LinkedIn is indefinitely the world’s largest professional network. It was started way back in 2002 with the intention of connecting for-profit businesses and professionals. However, with time, LinkedIn has evolved to extend the network for nonprofit networking as well. Last year, we had a guest write an article for us on LinkedIn marketing for for-profit businesses. We wanted to extend this to the nonprofit businesses as well. Hence, in this new article, we will be discussing the ways in which you can market your nonprofit, raise funds, and hire great talent.
No matter the size or cause of your nonprofit, LinkedIn can help build your network. LinkedIn is a huge social media platform that allows you to connect with decision makers. Let’s quickly take a look at the LinkedIn’s landscape and the scope it offers for nonprofits.
Covering the basics
Set up a LinkedIn page
First things first. There are over 217,000 nonprofit pages on Linked. You need one for your nonprofit as well. How else will people be able to find you on LinkedIn? Let’s set up your nonprofit page on LinkedIn, if you haven’t done it already.
Click the Work icon at the top right corner of your homepage. Select from the drop-down. Fill in the details of your nonprofit and click Create page. That’s it!
Pep up your LinkedIn page
It isn’t just enough to make your presence on LinkedIn, you also need to make your nonprofit stand out. Did I not tell you about the number of nonprofit pages on LinkedIn? Well then, how do you make your page stand out?
Your page will be the face of your organization on LinkedIn. It is an extension of your brand. You need to add your company description, mention the values that it is built on, the purpose of running the nonprofit and how you plan on creating impact through it. You need to ensure that it is completely filled out just like your LinkedIn profile. If you have a parent organization, get in touch with the admin of the page and have the pages connected.
We hope you have added high-quality images to your page and banner. There is something called the Life section that gives you the space to talk about your nonprofit’s culture, employee lifestyle, interests, etc. This will come a long way when you are hiring talent for your nonprofit. It also adds a human touch to the page.
Here are some of the nonprofits to take inspiration from on LinkedIn:
- American Red Cross
- Conservation International
- Environmental Defense Fund
- National Wildlife Federation
Marketing your nonprofit on LinkedIn
Start with your closest network
You already have a small network of people within your organization who can help you spread the word. Get your nonprofit’s employees to follow the page on LinkedIn. Request them to share the page on their individual LinkedIn network inviting people to follow it. Nudge them to share the page updates with their network.
Next, you need to get in touch with your volunteers and donors to follow your LinkedIn page for updates. Every time, your nonprofit’s page followers engage with your updates, their network will see it in their feed — a sort of ripple effect.
You can also ask your employees, volunteers, and donors to add your nonprofit organization to their profile. This will show up in their individual experience section. They can even include it in their profile title. All this will add to your nonprofit’s visibility.
If you want to be popular on LinkedIn (or any social channel for that matter) you need to be active. One of the easiest ways of doing that is by sharing engaging content on your LinkedIn page. LinkedIn allows you to share different kinds of content such as text updates, images, long-form posts, videos, etc. Though LinkedIn has the longest shelf life than any social media site, it is necessary that you share fresh content at least once in every 24 hours.
As a nonprofit organization, there might be multiple pages for different services that you offer. Most often each of these services will have individual pages. To manage all of them and to ensure that you post content regularly can be daunting. With a help of a social media management software for nonprofit, you can create a LinkedIn content calendar and schedule them to be published on the desired dates.
Getting your content mix right
The next question that gets asked is What kind of content drives most engagement? Based on a survey conducted by LinkedIn of 9000 members, data showed that 89% users showed interest in content pertaining to industry trends whereas 67% users in employee perspective. To get maximum engagement, you need to focus on news pertaining to your industry — nonprofits.
Another frequently asked question is In what format should you publish content on LinkedIn? According to LinkedIn, posts with images result in 98% higher comment rate. Since YouTube links play directly in your followers’ feed, they increase share rate by 75%. Though usually, visual content works better than plain text updates, LinkedIn members from each industry may respond differently. Hence, you will need to identify which kind of content works best with your audience based on engagement data.
Another important aspect of social media content strategy involves competition analysis. You need to analyze how other nonprofits who offer similar services as your nonprofit are performing on LinkedIn and what kind of content they are publishing on their pages.
Optimize your headlines and introductions to improve engagement. Ask questions that are relevant and involve your audience.
Publish LinkedIn Pulse Posts
LinkedIn Pulse is a space that is used to write articles. It is like LinkedIn’s own WordPress. You can use this space to share informative content on various topics pertaining to your industry. This helps you establish yourself as a thought leader. It helps you increase traffic to your nonprofit’s LinkedIn page and it is a great way to promote your nonprofit.
However, you cannot publish a LinkedIn Pulse post as a company page. You’ll need to publish it through your individual account. This gives you an opportunity to have your staff, volunteers, or donors write an article on Pulse. This not only makes them your nonprofit’s advocates but also helps boost your nonprofit page on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn Groups are also a great place to share posts, opinions, and news. It also helps you connect with people who are particularly in the same industry. You can interact with updates that are shared there and build more LinkedIn connections. Here are some of the nonprofits you should be following.
- Non Profit Network
- The Chronicle of Philanthropy
- Social Media for Nonprofit Organizations
- Non-Profit Marketing
- Nonprofit Governance
- Development and Fundraising Professionals
- Non-Profit Management Professionals
- The NonProfit Times
LinkedIn Paid Promotions
Gaining traffic through organic posts is a great way to drive traffic. However, you need to shell out a few bucks on sponsored updates. It is an important way to amplify your presence on LinkedIn. It also helps you reach your niche audience. The catch, however, is that sponsored updates work only from your organic posts.
You will regularly be raising funds or reaching out to potential donors. You can use Sponsored InMail to help you do this quicker. It’s similar to running an email marketing campaign but within LinkedIn. It helps you deliver your message straight to your targeted audience’s inbox.
You can use this option to drive traffic to your website or your LinkedIn page. They are similar to setting up Facebook ads. They have a set format that you can use. All you need to do is fill in the details, choose your target audience, and set your budget. These ads appear in the right column of your audience’ homepage.
These ads help you create a more personalized ad campaign. LinkedIn takes into account profile data of your audience such as job title, etc. to help you make ads more relevant to them. This can improve your click-rate and generate more leads for your nonprofit.
Analytics plays an important role in marketing, irrespective of the platform or channel that you use. You need to know exactly what’s happening with the updates you share or the ad campaigns you run. LinkedIn has inbuilt analytics that you can access to view how your nonprofit is performing on LinkedIn. The data is easy to understand through simple graphs.
Since you will be exploring other social channels to build your nonprofit’s you be managing multiple social profiles. It’s easier if you have all of the data in one place instead of juggling between multiple tabs. You can use a social media reporting software to help you with this.
With 9 million users showing interest in skill-based volunteering, LinkedIn is a great place to find talent for your nonprofit. Employer brand is another key way of boosting your social presence. People flock to LinkedIn to know about a company before applying for jobs. This is a great opportunity for you to let the world know what it is like to volunteer or be employed at your nonprofit. You can post job openings, create a career page to showcase your employer brand and get insights on how talent acquisition is working for you on LinkedIn.
Over to You
Get your nonprofit organization in front of millions of professionals around the world using the methods mentioned in this article. Always remember that the key to being a hit on social is to be active. So, go ahead and try these tips out but don’t forget to let us know which ones worked for you.