By Lauryn Rosinski – Marketing and PR account coordinator
As part of Dot Org Solutions’ marketing consulting services, we help nonprofits and small businesses learn more about telling their stories and communicating their brands through social media. For the past several months, I have had the opportunity to develop strategies and guides for one particular social network, LinkedIn.
As a recent college graduate, I knew quite a bit about LinkedIn when I joined the Dot Org Solutions team, especially how to use it to look for jobs and internships. Further research and resources from the Dot Org team helped me discover even more about this platform.
LinkedIn is a great tool, but many employees of nonprofit organizations and small business do not fully understand its benefits. This is due to a variety of factors, including limited brand awareness, misconceptions about the platform and lack of time to discover the ins and outs of LinkedIn.
So, let’s take a look at some common questions about LinkedIn, along with some best practices for making an impact through this platform.
So… What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is a social media platform with 645 million+ members that caters specifically to professionals and businesses in all types of industries. Through this platform, users can create their own personal profiles, while companies can make business pages. All can be accessed via the web or through LinkedIn’s app.
What are the benefits of using LinkedIn?
One common misconception about LinkedIn is that it is solely used for recruitment purposes. Yes, LinkedIn is a tool used by recruiters and businesses looking to hire and seeking more information on prospective employees. However, members also use LinkedIn for other networking and professional purposes.
Members of nonprofits and small businesses can especially benefit from using LinkedIn by:
- Creating connections with colleagues, prospective clients, partners and other organizations for business and professional growth
- Engaging with businesses and industry thought leaders
- Learning about networking events, conferences and professional development opportunities
- Communicating the goals, mission and brand of their organizations and businesses
LinkedIn may not be as entertainment-focused as social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter; however, users can become more well-rounded professionals and companies can tell their stories and market themselves through this network.
Is LinkedIn going away anytime soon?
To put it simply: No, I don’t believe LinkedIn is going away. As a communications professional, I have seen clients and associates beginning to use LinkedIn more often and searching for new ways to develop LinkedIn strategies.
They are doing this because they have seen that LinkedIn helps professionals and companies expand their networks, achieve growth and increase awareness of personal and business brands.
- Two professionals join LinkedIn every second
- 154 million American employees are on LinkedIn; the remaining users live in 200 countries around the world
- 91 percent of executives rate LinkedIn as their first choice for professionally relevant content
- 3 million American jobs are posted on LinkedIn every month
- 30 million companies have LinkedIn profiles
Additionally, LinkedIn is consistently ranked by thought leaders as one of the top 20 most popular social media sites in the world.
Needless to say, LinkedIn is more than likely here to stay – and employees of nonprofits and small businesses should use it.
Let’s get to the best practices!
Clearly LinkedIn is a great resource for you to consider using. However, you have to be sure you’re using it appropriately for it to be effective. Here are some tips and tricks for employees of nonprofits and small businesses when using this platform.
- Coordinate creating a business page for your nonprofit or small business.
LinkedIn gives your constituents, donors, customers and clients another opportunity to learn more about your organization. Work with your leadership team, on-staff marketing professional or outsourced marketing team (such as Dot Org Solutions) to develop a business page that informs the public about your nonprofit or small business’s work and mission.
- Make sure your business page’s “About” section sounds like your organization.
This is an important tip for leadership team members and marketing professionals for nonprofits and small businesses. One of the first things users look at when searching a business page is the “About” section. Tailor the messaging of this section to clearly communicate what your organization does, who it serves and why page visitors should want to learn more.
- Update your personal profile to define your role at your organization.
When other professionals want to make connections with you on LinkedIn, they want to learn more about what you bring to the table. And these professionals can be prospective customers, members of foundations, future donors and potential partners. Include bullet points or short phrases about how you benefit your organization and the work you do – and, of course, keep it professional.
- Share materials on your LinkedIn profile.
You can upload relevant documents onto your LinkedIn profile – and these documents help you establish yourself as a thought leader. Feel free to upload relevant articles, theses, papers or blog posts that you have written to communicate your expertise.
- Discover LinkedIn features.
LinkedIn is full of many features that even social media experts do not know about. For example, if you gave a compelling presentation, you can upload your slides through a LinkedIn feature called SlideShare. Explore features like SlideShare through your LinkedIn page and see what works best for your organization.
LinkedIn is an effective tool that is used by professionals and businesses worldwide. By learning the basics of this social network and best practices, employees of nonprofits and small businesses can take the next steps to successfully using the social network for professionals.
Want to learn more about working with us to create a LinkedIn strategy? Contact us at [email protected] or 330.247.2180 today.