LinkedIn for nonprofits is a thing.
And, it’s probably one of the best platforms out there to grow a nonprofit organization and take it to the next level.
Today, we take a look at techniques and strategies for using LinkedIn for nonprofits, and what methods you can deploy to make a bigger difference.
Yes, growth hacking also applies here.
Utilizing LinkedIn for Nonprofits Features
Why use LinkedIn for nonprofits?
It is the largest professional social networking platform and it’s filled with a lot of people that potentially care about your vision.
Apart from discounts on certain things, LinkedIn provides an avenue to connect with new volunteers, fundraise and generally disseminate knowledge to a large network of people.
Now isn’t that just perfect for growth on the platform?
You’ll find that a lot of nonprofit organizations and charities have bases on LinkedIn.
It provides organizations with an alternate avenue for more growth and exposure.
And, growth is always good.
First and foremost, you have got to have a page for your nonprofit.
By using your brand materials and competitor benchmark data – more on this later on in this guide – you can craft a LinkedIn for nonprofit page that not only looks good but converts well for your cause.
Here’s the thing.
The nonprofit page plays a number of roles.
- It has to act as a trust signal for your organization. People who will be volunteering, donating, using your materials, or transacting with you will be using this as one of their research points to check for your legitimacy.
- It needs to act as a landing or jump-off page, this means that your nonprofit page should be able to link to other resources that you have or your website while getting people to convert.
- It serves as a source of additional information, this primarily means you need to list downs specific details of your organization here such as your location, what you do, careers, links, etc.
- It needs to highlight your key team members, nonprofits have a lot of “brand” ambassadors, so having them on the page allows you to form a visual/brand connection. This helps with your reach.
Another point of consideration is that the opposite might happen.
Your audience could be visiting your LinkedIn after they have viewed your website, so the page has to be an extension – in a way – of your site.
In short, your optimization has to work both ways.
Profile Optimization for Key Team Members
Apart from optimizing the organization’s page, key team members – or brand ambassadors – if you think about it also, need optimized profile pages to make sure that the nonprofit is getting the maximum amount of exposure that it can get.
The process of profile optimization for nonprofit organization members is surprisingly similar to optimizing a normal LinkedIn profile page. You need to get the basics down such as:
- Good profile photos
- Cover photo with branding elements of the nonprofit organization
- A headline that converts
However, there are other sections that you should be tweaking differently. Let’s go through the two main sections you have to pay attention to.
Featured Section for Nonprofits Members
For the featured section, we suggest adding a link to a page on the organization’s website where they can support the organization. This screams nonprofit as opposed to traditional business profiles, that link to the product or a landing page designed to convert.
Add a link to a successful project or product that is developed under the umbrella of the nonprofit, this shows prospective donors or supporters that the nonprofit is actively achieving an altruistic return on their investments.
Additionally, there should be plenty of media in this section that shows the projects that the nonprofit is involved in. It can even include behind-the-scenes looks at how the nonprofit operates. This further adds to the humanity of the projects being deployed by the nonprofit.
About Me Summary for Nonprofits Members
It’s time to roll up your sleeves and implement an about me summary that’s rich in storytelling.
Here’s the thing.
People who want to support nonprofits, want to know about the stories behind the key members and brand ambassadors. It gives them something to relate to and, again, it adds a lot of humanity to the organization.
There is no need to utilize a plain text founder story here, but eliciting a little emotion – not too much, don’t overdo it – really goes a long way.
Promoting Brand Ambassadorship
This is an initiative that you should start off on the platform to start and then slowly move to LinkedIn.
People want to see that key members of your team are active in the nonprofit and to do this you need to promote brand ambassadorship.
It signals to people that you are a cohesive unit that is united toward a singular objective making you more appealing.
In fact, LinkedIn for nonprofit pages has a section where you can show life at the organization – which gives outsiders a glimpse inside the company.
When you get a chance you can even come up with a support mechanism to help your team such as a branding guide, templates for their cover photos, a unified headline guide, and identical display photos.
Benchmarking and Competitor Analysis
It doesn’t matter if it’s LinkedIn for nonprofits or B2B healthcare, you need to know who the other players are and develop a benchmark. There will always be organizations that are similar to yours, and it’s important that you know who they are and how they function.
You’re not trying to beat them, but you’re looking at how their audience or the market responds to them, so you can either emulate – in your own way – what they are doing or avoid their pitfalls.
How do you do this?
A little competitor analysis goes a long way.
- Examine their page to check their significant optimizations
- Check out how their brand ambassadors conduct themselves on the platform
- What type of photos and media are they releasing?
- Is there engagement steadily going? If yes, for what type of posts can you also do the same thing?
- How active are they on the platform?
We can talk about LinkedIn for nonprofit content for days, but you know what the bottom line is: it has to be compelling.
Here’s the thing.
If the nonprofit has a LinkedIn account, then they would already probably have a website, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, now the question is what sort of content works on LinkedIn?
Their answer is simple, content that appeals to your professional audience on LinkedIn.
After your benchmarking and competitor analysis, you should have an idea of which posts similar nonprofit organizations have been publishing and which of these have really left their mark.
By doing this, you know what type of content you should concentrate on.
Standard LinkedIn content rules also apply here.
- The content has to be shareworthy and professional enough to be shared with peers on LinkedIn.
- It has to involve an element of storytelling in order to drive engagement.
- It has to be optimized well for the platform especially those on their phones as a majority of users will view it on a mobile device.
- Use hashtags to organize the content.
- Different multimedia types help pique interest.
- Don’t post anything that goes against LinkedIn’s rules.
But beyond all of this, you should know your audience.
The content that you post has to be able to fulfill the needs of your intended audience.
No matter how viral-worthy your piece may be, if it doesn’t appeal to the right people who have their eyes on your organization, you won’t get the effects you would want.
Another thing we need to stress is the use of naturally engaging content such as slideshows or videos, you’ll have a better chance of getting higher engagement with these types.
While you’re at it make sure that you engage with the people who engage with you.
This means in they comment on a post, you should reply to them and even ask questions. You need to be able to maintain the conversation.
Not only does LinkedIn see this as a factor to increase the vitality potential of your post – since you’re getting engaging traffic earlier on – but you will also be seen as an organization that prioritizes its audience …while being active on the platform.
Part of engagement is also sharing what other thought leaders have to say about your cause or if they mention your organization specifically.
This allows you to make connections and shows your audience that you do not mind sharing the spotlight.
As with all things on LinkedIn, the BAMF adage still holds true: “You can’t growth hack if you don’t track”.
You should consistently look at your LinkedIn nonprofit page and see how you’re doing.
Regular weekly check-ins and the occasional quarterly might do the trick for the most part, but you’re a growth hacker who wants to make a difference so you want to go beyond that.
We suggest running A/B tests and doing research to discover new trends and track content growth.
Content functions the same in any industry, and it still has to be tested.
As you can see, there are a lot of ways to growth hack using LinkedIn for nonprofits.
However, it does come with its own set of rules and flavors.
By utilizing key features of LinkedIn for nonprofits, implementing optimizations, and following best practices for nonprofits, you can drive growth and support a good cause!