Today in the CharityNet USA Blog we’re looking at LinkedIn for nonprofits, and social media more generally.
Most nonprofit organizations find that social media is a tricky nut to crack. You’re not likely to go viral, and after a few weeks or months, you’ll have spent many hours of labor on social media content with little or no engagement to show for it. Is it really worth it?
Usually, the answer is yes! Social media is an outstanding way to achieve several key goals:
- Brand awareness
- Community building
- Donor acquisition
- Volunteer recruitment
- Hiring talent
The hard part is learning how to tap into that potential. At CharityNet USA, as part of our many nonprofit solutions, we can help you develop a successful, long-term social media strategy as part of your larger strategic plan.
LinkedIn: Seemingly Boring but Valuable
Today we’re going to be focusing specifically on LinkedIn. For nonprofits, each social media network is its own landscape, with its own applications and advantages. All social networks can help you build brand awareness, but, beyond that, each platform starts to become better-suited to certain tasks over others.
LinkedIn, being a career platform, is all about discovering and hiring talent, and this is absolutely one of its greatest strengths to you as a nonprofit. However, that’s only the beginning. Would you have guessed that you can also take advantage of a career platform like LinkedIn for nonprofit fundraising? Or for community building? Or educating the public about your cause?
In fact, LinkedIn has in-depth nonprofit resources to help you get started! That said, it’s a lot to take in.
We’re going to walk you through the more strategic, big picture aspects of it here:
Understanding Your Audience
Most people on LinkedIn are not there for fun. They’re there to get hired and, even more so, to build connections. Using LinkedIn for nonprofit solely for social media engagement is inherently limited to that particular audience. There are those who use the platform to keep up with industry trends and news, however.
How do you take advantage of this? Let your brand be a vessel for people to build those connections and be a resource for learning about your cause. By building out a robust LinkedIn page, and posting compelling articles regularly, people who are interested in your work will be able to link to it in their profile, as well as reshare it, as a way of bolstering their own resumes and marketability.
Building Brand Awareness
Every social network is a road for building brand awareness, but it works differently from platform to platform. On LinkedIn it’s all about building professional connections, and, just as others can share your content, you can also use LinkedIn for nonprofit connection-building of your own.
Specifically, you can post and share your own content, as well as reshare other people’s content, and join LinkedIn Groups, all the while strategically tagging people and organizations as a way of keeping your name and your work fresh in the minds of those entities and individuals.
Bonus: Corporate Sponsorships
From your brand awareness work, you may be able to nurture corporate sponsorships of your organization. Most companies are looking to spend at least a few dollars on their local communities or on issues they care about. This is just one more of the many benefits of LinkedIn for nonprofits.
Find companies that align with your mission, and woo them. Share their content. Tag them in your posts. Don’t come on too strong, but let them know you’re there, and use your content strategy to give them an opportunity to become more interested in what you’re doing, and how sponsoring you could be in their interest. Eventually, an opportunity for outreach will present itself.
Expanding Your Fundraising
One of the other great strengths of LinkedIn for nonprofits is its ability to facilitate fundraising through organic marketing. By producing content of your own and sharing other people’s content, you will steadily integrate yourself into the network and build connections.
It’s a natural next step for you to leverage the platform to expand your fundraising, and, as a nonprofit organization, LinkedIn even encourages you to do this. LinkedIn is the most professional audience of any social network, so you’re looking at a lot of adults with discretionary income to spend.
Help Your Nonprofit Grow with CharityNet USA
At CharityNet USA, we can help new nonprofits get off the ground with a successful startup launch and strategic planning that includes a social media strategy. We can help established nonprofits grow to the next level through our capacity building solutions, including a buildout of existing social media operations. And we can help you use LinkedIn for nonprofit fundraising activities, to bolster your overall fundraising strategy.