Is Your Nonprofit Using LinkedIn to its Full Potential?

Networking InfographicBy: Megan McMillan

As far as nonprofits and social media networks are concerned, LinkedIn is one platform you do not want to miss out on. Not only is it a fabulous resource for prospecting, but with 38% of American online adults who have annual household incomes over $75,000 using LinkedIn, it’s also the best network for engaging precisely targeted audiences. Here are our tips for maximizing LinkedIn:

    1. Determine whether you want to create a Company Page or a LinkedIn Group (or both) by checking out the pros and cons of each here, here, and here.
    2. Now that you’ve decided on your plan of action it’s time to create your Group Profile or Company Description – be sure these  include your keywords so that your page will be easier to find when people are searching LinkedIn. An eye-catching profile picture or header image will also help you stand out from the crowd when people are picking through their search results.
    3. What are your followers interested in?  If you’ve read our previous social media posts you’ll notice that this one might seem a bit repetitive, but I can’t say it enough: Understand what your followers are looking for, and give them what they want. According to LinkedIn, here’s what your followers are interested in:
      • 60% of members are interested in industry insights
      •  53% are interested in company news
      • 43% are interested in new products and services

Also pay attention to how your followers prefer to receive their information. Do you get more shares when you post pictures, lists, videos, or links to articles? Experiment with different styles of posts to figure out which is most appealing to your audience.

  1. A great aspect of LinkedIn is that its advanced search equips you with the ability to target people from all walks of life who share a great deal of their professional lives and interests on their profiles.  Narrow your search by industry, interests, etc. to find new volunteers, board members, donors, targeted groups to share your organization’s news with, and more.
  2. LinkedIn also says that posting at least 20 status updates per month will maximize your reach to approximately 60% or more of your unique audience each month. You can also post more frequently by targeting your posts to various groups on LinkedIn, rather than just sharing information on your own Group or Company Page.
  3. Get your employees and volunteers involved by encouraging them to share and like your posts to help get the word out.

Just as with any other social platform, practice makes perfect. Test, measure your results, make new adjustments, and test again. Also keep in mind that with LinkedIn’s advanced targeting capabilities this is an excellent network for testing large-scale communications projects on smaller groups before investing too many resources. If you’re playing around with new messaging or working towards using more visuals in your next campaign, try them out on your LinkedIn audience first.

To stay motivated, try setting small, reasonable, goals that will focus your efforts and give you a feeling of accomplishment. Rome wasn’t built in a day and your LinkedIn empire won’t be either. Build your social media outreach from the ground up!

Check out iWave’s LinkedIn group for more ideas or to connect with other development professionals here.

What’s your best tip for engaging prospects and/or promoting your organization on LinkedIn?

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