5 Ways Nonprofits Can Use LinkedIn to Advance Their Missions
Given its member base of 756 million global professionals in over 200 countries, LinkedIn can be a powerful social media platform to help achieve your organization’s goals. Not only are LinkedIn members highly engaged and often interested in philanthropy, with 53% already donating to nonprofits and 60% saying they’re interested in volunteering, but they can also hold the keys to corporate partnerships, grants, and more.
There’s a lot more to LinkedIn than just posting jobs or liking people’s updates. Here are five ways you can take your nonprofit’s LinkedIn strategy to the next level.
1. Expand Your Reach and Build Engagement
Creating a LinkedIn Page for your nonprofit and posting content on a regular basis can help you attract a loyal and dedicated following on the platform. This is valuable in itself, helping you get the word out and drive action. But as you gain more followers, you also gain access to their networks, since the content they’re engaging with will show up on their connections’ feeds.
This can help you grow your organic reach dramatically. LinkedIn data shows that between 2018 and 2020, nonprofits saw a 78% rise in followers, which corresponded with a 134% lift in engagement and a 101% increase in unique members engaged. That means that by posting content for your followers to see and engage with, you have the potential to reach thousands more people and get them interested in your cause.
You can also use LinkedIn’s targeting features to get your message in front of exactly the right people when you run paid advertising campaigns. For example, if you’ve found in the past that members from a particular large corporation are especially engaged with your nonprofit’s cause, you could run a campaign aimed specifically at people who work at that company.
Or, if you’re looking to attract a more senior audience, you might target members based on factors like job seniority, job title, and years of experience.
And if you discover that a particular combination of search terms generates good results, you can also enable Audience Expansion, which gives the algorithm a heads up that you want to target similar people, so you can reach a broader audience that’s still likely to be drawn to your cause.
For more tips about expanding your nonprofit’s reach on the LinkedIn platform, check out LinkedIn Pages: Action plan for nonprofits.
2. Identify and Connect With Like-Minded People
LinkedIn is great for expanding your nonprofit’s reach, but you can also use it to pinpoint specific individuals who can help advance your mission. Whether it’s your next donor, board member, employee, or volunteer, they’re probably on LinkedIn—and they’re only a connection away.
Start by building a list of search terms that are likely to appear on the profiles of people who will resonate with your mission. If your work is focused on animal welfare, for instance, members who mention an interest in animals might be excited to hear from you. Maybe they volunteered at an animal shelter in high school and would love the opportunity to get back into volunteering, or perhaps they’re at a place in their career where they’re ready to join a nonprofit board or make a major gift to a cause they care about. Share a few different ways they can get involved to help them match their support to their unique circumstances and needs, making them more likely to say yes.
The LinkedIn search bar is a good place to start searching for members—but to really take your searches to the next level, consider investing in LinkedIn Sales Navigator. This solution allows you to quickly search for the right people, find and pursue recommended leads, and map your nonprofit’s network to see who you know. That way, you can often find a warm introduction, further increasing your chances of a positive response.
3. Build Credibility in a Trusted, Professional Setting
Where you post content matters almost as much as the content itself. LinkedIn has been ranked the most trusted social media platform by U.S. social media users for four years running. This gives nonprofit content posted on LinkedIn an extra layer of credibility, which is essential when you’re asking people to donate their money or time.
Since LinkedIn is built around a professional audience, members are scrolling through their feed looking for professional content. Your nonprofit’s important updates will feel right at home, and your uplifting message can encourage them to stop scrolling and engage.
4. Host Inspiring Events That Advance Your Goals
In a post-pandemic world, virtual and hybrid events will likely be here to stay. Whether you’re planning to host your event entirely online, have a few digital elements as part of your programming, or you just want to promote it and drive registration numbers, LinkedIn can help with that, too. Plus, with Classy’s peer-to-peer fundraising platform and registration with fundraising functionality, you can leverage the power of the Classy fundraising platform while hosting your live event on LinkedIn Events.
With LinkedIn Events, you can build a landing page with a unique URL to promote your upcoming event. Make the event private and invite a select audience, or create a public event that anyone can discover. Be sure to build anticipation by posting content to the event feed—like polls, updates about speakers, and behind-the-scenes videos.
On the day of the event, you have the option to host directly on the platform using LinkedIn Live. You do need to apply and have your application approved before you can use this feature, so it’s best to apply in good time if you’re starting to plan events for the months ahead.
To make the most of live streaming, incorporate interactive elements, like responding to audience comments, to make the event feel more engaging and less like audiences are just staring at their screen. If you gated your event, you can also collect the names and emails of people who signed up, allowing you to send follow-up materials after the stream has ended. Another benefit of doing this is that people who register receive a confirmation email and reminders, making them less likely to forget and miss your event.
To learn more about hosting successful events on LinkedIn, explore our free resource, Events and Groups on LinkedIn: A guide for nonprofits.
5. Meet and Measure Key Objectives
Between the platform itself and solutions like LinkedIn Learning, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and LinkedIn Jobs, nonprofits can use LinkedIn for everything from hiring, to fundraising, to employee development, and beyond. And since every solution comes equipped with advanced analytics tools to support your campaign tracking and reporting efforts, you can assess what’s working, adjust your strategy as you go, and make more informed decisions.
There’s so much that nonprofits can do with LinkedIn. Discover more useful resources and guides to help you get started by visiting the LinkedIn for Nonprofits website today.
This post was written by Leo Pedraza from LinkedIn for Nonprofits. A passionate marketing, communications, and social impact leader, Leo leads LinkedIn’s Global Nonprofit Marketing Efforts, helping to empower nonprofits with the resources and solutions they need to change the world. Previously, he worked at Google, IBM, Facebook, and Accenture.
LinkedIn for Nonprofits: Your Complete Checklist
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