Impact Publications : MiceBTN_59
MICEBTN - M AY 2015 • Page 63 For more articles and complimentary eBooks by Robyn Henderson, visit www. networkingtowin. com.au “WE are going to go all out on social media, starting today!” is a pledge made by managers in meetings every day. Typically, only half the group will be enthusiastic, with the other half believing it’s just one more non-core activity to fit into the working day. Regardless, it’ll start with a bang and for some will be a great success. However, for many, the part-time nature of an add-on social media program will be too much and the pres- sures of day-to-day work will intrude. The ones who make it work are the hotel chains, profes- sional conference organisers, equipment hire companies and corporate organisations that have staff whose job description is 100 per cent dedicated to social media. And if you’re not familiar with social media, let me suggest you consider LinkedIn, a networking and business development tool that most executives can manage in 10 minutes per day. Let me explain. Most business devel- opment professionals in meetings and events are sitting on a gold mine of con- nections. So let’s look at how you can quickly complete a LinkedIn audit for your organisation and then start creating those business building opportunities. 1.) How many of your senior manage- ment and staff already are on LinkedIn? 2.) During your audit, review each of their LinkedIn profiles and check the quality of their head shot photos. En- courage staff to use professional-look- ing head shots, perhaps with the compa- ny logo or name behind the photo. LinkedIn can add business opportunities and improve profitability for a little effort 3.) Help them edit their profile sum- mary. It should tell why they work in the profession and what they are passionate about. Maybe also how they came to be working where they are now. 4.) If they have 500+ connections, it indicates they use LinkedIn regularly. If they have fewer than 100 connections, they’re probably new to the technolo- gy or not using LinkedIn as a business building tool. 5.) Do they have a comprehensive employment history listed? A detailed two-to-three year recent history plus a general description of the past 10+ years creates a more professional image. 6.) With encouragement, they will be able to use their LinkedIn profile as another business development tool and make their job easier? Where are the business development tools hidden within LinkedIn? In a business development role, numbers count, so encourage staff to continually expand their connections list. Reactivating business with past clients. This is an ongoing challenge and takes time, but when staff find a past client’s profile on LinkedIn, they should send an invitation to reconnect, referring per- haps to changes in their profile, for ex- ample: “Hi Jane, great to find you again on LI, I notice that you have left XX and moved to PP – congratulations on your promotion. I would like to add you to my professional network”. Following up people they met at a conference or networking event. Ask staff to check unused business cards, the ones they kept but never fol- lowed up. Suggest they find the person’s profile on LinkedIn, read it and then send a message: “Hello Mary, I have a stack of cards from the XXX conference and yours was amongst them. I just found you on LI – well done on your promotion. I would like to add you to my professional network.” Once staff build a critical mass of connections to 500+ and spend a few minutes each day sending updates, sharing Pulse articles or on-forward- ing articles, their names and your organisation will regular- ly show up on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is one of the easiest network- ing tools to use to maintain a connec- tions list, expand your business reach and research other firms you want to do business with. Usually, LinkedIn will tell you a lot more about a person than a company website will. So start with a LinkedIn audit, make sure that your company is putting its best face forward on staff profiles and encourage everyone in the business to extend their LinkedIn connections today.