Using LinkedIn to Raise Security Awareness #3: Content Creation
Final session in our 3-part series on how to use LinkedIn as part of your security awareness strategy! We are joined by social media and content manager Gemma Goldstein as we go a learn more about content creation for LinkedIn.
This community training for our Security Awareness Community teaches how to use LinkedIn like a pro as a security awareness professional. Learn how to effectively reach your colleagues, executive team, and broader network with security mindset insights while building your professional brand at the same time.
Looking for the other two sessions? Jump to Resources.
Consider Your Audience
As mentioned in our last session, to create effective messaging you need to consider who you are speaking to. For the purpose of utilizing LinkedIn as part of your overall security awareness strategy our audiences will consist of 3 target groups: employees, cyber peers, and the leadership team.
While the message may be the same - turn on MFA! - it needs to be tailored to each audience so the content resonates more with each segment. The best practice is to limit one message per group of individuals to make sure it's as effective as possible.
While we'll be focusing on content creation, it's important to emphasize that the content itself is not the end all, be all to help get our messaging a broader reach on LinkedIn. It's a combination of good content + being actively engaged in conversations happening on the platform. Strategically speaking we want to be sure some of those conversations are key individuals within our organization.
Richard van der Blom, a social selling leader on LinkedIn, provides the AAA Strategy to keep in mind as we work to increase our influence with our awareness insights, tips, and tricks.
Authentic - Creating content that is authentic to your voice helps to establish you more as a thought leader and personal stories lends to being more relatable, which is a must in any effective communication. (See Session 2 for more info on this topic)
Active - Sharing news and reports that are trending demonstrates you're up-to-date but it's also important to be active on the platform, engaging with other conversations going on that your audience are participating in.
Approachable - Being proactive to engage with others in your target audience in a positive and supportive manner is a great way to foster opportunities for two-way communication.
Gemma also reminded us about LinkedIn's Social Selling Index (SSI) which can give you a gauge of how active the platform considers you to be. Having a higher SSI rating generally will add a level of increased visibility to your posts as well, though it is a general guide and not an absolute.
Content for Employees
As security awareness professionals, most likely you already are creating content to use internally with your company. While company specific info may not be able to be shared, the fact of the matter is you already have a good foundation for content to use on LinkedIn.
Consider taking that email notice or post in Yammer and reformat it as a simple 3 page slide deck (aka carousel post) on LinkedIn or create a simple bullet point text post and add a fun image you may not have used in the company's official channels.
There's no harm in reiterating the security awareness messaging you've posted through internal comms one more time on LinkedIn. What may have gotten ignored on official channels might catch the employees eye on LinkedIn.
Note: When creating slide decks, these are actually done very easily in Canva and downloaded as a PDF. When uploaded to LinkedIn, they become the slide deck or carousel post you are familiar with. Zoe Bermant of Zoecial Media created a simple template that is an excellent example of a good layout to follow for conveying info in an easy format.
To download example posts, see the slide deck in Resources.
Share What HR's Too Hesitant To Allow In Formal Channels
Now we're not suggesting to go off the rails here, simply that some company cultures are more reserved in the topics that are covered in spite of most any scenario being a potential foot-in-the-door from attackers. Criminals rarely have reservations on what's 'appropriate'.
Check Out Wizer's YouTube Channel For Real Life Stories To Raise Awareness
But the beauty of LinkedIn is that as your personal profile page sharing general awareness messages that might be considered against "company values". LinkedIn provides the opportunity to indirectly educate the employees you are connected and engaged with on these more 'delicate' topics.
Dating site scams, Job Hunting Scams and the like are a definite need for employees to be aware of and creates good content for them to learn from in a low-key fashion.
When it comes to type of content to use, a long form post or short bullet point text can be just as effective as the carousel or even video formats.
Content for Cyber Peers
Creating content directed at your fellow security peers within your organization may not seem in line with 'raising security awareness' but it is an opportunity to raise the stakes, so to speak. Write a post that challenges their thoughts on security or highlight a Verizon DBIR or SANS report that incorporates the human side. You could even upload the particular page of the report your highlighting as a PDF or image to add interest and support your insights.
Or even collaborate with them in a LinkedIn live to walk through how important response time is even when an employee mistakenly clicks or downloads something and realizes after fact. This doesn't have to be a one-way conversation.
