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LinkedIn is the true business-to-business social networking leader. This platform has achieved incredible growth without becoming just a fad; it's rather a tool that provides a wide variety of useful business applications.

LinkedIn can certainly help the individual, but by creating a cohesive and united message LinkedIn's benefits can expand to the entire company. Follow the below steps to turn your company into a successful LinkedIn organization.

1. Create A LinkedIn Administrator

Assign an administrator to oversee the use of LinkedIn from all company employees. The objective is to help the organization maintain consistency using this social media platform.

2. Create a Lead Power User(s)

A power user should constantly review LinkedIn and all of its features as it relates to the company's needs; they will become your company LinkedIn expert. A power user needs to be constantly seeking the use of new and innovative features provided by this platform that will apply to your company and its goals.

3. Hold Monthly Training Sessions

The key to developing a powerful LinkedIn organization is to train employees on a regular basis. This enables skill development and keeps this tool and its uses at the forefront of employees minds.

4. Conduct Best Practice- Progress Update Sessions

One of the best things an organization can do is conduct monthly or even bi-weekly progress update sessions. A progress update session is where employees share their successes using LinkedIn. This endeavor will help spread the word internally as to why people need to use LinkedIn to, and will allow employees to share what is and is not working.

5. Develop Internal Expectations of Patience

One essential thing an organization can do is stress patience when starting to use LinkedIn. Success will not come right away. Employees must understand there is an investment to building up their profile and connections to truly leverage this tool. The key is to take action on a consistent basis and have each employee build up their personal network to ultimately leverage its power as an organizational movement.

6. Maintain Consistency for Company Brand

One reason we recommend you assign an administrator is to maintain consistency of the company brand. This includes content, grammar, listing of company website, etc. The key is that employees present company information and content in a professional and consistent manner.

7. Create Departmental Focus Using LinkedIn

As profiles in networks are being built within your organization it is critical the organization leverages LinkedIn features that are applicable to departmental needs. For example, sales will have vastly different needs than that of marketing, Human Resources will use LinkedIn differently than the Customer Service Staff, they may actually use the same features but in different ways. The key is to develop targeted approaches within departments using LinkedIn to meet its vertical obligations.

8. Take Action Consistently

The biggest misnomer of using any social media tool is that things magically or automatically happen. You cannot just create a profile and then sit back and expect results. Organizations and their employees must understand that actions must be taken on a regularly scheduled basis to truly leverage its power. We recommend that employees take one or two actions a day. This may be as simple as sending a recommendation to a customer or sending three invites to connect with people. The point is it should only take 5 to 10 minutes a day per employee for an organization to quickly become a LinkedIn organization.

9. Develop Corporate Goals

A critical factor in determining if a social media tool is worthwhile is to create specific corporate goals. For example, a major goal of the sales department might be for each salesperson to build a network of 100 connections of customers, business partners, and associates that they know fairly well. This simple goal will allow a sales department to leverage LinkedIn on a more substantial basis due to the fact they have strong personal networks of a decent size.

10. Get everyone involved

If an organization gets everyone involved there are tremendous benefits. First, LinkedIn profiles are searchable by engines such as Yahoo and Google. Second, there is tremendous value when people search LinkedIn and see a particular organization and all of its employees within its database. This leads to consistent and powerful corporate branding. Third, it allows the organization in a variety of levels to use LinkedIn and all of its powerful features on a much grander scale to impact the company bottom line through increased sales, improved customer service levels, better corporate branding, quicker lead generation, etc.

About the Author:

Tim Hagen,President of Sales Progress, an innovative sales consulting and technology firm, is the creator of unique training technology and programs that have increased sustainability and allowed adults to learn the way they like to learn.



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