Businesses are expected to spend around 20% of their marketing budgets on social media in 2024.
However, according to a recent article by Forbes, corporate social media channels are in decline while executive personal branding as a marketing strategy is on the rise.
Research from Sprout Social shows that 70% of consumers say they “feel more connected to brands with CEOs who are active on social and, when they feel that connection, 57% will increase their spending. Even more powerfully, 75% say they will buy from a company they feel connected to over a competitor.”
LinkedIn By The Numbers
These results align well with our experience at Lexicon as we’ve been writing for years about the power of personal branding on LinkedIn.
Let’s take a look at some of the data:
LinkedIn stands out as the preeminent platform for B2B lead generation and conversion. An impressive 80% of B2B leads originate from LinkedIn, a stark contrast to the 13% sourced from Twitter and a mere 7% from Facebook.
Furthermore, the platform demonstrates its prowess by yielding 3 times more conversions than its social media counterparts, boasting a conversion rate of 2.74%, in contrast to Twitter’s 0.77% and Facebook’s 0.69%.
This data underscores LinkedIn’s pivotal role in enabling B2B marketers and personal brand developers to efficiently and effectively connect with and convert their intended audience.
Globally, LinkedIn has almost a billion individual accounts. While in Thailand there are 4.7 million active users as of October 2023.
According to LinkedIn’s own data, 80% of its users are decision makers within their organizations, encompassing the C-Suite and adjacent positions.
If we extrapolate these figures to Thailand, we can estimate that there are up to 3.5 million senior decision makers regularly using LinkedIn.
That is a huge percentage of the Kingdom’s decision makers; if you don’t yet have a plan to resonate with them, you’re leaving money on the table.
Corporate Accounts Vs Personal Accounts
While most companies default to using their business account on LinkedIn to market to their audience, the data shows that this is actually a suboptimal strategy.
To grow a business account on LinkedIn, you need people to seek out your account, then choose to follow it. Without an advertising budget, getting anybody to see your content may be a challenge.
Compare this growth approach to personal accounts.
Rather than passively waiting in hope for people to find your account, you can actively add 400 connections per month to individual accounts.
Even better, you can filter these connection requests to find your ideal target audience based on demographics like: location, job title, industry.
However, personal accounts versus business accounts is not a simple either/or equation.
There’s no reason not to operate both channels: just expect your personal account to grow more quickly in followers, reach and engagement.
You can learn more in this article: How Does the LinkedIn Algorithm Actually Work?
So, we’ve decided on a two-pronged approach, creating content to connect to our audience through the business page and an individual account. But who’s personal account should we use?
For most businesses, the CEO is the obvious choice. As the spokesperson for the company, the CEO is best placed to create thought leadership, signpost the company’s direction, highlight internal stories, celebrate client successes and inculcate the company’s values.
The same could apply to any senior executive in an organization. And there’s no need to limit these accounts to a single individual. Why not incorporate the COO, CTO, HRBP and Business Unit heads in the mix? Each combining the company’s thought leadership insights with their unique sectoral expertise.
What’s more, video production is set to be a major trend in 2024. Especially videos featuring real people having real conversations. As AI creates mass, generic written content and multimedia, actually having your own voice is going to be a unique selling point that helps you stand out from the crowd. We know the best video production agency in Bangkok who can ensure you do it.
What’s The Story?
Now that we’ve figured out where to post, what on earth are we going to talk about?
That’s the easy part, actually.
Brand building on LinkedIn involves a healthy mixture of showing empathy and authority to your target audience in order to create content that is designed to help them to succeed.
Thought leadership should display your organizational expertise. This content should be shared to the business page, as well as by the named author (even if you’re using a ghostwriter from Lexicon to create all the content for you. An approach we definitely recommend).
This content can take the form of blogs (like this), white papers, reports or how-to guides. And can then be transformed into dozens of short-form, bitesize, social media-friendly content like infographics, quote images, interviews, explainer video productions, podcasts and shorts.
This content gives you your empathy: showing the target audience that you understand their problems and are able to offer helpful solutions in the form of your content. An ideal appetizer for the main course, which is doing business with your company.
Your authority comes from stories of how you’ve helped similar clients succeed in the past: case studies and testimonials do the job well. But pictures with satisfied customers are also a great way to display social proof.
It’s useful to think of a content strategy as a recipe. Everything needs to be in balance. Too much sugar or salt and everything is out of whack.
Accordingly, a company that only produces thought leadership gets stale pretty quickly.
So balance out some of the more serious content with the internal stories of your team. Highlight new joiners, birthdays, promotions and employee milestones. Show the friendly, competent faces behind the scenes who will actually be delivering work for clients. Make it personal and put your company culture and values on prominent display.
Any of this content works well for both business and personal accounts.
However, individual accounts also allow you to show more of your personality. So take the chance to rant, offer compliments or constructive criticism, be funny or tell interesting anecdotes with business lessons worked into your storytelling. Text only is fine for these posts and they tend to perform very well. Many of my best performing posts are just me waxing lyrical about common grievances. The lesson here is that incorporating your real personality in your posts is a proven winning technique that also helps build empathy with your followers.
And if you do a good job, these followers will soon become your customers.
While both personal and business accounts on LinkedIn allow you to help guide your customers to success, priority should be given to the personal executive brands of your leadership team as these are almost guaranteed to enjoy greater reach and engagement than business accounts. And, ultimately, that’s what it’s all about. There’s nothing sadder than a corporate page with no followers or likes.
And, as always, if you need some help telling your stories – whether business or personal – get in touch with Lexicon today.
About the Author
David Norcross is an award-winning LinkedIn & marketing & Executive Branding expert with over 15 years of experience in the industry and over 20,000 followers on LinkedIn. He’s the founder and CEO of Lexicon as well as the Chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce in Thailand Marketing & Communications Committee.
Lexicon is an award-winning brand storytelling agency focusing on telling impactful stories for clients based in Thailand and South East Asia.