LinkedIn and other Social Media invite Organizations to Think about Human Relationships

March 23, 2011

Many companies are realizing: LinkedIn and other social media are here to stay, but how can they benefit us as an organization (versus as individuals)?

The answer is: by tapping into the power of the second degree!

In this case the first degree is the management team of an organization (or other central departments like marketing or recruiting).

The second degree: all the employees of the organization.

The task at hand for the “central” unit is to help the rest of the organization by OFFERING them good content for their individual LinkedIn Profiles. When all employees put this content on their Profile their network (and people who visit their Profile) will see this. Do you see the exponential power?

If you want to be successful with this, it’s important to remember that it’s about OFFERING them content, not FORCING it upon them. The latter will create more resistance than gratitude for help.

This is how LinkedIn for example can be beneficial, but this is only the end of a process, not the beginning. And that’s where many organizations drop the ball.

Being successful with social media starts with creating a great working environment in which people are empowered and trusted. Only then organizations will really benefit from the tremendous power of LinkedIn and other social media.

Employees have always been the ambassadors of an organization.
In the past it was at parties with friends, in the gym and in the pub. Now it is also on the Internet, which makes it more visible. The latter makes organizations that are more hierarchical or “dictatorial” nervous. They are loosing control over their “slaves”.

LinkedIn and other social media invite organizations to look inside again and work on human relationships first. They invite organizations to rethink why these people are working together and how the talents of each individual can be recognized and allowed to show and grow for the greater good of the organization.

In other words the “new” media invite us to connect with each other again as the wonderful, talented and inspired human beings we are and to invite each other to live up to our potential.

And isn’t that what it has always been and always will be about?

To your success !



Company and Personal Branding Tip for LinkedIn: the use of Summary

March 31, 2010

In the book “How to REALLY use LinkedIn” I already explained the difference between Summary and Specialties.

In Specialties you use jargon, abbreviations, and “tech talk”. Use Summary to explain what you do in words that everybody can understand, whatever their background.

This is my advice for building your Summary from a company and personal branding perspective:

  1. One paragraph about the organization that is the same for all coworkers. This elevates company branding.
  2. One or two paragraphs about the professional expertise of the individual. This helps personal branding.
  3. One paragraph describing some personal interests. Let the visitors to your Profile see more than just your resume. People do business with other human beings, not resumes!

To your success !


This is an excerpt from the Updates to the book How to REALLY use LinkedIn (in Dutch: het boek Hoe LinkedIn nu ECHT gebruiken). Click on the links to get these updates for free!

Company Branding Tip for LinkedIn: The Use of Websites in LinkedIn Profile

March 10, 2010

To achieve better branding and visibility results on LinkedIn from a company’s point of view, this is a tip using the “Websites” part in the LinkedIn Profile of all employees of the same company or organization.

As I already wrote in “How to REALLY use LinkedIn“: don’t use “My company” or “My website”, but “Other” together with words that appeal to the people you want to attract with the particular website.

I advise using the websites on the Profile of the employees of an organization in the following way:

  1. Website 1: link to the home page of the website of the organization (for example: using the same key words for all coworkers. Remember to use the “other” function to add these key words.
    Multiple links to a specific page will cause it to appear higher in Google (or another search engine) when people search with these key words.
  2. Website 2: link to a specific page on the website of the organization that relates to the job of the individual. For example: for an account executive for copiers. Also use the key words for finding copiers. This will help the website to reach a higher rank in search engines, and it will make a connection with the expertise or job of the individual.
  3. Website 3: “free” link. This can be used to link to a blog, a personal website, or another web page of the organization.

To your success !


This is an excerpt from the Updates to the book How to REALLY use LinkedIn (in Dutch: het boek Hoe LinkedIn nu ECHT gebruiken). Click on the links to get these updates for free!

How To Create an Attractive LinkedIn Profile by Using Video

January 20, 2010

Many people want to make their LinkedIn Profile stand out.

A good way to do that is using video. Although LinkedIn doesn’t give you the choice to upload your own video to your Profile, there is a work around.

How? By using Google Presentations.

