LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional online network.  There are over 120 million members on the site, which continues to rapidly grow.  LinkedIn connects people to their trusted contacts, business associates, friends, and family members.  It can help people exchange knowledge and ideas, create opportunities, and broaden a person’s network of professionals. What alignment exists between the users profile and your organization?

There are many advantages to organizations when it comes to utilizing LinkedIn.  Many people even used LinkedIn to get to certain people in order to make sales, get jobs, or form partnerships.  Organizations can use the technology to get the word out about their organization, find employees or volunteers, and relate to the public their basic desires.  The online network consists of experienced professionals looking to connect themselves with other experienced professionals.

Organizations can benefit from LinkedIn in many different ways, including:

1. Increases Visibility- By adding connections, organizations will increase the likelihood that more people will see its profile when they are searching for someone specific or looking for a job or a volunteer opportunity.  The more connections an organization has, the higher up on the search list results it will move.  People want to acknowledge organizations that their friends and trusted associates are related to in some way, shape, or form.

2. Improves Connectivity-Many users only put their current contacts in their profiles.  This is limiting and organizations should also list their past connections including companies they have worked with, activities they have done, education they have participated in and other such connections.  This will help the organization create more links, faster.  It is also a good idea to have those closely related to the organization put a link to the profile on their email signatures.  People will be able to see the credentials of the organization in an easy manner.

3. Enhances Search Engine Results- The name of the organization will be out in the world more if it is being searched on LinkedIn.  The more the name pops up, the more popular it becomes and this will also improve the overall search engine results.

4. Indicates Company Strength- Since LinkedIn is a new and very popular technology, organizations that take part in the process are indicating their health and well being.  Companies that have numerous links to people from all over the company are obviously doing well.  Simply having a LinkedIn profile can tell visitors a lot about the organization.

5. Helps Competition-LinkedIn can also help organizations compete with similar organizations.  People in charge of the organization can check out the competition on LinkedIn and see who has linked with them.  They can also take a look at the strategies the other companies are using to gain customers, volunteers, or other linked individuals.

LinkedIn may be considered new, but is has grown so quickly that is has become very popular with individuals, companies, and other organizations.  There are plenty of ways to align the use of technology and the internet to further the interests of an organization.  How are you and your organization using LinkedIn?

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David Peterson

David G. Peterson is a business consultant and author of Handling the Remedy. He has extensive international experience managing projects and operations for large financial institutions. He has worked in North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia skillfully managing business and technical requirements, core systems enhancement and support, merger and acquisition integration's, business process reengineering, off-shoring and outsourcing.