Academics and support staff are really tuning in to the importance of LinkedIn for engaging a wide range of stakeholders and nowhere is that more so the case the Lancaster University Management School.
Over the last few months I’ve been leading on an employee advocacy programme to place key members of staff right at the front of the brand in this world leading Business School. The results have been fantastic.
It was evident that although LinkedIn was being used it was generally sporadic and lacking purpose. Like most institutions people had profiles but weren’t entirely sure what to do with them.
Some simple work up front allowed individuals to understand where and how LinkedIn could help support their roles. Alongside this we made introductions to departmental Marketing specialists which meant that all staff (academics, business engagement staff and marketing) were on the same page.
Whilst academics were keen to spread their own research, business engagement specialists required LinkedIn to help engage SME and corporate contacts for a number of business support programmes, executive level education and degree apprenticeships.
A through LinkedIn training programme was developed to upskill staff on their knowledge of the platform. Staff were also encouraged to post with little restriction. In business engagement alone we’ve had 4 members of staff take up blogging on LinkedIn, fiercely driving new engagement and reach of their various initiatives.
We also led an internal programme to enable further collaboration by encouraging staff to use Yammer. One of the key challenges with a university is breaking down communication silos, especially when everyone is so busy.
Individuals are already seeing the benefits of sharing and engaging on LinkedIn.
One post looking to attract SME owners for a funded ERDF project led to the recruitment of 10 new businesses.
To give individuals their own indication of performance we used LinkedIn SSI scores as a benchmark and gamification tool, which led to score increases averaging 20 points per person amongst the group.
The opening of communication channels between marketing and staff will have significant benefits in the longer term for reach and engagement relating to the brand whilst humanising the school.
Most importantly the initial confidence gained by everyone who took part will help drive brand messages both nationally and internationally. Check out the feedback in the video above.
If you’d like to know how Dan Knowles can help your University or Further Education institution engage stakeholders on LinkedIn then get in touch.