’s almost impossible to know all your colleagues. You can harness the power of LinkedIn to get to know some of them a little better. It’s not a tool you should use in isolation but could add rocket-fuel to your existing internal communications initiatives. 

How else could you use LinkedIn for internal communications within a professional services firm? 

Specialising in professional services and law firm marketing. I help firms to retain and grow existing clients and attract more of their ideal clients. My core services include social media for lead generation, voice of the client programmes and tender strategy and development. Outside of work I love to run. I’m a bit like Forest Gump in that I’m not that quick but can keep going for ages. I also enjoy coming up with new inventions. Unfortunately, most of them have already been invented! | * Professional services marketing consultant | * Legal marketing consultant | * Law firm marketing consultant