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Apr 18, 2023 Tribal Impact

Employee Branding: Personal Vs. Company Banners on LinkedIn Profiles

LinkedIn is a powerful tool for employee branding, and it can significantly benefit employees personally in their careers, not to mention boost the image of a company.  

According to LinkedIn, companies with a ‘high number of employees sharing high-quality content and thought leadership’ are 58% more likely to attract talent.

A LinkedIn company page showcases the business, but should employees' personal LinkedIn profiles be visually representing your brand?

When it comes to a personal profile LinkedIn banner, how this is used can divide opinions. Some employees prefer a banner image showcasing their unique personal brand and style, while others prefer creating a branded LinkedIn banner representing their employer's brand.

As an employer or an employer branding professional, you may also be dealing with conflicting opinions on how employees showcase your company on their social media channels.

So, today's big question is: should employees use a personal or company-branded banner on their LinkedIn accounts?

In this blog, we open up the debate and discuss the pros and cons of both.

Why Does A LinkedIn Banner Matter?

Let's start with why a LinkedIn banner matters in the first place. As well as the profile picture, a LinkedIn banner is the first thing people see when they visit someone’s profile.

Leveraging this space can help make a good first impression, and an eye-catching banner will help a profile stand out.

The profile image and banner are an opportunity to show professionalism and credibility. In addition, the visual elements of a LinkedIn profile can help attract the target audience and promote the person as a thought leader.

A strong personal brand is particularly important for senior leaders because 82% of employees will research a CEO's online presence when considering joining a company (Brunswick).

Some employees may include branded content on their banners. For example, using it as a business card with contact details, the company logo and the website.

A well-designed LinkedIn banner can help build trust, credibility, and authority, all essential components of a solid personal brand.

The Pros And Cons Of A Personal LinkedIn Profile Banner

A personal banner lets employees showcase their personality and style and develop their online presence across social media platforms.

However, it can miss an opportunity for people to engage with your brand or could undermine your brand values.

The Pros:

  1. Stand Out: A personal banner sets them apart from employees who use the same company-branded banner. In addition, it helps to showcase their personality, interests, and expertise.
  2. Flexibility: They can choose any image representing them and their personal brand. They can use a photo of themselves, an image related to their profession, or a design that reflects their interests.
  3. Creativity: A personal banner lets them get creative and experiment with different designs, colours, and fonts. Adding text, logos, and other graphics to make their banner more engaging.

The Cons:

  1. Misaligned with Company Brand: A personal banner may not align with your company's brand image, which can confuse visitors. It may also undermine your company's efforts to create a cohesive brand identity across all employees' profiles.
  2. Lack of Professionalism: A personal banner may be unprofessional if it's too casual or doesn't convey the right message. It's essential to balance showcasing their personality while maintaining a professional image.


The Pros And Cons Of A Company-Branded LinkedIn Profile Banner

A company-branded banner will boost visibility and help showcase your brand to a broader audience. Some brands provide a template for employees to create a LinkedIn banner, or they may supply banners promoting a specific product or service.

Unlike your brand's LinkedIn page, the risk is that you rely on the employee uploading and changing the banner, so banners can become outdated.

The Pros:

  1. Consistent Branding: A company-branded banner ensures a consistent brand image across all employees' profiles. It helps to reinforce your company's brand identity and messaging.
  2. Professional Image: A company-branded banner conveys a professional image and shows that employees are proud to be associated with your company.
  3. Support from the Company: Your company may provide employees with a high-quality banner design optimised for LinkedIn, saving them time and effort.

The Cons:

  1. Lack of Personalisation: A company-branded banner may not reflect an employee's individuality or personal brand. It may feel generic and fail to capture visitors' attention.
  2. Outdated Design: If the employee creates the banner themselves, they may use obsolete or uncreative design that doesn't reflect your current brand image or values.


Tribal Impact's Position On How To Use LinkedIn Banners

At Tribal Impact, we believe that the employee LinkedIn banner isn't the company's real estate. Instead, we recommend companies encourage their employees to use banner images relevant to their work or industry so it's immediately recognisable what they do.

Employees should be given a choice since the heart of employee advocacy is driven by the work environment, company culture, and the employees' connection with it.

Providing branded banners

In our experience, some employees love the company so much that they proudly display a branded banner on their social channels. For this, we recommend creating a selection of professional brand banners for the employees to choose from so they look different.

This also helps break down the barriers of content creation. According to this report by Content Stadium, 71% of teams using social media admitted to facing content creation challenges.

Justyna B Company Banner

Policies against using company images on personal social networks

Some brands have banned the use of brand images and logos from a compliance point of view. This avoids the risk of unofficial or untrained spokespeople representing the brand and not keeping up with updating licenses on images

Diane G Personal Banner

Branded banners for socially trained employees

Finally, some brands insist that only select socially trained employees use branded banners. This may be because they are a regulated industry and need to prove only those employees who have permission to speak on social on behalf of the brand are using branded banners.

At the end of the day, it often depends on brand guidelines, compliance and regulations.


Educate Your Employees On Social Profile Optimisation 

If you’re still undecided on branded banners but are keen to use an opportunity to let more people know about your company, consider social profile optimisation training.

Activating your employees on social media can make an impactful difference to your brand. It will help you reach new audiences and deepen relationships with customers, employees, and influencers. 

Find out more about our Social Profile Optimisation And Coaching Program


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About Tribal Impact

Tribal Impact is a B2B Social Selling and Employee Branding Agency.

We're a team of social media strategists, trainers, coaches, content creators and data analysts who are passionate about helping our B2B customers develop and scale their social selling and employee advocacy programs.

Learn more about us here.

Published by Tribal Impact April 18, 2023