When joining LinkedIn, or updating your profile, one of the first things you should consider doing is to do a group email around your office asking if anyone else is on the network. My tip is that you then should all connect, and secondly, if you are apart of a small business and your company profile is not set up yet, do it. Once you are all connected, you will have access to each other's connections, which in turn becomes an internal resource – a giant rolodex if you like. This allows for a state of greater collaboration and connectedness.
I'm suggesting this because there have been so many times where I have gone to connect with someone from a certain company, knowing that I am already connected to an employee from there, and then see that the two are not connected. Now, I know in huge organisations, it might not be possible to have this level of connectedness, but I always wonder why the two employees aren't connected. Do they know each other? Do they communicate regularly? Do they like each each other? Who should I contact? Is it due to hierarchical reasons that they aren't connected? Have they just been primitive in their people search?
After every new connection, LinkedIn makes a suggestion on who to connect to next and this often covers profiles with the same company listed, so the level of transparency is there – it's just waiting to be taken advantage of.
The use of social media for personal or corporate reasons needs to be strategised by all businesses. Connected employees who display a consistent message allows for a more thorough branding of a company.
So, if you are a CEO or MD, connect to your inferiors, and if you are a budding account executive and see your boss on the network, be bold and send through a request. LinkedIn doesn't have to been about the external promotion only – it could help you get the internal exposure to bring you over the line when next considered for a more senior role.