Tips and Tricks: how to use Social Media for Nonprofits:
By: Thomas R. Reich
LinkedIn for nonprofits is a vital link to donors and volunteers in today’s digital society. We will assume you have set up your basic profile, and most important that you uploaded a professional looking head shot, not a logo, this is a must on LinkedIn. We will assume that your profile is filled out and completed 100%! This is the basis for getting value from LinkedIn for Nonprofits.
Let’s take a look at your profile updates, some interesting things happen when you input a status update:
1) You can update your status any time you like on LinkedIn for nonprofits
2) Your latest status update gets displayed right at the top of your page, right under your Professional looking photo and your name.
3) That is valuable real-estate; anyone visiting your LinkedIn page will see this update first thing.
5) You can include a live link to either a YouTube video or a PDF file.
6) “Here are the 5 biggest reasons to Volunteer” linked to a video of a nice presentation of why they should volunteer for your organization.
7) “Here is a 14 page PDF report with the 25 most effective ways to help others in 2012” with a link
8) Take advantage of that short status update line use links to point to more in-depth information when using LinkedIn for nonprofits.
9) Once a week your followers get “Updates from people you know” in an email, so use this status update once a week, and get maximum exposure from LinkedIn for nonprofits
You have access to start a page, much like a Facebook page, this is a mini web site and is the place for logos and company/Foundation information. We suggest you put recommendations here sponsored partners, any contests or drives you have going and possibly your Twitter and Facebook links.
You also have access to LinkedIn for nonprofits advanced search service. Let’s say you want to know the name of the CFO of every company involved in the construction industry, so you could approach them for a donation to your habitat for humanity drive. You set up the parameters and it not only gives you a complete list, but it updates you every week on new additions.
One of the best ways to network and gain prospects on LinkedIn for nonprofits is through the group network. Click on groups and you will see hundreds of groups you can join locally or nationally that are full of people with the same goals and similar interests. You may find a national support group of nonprofits doing exactly what you do in your area, can you imagine the ideas you might be exposed to!
The main way to gain credibility and network most effectively is to actually start a group, and actively solicit members to your cause. Yes if your organization is big enough to have 40 volunteers you can have a group named after your non-profit and gain new members right out of LinkedIn for nonprofits, listed and advertised within their own system for free! How many companies in this day and age offer you a value like that, totally FREE? The group comes with internal communications, auto notifications, and group email, all free!
Now when you start to invite people to join your LinkedIn for nonprofits network do your homework:
1) Do you know them personally, if you do label as a friend
3) Personalize your request to have them in your LinkedIn for nonprofits network, DO NOT send the standard message.
4) Make the massage relevant and personalized to the person you are requesting the connection with, why should they be in your network?
5) Be honest, sincere and above all…
6) Do not try to sell or solicit anything in this request!
What you should do consistently to nurture your LinkedIn for nonprofits network:
1) Post a status update weekly
2) Check and answer any questions sent you at least once a day
3) Invite interesting people to connect, a few a day not all at once
5) Found and nurture a group, relevant to your mission and goals
6) Answer any group questions promptly, have monthly events
7) Share articles or interesting blog postings (like this one) with your group or network of friends on a regular basis to hold interest
Your mantra on LinkedIn for nonprofits should be NOT BE: “Buy my stuff” it will get you a bad rep in no time.
Instead try “Let me suggest something” or “Have you tried this” then call me and we can discuss further. The soft sell on LinkedIn for nonprofits works best.
APPROACH, TRANSPARINCY and ETHICS
- Build relationships
- Add value
- Share Information
- Keep it Relevant
- Promote Others
- Connect People to Opportunity
- Always say Thank You for any connect or group join
A Final List of things to do to be Successful in LinkedIn for Nonprofit
- Clearly define your target audience
- Participate where they do, join the groups they are in
- Be a consistent person
- Cultivate your network carefully
- Be visible and add value to the discussion
- Demonstrate credibility
- Plan, Execute and succeed with LinkedIn for nonprofit
“IF you try to sell to everyone, you are selling to no one”