LinkedIn is an often forgotten instrument in the social media orchestra, sort of like the xylophone or harp of all platforms. But just like these instruments, LinkedIn can be an important and influential part of the whole. LinkedIn can help organizations increase membership, donations and its volunteer base while improving services to each of these groups.
LinkedIn is first and foremost a place to grow personally and professionally. This is done through networking, promoting skills, joining conversations and reading informative articles.
One of the main goals of a non-profit or association is to improve its members’ quality of life or professional life. Because LinkedIn’s users have the same goal, it makes the platform an almost perfect point from which organizations can start growing and improving.
Here are a few ways your association or non-profit can use LinkedIn to make a greater impact online.
Education is a huge part of what many associations and non-profits provide members. LinkedIn gives a space for organizations to post original content and share interesting articles that can be a crucial element of on-going education for members.
Original content on LinkedIn can differ from a blog post by being more geared to the professional development of an association’s members. This might include an analysis of a study, information on a new law that affects members or tips to handling job interviews in the industry.
With LinkedIn’s promoted posts feature, you can even target specific groups of people so your message reaches the right audience. You’ll have to shell out a few dollars for it, but promoted posts can connect potential members with your organization when they otherwise would never have contact with you.
Giving members, volunteers or donors another source for good information will strengthen the trust and relationship your organization has with the community and further establish your non-profit as the place to go for the most useful resources.
Offering your members a way to network with others in the industry will give them a huge professional boost. Creating a LinkedIn group is a great way to provide networking for members between events and conferences.
Think about LinkedIn groups as a place to conduct a virtual roundtable. Provide a topic of conversation and members will join, engage and build their connections.
Once the connections are established, members can promote their skills and receive recommendations from others. This further builds their presence in the industry and gives them a great head-start on seeking new opportunities.
Part of LinkedIn’s appeal to users is the chance to build and highlight past job and volunteer experiences. Seeking out people who have noted an interest in volunteering or have experience in your organization’s industry and letting them know about opportunities will draw them to your organization. Helping people out by building them up is a great way to develop a long-lasting relationship and spread great word-of-mouth about your organization.
Keeping group members informed of other jobs or volunteer roles through LinkedIn is similarly beneficial. This will help users build their resume and keep users coming back to your organization’s group.
If you have trouble finding the right people to follow on Twitter, Facebook, etc., a LinkedIn search can help you in no time. Entering an industry keyword into the search box will likely turn up a decent group of users that share the same profession or passion as your organization. The next step is finding those same people on other social networking sites and connecting with them. This can help your organization connect with a larger network and provide services to this same, larger network.
LinkedIn has been quietly growing as a more effective way for non-profits and associations to connect with their audiences and provide them useful services. If you haven’t tried LinkedIn as an organization, definitely give it a go and see the kind of power it can give your organization’s community.