Videos on social are typically thought to be short and sweet and typically this is best practice but don't discount longer videos - they should be long enough to convey the information needed.
Being the human factor voice for the security/IT Team can also open doors for conversation and cultivate better understanding.
Polls are a quick and easy way to engage your more tech savvy peers within your organization, just don't overuse them. Or do long form and geek out - have fun and let your hair down and use all the jargon you want that you wouldn't otherwise. Just be sure to use plenty of white space to make it easier to read/scan as in the example below.
Gemma made a great point when creating content not to get hung up on making it perfect but making it something they'll learn from, "People don't really care about the graphics. People care about getting some information they didn't know before and are learning."
Content for the Leadership Team
When creating content for the directors, managers, or board members we're not necessarily writing them our wish list for all things security awareness. Instead, we're planting seeds and cultivating the importance of a security mindset and the critical role a strong security culture plays for supporting their business goals.
Much of this can be done by the content you already created for the other two audiences. One, because they are the end user who needs friendly reminders and tips on staying safer to float through their feed and two, seeing you proactively engage and present yourself professionally helps to establish yourself as an authority and creates familiarity.
However, there are content pieces you can create that can be specifically for the benefit of leadership, such as content on spear phishing or whaling or creating a high level piece that highlights the company's industry and particular business risk in relation to human factors and importance of security awareness.
For example, the slide above could have a post expanding a little on each point without being overly technical and you've addressed some of the concerns leaders have as you drip educational materials in their feed.
Create Themes to Batch Content
Like many cyber professionals, the role of security awareness is not the only focus and so it's critical to stream line content creation. Gemma provided a simple way to do this.
- Brainstorm 3-7 topics/themes you're excited about and want to promote in the realm of security awareness
- Distribute those themes on a calendar throughout the month
- Gather the resources needed for each post
- Write / create content once or twice a month in concerted efforts
- Schedule posts either directly on LinkedIn or using a tool such as Hootsuite or even Canva
Repeating themes through the month allows you to approach the topic from other angles or to simply communicate in a different format - first an article on vishing, next as a slide deck on how to identify the warning signs of a phone scammer, and then perhaps a funny meme on the topic.
Repeat and Repurpose Content
Gemma also emphasized it's ok to repeat content on the same platform. There are many reasons your network may not see the same post, so if you had something that didn't do well but you think it was good content try it again in a month and see how it does. Likewise if you had a post that was popular, it's ok to reuse it a few weeks later at a different time or day.
Finally, repurpose content. That DBIR report can provide tons of content from a text only commentary referencing it, to a slide deck of 3 takeaways/insights, to a video with a peer discussing relevant points. As long as you're bringing a new angle, you don't have to recreate the wheel for each content piece.
One way to get a fresh look at the same piece of information is to turn to AI. Gabriel Friedlander, Wizer's CEO and Founder, shared some of his prompts he uses to help him get a new look in presenting a topic. If you're need a list of topics to speak on to help get you going, check out our list of Top Cyber Security Awareness Training Topics.
Creating custom designs to add interest to your posts or to create the carousel posts is very easy with a tool such as Canva. It has hundreds of templates already formatted for LinkedIn. Simply find a layout you like, change the colors as you want and substitute the images.
This becomes particularly useful if you create themes and then simply switch out the text for each one. The visual consistency helps notify your audience when a topic is in their feed they enjoy from you and you do not have to recreate the design every time.
Also, Canva has a feature to bulk upload content so if you create your text in a spreadsheet and then import into Canva you can quickly get all your slides for that batch arranged (note this is a paid feature). For instructions see here.
The Journey of 1,000 Miles
While it may seem daunting to begin creating content, especially if you haven't been doing so before the main thing is to just get started as mentioned above. As you go you'll find what works for you and what doesn't. These tips are to help you on your way.
We can't wait to see what you post!
For Sessions 1 and 2 or to download the slide deck from this presentation, check out the resource section below.
Connect with Gemma Goldstein on LinkedIn
Session 1: Intro to LinkedIn Networking and Professional Branding
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Ayelet HaShachar Penrod
An enthusiastic security awareness advocate as a result of the past two years connecting with and listening to the many passionate voices in cybersecurity as a marketer in the field - that passion rubbed off. Now I'm excited to bring my own awareness learning and perspective to help further Wizer's mission to make security awareness accessible to the individual, the small business owner, the non-profit, the enterprise organization and, well, every one.