05 Jun Social Media For Nonprofits: 6 LinkedIn Tips For Professional Networking
While most nonprofit organizations have adopted Facebook, Twitter and YouTube into their social media strategy, many are still missing out on huge networking and marketing opportunities online. With 414 million users strong, LinkedIn can no longer be ignored.
Here’s a few tips to help your nonprofit make the most of the “world’s largest professional network”:
1. Create a Company Page
Your LinkedIn Company Page, created for businesses and organizations alike, will serve as a landing page that will help educate visitors and share your mission, announcements, volunteer opportunities and more. Your page should include your logo (200 x 200 pixels), cover photo for the banner image (1400 x 425 pixels), address, a summary of your organization’s mission, and links to your other social channels. Many organizations use their Company page as a “landing page”, with hopes to ultimately entice visitors to click through to their website. Organizations can also use Company Pages to increase engagement, provide updates and post job listings.
2. Establish a Network
Once you’ve created your Company Page, it’s time to start building your network. First, organizations should encourage current supporters, staff, volunteers, donors and friends to connect with you and “follow” your page. This is a great opportunity for nonprofits as LinkedIn offers users the option to promote volunteer experience and organizations they support on their personal profiles. By connecting with your current network, you are encouraging them to promote their involvement with your organization for other, prospective connections to see.
3. Use LinkedIn Pulse
When LinkedIn announced that they’d be opening up their publishing platform, Pulse, to the public in February 2014, the professional network suddenly turned into a more interesting destination for marketers and organizations to explore. LinkedIn Pulse is a great place for organizations to post job listings, volunteer opportunities, company announcements, or repurposed blog content. Nonprofits should take advantage of this additional opportunity to get their content in front of more eyes.
4. Join Groups
LinkedIn Groups can be very useful for networking, especially for nonprofit organizations. They’re a great place for sharing stories, offering advice and engaging in meaningful discussions with other members in the nonprofit space. By consistently contributing to group conversations, your organization can earn the title of “Top Influencer”, marking you as an authority on the topics being discussed.
Organizations can also create their own LinkedIn Group. Creating your own LinkedIn Group can enable your organization to start conversations around your cause, ideally driving increased support and involvement. Starting a group is a great way to strengthen your LinkedIn network and create a real dialogue with your supporters and community.
5. LinkedIn For Good
In 2016, LinkedIn for Good reached 1 million underserved youth, veterans, refugees, employees and nonprofits. LinkedIn for Nonprofits helps organizations find the employees, donors, board members and volunteers needed to make an impact. The website explains, “We realize that economic opportunity isn’t distributed evenly. Some communities face greater obstacles than others when it comes to building networks and accessing opportunity. What if everyone could be connected to people who could guide and inspire them and to the knowledge and opportunities that could transform them? At LinkedIn, we believe this is possible.” This a great opportunity for nonprofit organizations to grow their online reach and establish new connections.
6. Promote Your Page
Posting organic status updates to your LinkedIn company is a great way to show off your content and keep your followers in the know. Nonprofits should also consider setting aside a budget for LinkedIn’s “Sponsored Updates.” Organic posts will reach your current following, however sponsored updates will give your organization the potential to reach new audiences. LinkedIn’s Sponsored Updates gives organizations the power to target professionals by job title, company, interests, fields of study and more.