According to LinkedIn, there are 9 million plus nonprofit professionals with member profiles, and over 212,000 organization pages. They recently shared tips on how organizations can effectively use LinkedIn for brand awareness, volunteer recruitment, fundraising, and more in a recent webinar. Here are our takeaways:
1. Start with a strong personal presence, and add new connections as soon as you make them. Profiles with a photo are 14 times more likely to be viewed. Ensure your profile “completeness” reaches 100% by adding a robust summary, education, work and volunteer experience, skills, and recommendations. Ask volunteers and board members to add their work with you to their profile(s). When you have a strong profile built, add a link to it in your ConnectVA member profile.
2. Use LinkedIn to stay connected with nonprofit professionals you meet at in-person networking events. The more “first-degree” connections you have (the people you’re connected with), the more potential second and third-degree connections you have (those connected to someone you’re connected with) making it easier to identify future collaborators and supporters.
3. Promote yourself and generate awareness of your nonprofit at the same time. Post regular status updates about projects you are working on, invite people to events your organization has coming up, or post articles about relevant and timely topics. You can best catch users before they start their work day and just after – LinkedIn users are most active between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays.
4. Make sure your organization has a company page, and make a plan to engage followers. If your organization doesn’t already have a company page on LinkedIn, create one! Add your logo, short description, and a photo representing your mission. Reach out to staff, volunteers, board members, donors, and all other constituents to start following your page. Incorporate regular updates into your social media plan. Be sure to add a link to your company page on your ConnectVA organization listing.
5. Establish your organization as a thought leader by re-purposing blog posts. Does your organization publish regular blog posts? Consider posting them on LinkedIn. Share blog posts that inspire your followers to get engaged with your organization – as a volunteer, donor, or future employee! Be sure to add a photo – there is a 147% average increase in engagement by sharing a photo in your update.
6. Hiring? Show off what it’s like to work for your organization. Post a group staff photo (photos out in the field are even better), or highlight a staff member/volunteer/board member per week. “Tap the shoulder” of potential candidates by sending them direct messages about your opportunities. Sharing ConnectVA job postings on your company page is a great way to extend your reach even further.
7. LinkedIn members are charitable. You can use LinkedIn as a social fundraising tool:
- Drive strategic partnerships and establish institutional connections. Search for organizations with similar missions to yours and look for other nonprofit professionals to collaborate with. Do you have a list of potential funders and need to know the best contact? Use LinkedIn’s People search function to find everyone with a profile who works there.
- Cultivate existing relationships. Use LinkedIn to keep your donor base informed and to create a call to action during campaign times.
- Leverage board connections. Encourage your Board members to engage with your organization’s followers on LinkedIn by sharing content of their own, and ask them for introductions to key connections they have.
Check out all of LinkedIn’s Nonprofit Resources here. How is your organization using LinkedIn? Tell us in the comments!
ConnectVA is a program of the Partnership for Nonprofit Excellence. You can follow PNE on LinkedIn here.