In the television comedy Arrested Development, father George of the always-off-kilter Bluth family is under house arrest for white-collar crimes and cannot be present to partake in the dysfunctionally wacky family interactions. Typically Bluth-ian, the family hires a ‘surrogate’ for him to participate. This surrogate, a stone-faced man wearing a video camera on his ball cap and an earpiece to George’s microphone, represents George and repeats everything the father says to the group in the living room of a Bluth Construction model home.
Hilarity ensues when others get on George’s microphone or when George himself says something that should have been expressed off-mic. The surrogate faithfully (and woodenly) reports George’s unintended expressions and the family reacts as if George is speaking. For all they know, this surrogate IS him, even when what the surrogate says is nonsensical and out of character.
The problems George has in sending a surrogate to be him are the same ones you might experience if you outsource too much of your LinkedIn profile to anyone. The takeaway here? Never give someone else ‘carte blanche’ with your LinkedIn.
At Flywheel Marketing, we do manage LinkedIn pages … and we do it very carefully. Any marketer should admit to you that LinkedIn is a bit tricky to outsource. Read on for specifics.
There are definite limitations to what someone else – your ‘surrogate’ – can do as you on LinkedIn. LinkedIn corporate pages allow us to post on your page and we make comments to people who respond to those comments on your page. That is it. We can’t join groups, connect with other people, connect with other businesses, or make any comments on any other pages other than your own corporate page. As you can imagine, there are lots of marketers frustrated with this because none of the other social networks have this limitation.
The only real way to use LinkedIn effectively for sales is with personal pages. It bears repeating that outsourcing personal pages is a bit tricky because … well … personal pages are personal. When communicating and connecting through a personal page, people are expecting that to be you personally. A marketing company you hire cannot know who you just met at a conference, who your old co-worker is, or if that high school sweetheart is trying to connect with you, not for old-time’s sake but for a sizzling business partnership. And if any marketing company tries to do that, the results would often be nonsensical and out of character for your professional persona, just like the ‘surrogate’ in Arrested Development.
Of course we can bolster and maintain your professional presence on LinkedIn. We can and we do. We can post content on your corporate pages and respond to any comments that are made. When used as an “about us” page, this outsourcing of your LinkedIn is great for branding. When it comes to posting content on your personal page, we can do that but we at Flywheel Marketing would want to work with you very closely so that connections and conversations with other individuals truly reflect you.