LinkedIn for Nonprofits

Guest post by Cheryl Black

As of February 9, 2012, LinkedIn has more than 150 million members, including executives from all the 2011 Fortune 500 companies. According to a report in SocialTimes, about half (49%) of LinkedIn members have a household income more than $100,000. In a nutshell, the site’s users are both influential and affluent.

Smart nonprofits know this and understand the potential: through LinkedIn they can build relationships with affluent donors, influential board members, and skilled volunteers. When you consider that it’s a fairly easy site to manage from a social marketing stance, the ROI is not just significant, it’s staggering.

Even with limited resources, your nonprofit organization can take advantage of LinkedIn’s resource and talent rich membership. Here’s how:

  • Claim your company page. Pages are automatically created by LinkedIn when a member lists it as their place of employment so you may already have a page. However, you need to claim it to take advantage of the other features.
  • Complete the basic information. Once you claim your page, you can update your contact info, logo, social media properties, and products/services page in about an hour, if not less.
  • Go beyond the basics. By pulling from videos, images and other information you probably already have accessible, you can give your LinkedIn company page significantly more pizzazz.
  • Update your company status. Company status updates are a new feature with few established best practices. From personal experience, I recommend updating once or twice a week and trending toward content that supports human resources needs.
  • Engage your executives. Help your executives identify a couple relevant LinkedIn Groups and give them the ongoing task to participate. Also remind them to connect with board members and other influential constituents on LinkedIn.
  • Engage your constituents. LinkedIn recently added the ability for members to insert volunteer roles the same way they list jobs. Not only does this help your volunteers leverage their experiences with you professionally, but it creates awareness of your organization with their peers.

Finally one of the many ways you can track your success on LinkedIn is through Google Analytics. Track referral traffic to your site from LinkedIn and compare it your organization’s level of activity on the site.

What other tips for using LinkedIn or tracking your success can you share?

Cheryl Black is the social media marketing specialist for Convio, a leading provider of constituent engagement solutions for nonprofits. She is a frequent speaker on fundraising, social media and marketing for nonprofits and is an active volunteer in her adopted hometown of Austin. You can read more blog posts by Cheryl and the whole Convio team on Connection Café

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