These are the steps to take:

1 ) Make a SHORT video
2 ) Upload it to YouTube
3 ) Go to Google Docs (you might need to create a new account like a Gmail account)
4 ) Choose “Create New” and then “Presentation”
5 ) Choose “Insert” and then “Video”
6 ) Search for the video you just uploaded to YouTube, click on it and press the “Select Video” button
7 ) Log in in LinkedIn and choose “Profile/Edit Profile”
8 ) Scroll down till you see Applications (left hand side) and Press “Add Application”
9 ) Choose “Google Presentation”
10) Select the presentation you have just made

A word of caution regarding the content: always use videos (or slideshows or documents) to share tips and help people. Don’t put any marketing material on your Profile. Get people to like you first by sharing and helping.

This also applies to job seekers. Share in your video some tips regarding your expertise. This will give insights to potential employers on how valuable you can be for them. And it also shows how proactive and creative you are since almost nobody uses video in their LinkedIn Profiles.

To your success !


Jan Vermeiren is the founder of Networking Coach and author of “How to REALLY use LinkedIn” (in Dutch: “Hoe LinkedIn nu ECHT gebruiken“). Click on the links of the books to get a free light version.

How LinkedIn Answers Help You Raise Your Credibility and Visibility

July 1, 2009

I already explained in a former post that the value of the Groups functionality is in the interactions between people. Before the Discussions function was introduced, there was already another tool that stimulated interaction: the Answers.

Actually the concept is pretty simple. Some people ask questions and others answer them.

Again this allows you to receive help from the network on the one hand and raise your visibility and credibility on the other hand.

Just by answering questions you will be on other people’s radar.

If they really think you are an expert in your field of expertise, they will give you expert points. These points are awarded by the person asking a question to the person they thought gave the best answer.

Once you have gained some expert points you will also be listed in the experts directory, which raises your Profile even more. How many points you need to be in that list depends on the category. In some categories there are only few questions and also only a few people who answer them. It is easier to get in the expert list of that category. But since there are not so many questions your visibility as an expert will be limited.

Does that mean you shouldn’t put in any effort? No, it is not about the expert points, but about genuinely helping other people and sharing good tips. By doing this you will be perceived as an expert.

However, since the categories are open for everybody and worldwide, this might not be the place you want to focus your attention and time on. Answering questions in the Groups that you have chosen gives you much faster visibility and more credibility. However, in Groups you can’t earn expert points (you won’t get expert points in private messages, only in public ones).

The advantage of Answers on the other hand is that all the answers are stored and visible for everybody months after you have answered a question. So this is another way of passively raising your visibility and credibility. Answers in Groups are not searchable and can only be browsed by people who are a member of that Group.

Note: if you ask a question yourself whether in Answers or in a Group, people appreciate knowing what you did with the input you got. So take the time to react.

To your success !


PS: this is an excerpt from the book How to REALLY use LinkedIn (of in het Nederlands: Hoe LinkedIn nu ECHT gebruiken). Make sure you download your FREE light version.

Video Interview by Frankwatching: 10 golden tips to use LinkedIn (in Dutch)

May 29, 2009

The crew of Merge Media interviewed me for Frankwatching about how to use LinkedIn to increase sales and for personal branding.

Out of the half hour interview they made a nice selection of tips.

Look at the interview on the website of Frankwatching (in Dutch, 11 minutes). Als je het interessant vindt, geef het interview dan gerust een stem 🙂

Have a great networking day !


Jan Vermeiren is the founder of Networking Coach and author of “How to REALLY use LinkedIn” (English) and “Hoe LinkedIn nu ECHT gebruiken” (Dutch)

Boost Your Business Card

May 2, 2009

I just read this article about 15 Brilliant & Clever Business Card Designs.

Great examples of how creative one can be to turn this inexpensive piece of paper into an even greater marketing or personal branding tool.

However always be careful that people understand your message and that they are not offended or put off by it (for example the “We love your money” business card).

Also read this previous blog post about the importance of business cards and look at this overview of other networking and referral tools.

Have a great networking day !


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