LinkedIn is one of the most popular and enduring of social media sites. Through the second quarter of 2014, LinkedIn boasted users in 200 countries, with 300 million users worldwide and 100 million in the United States alone. Every month, 187 million unique visitors go to LinkedIn, and 2 of every 5 LinkedIn users go to the site every single day.
LinkedIn is a treasure trove of potential business contacts and among the most effective social media streams for boosting your online visibility.
Which Group to Join? LinkedIn Groups vs. Facebook Groups
LinkedIn encourages its users to join groups, which are communities of users with common interests who share content relevant to their concerns. In some respects, LinkedIn groups are similar to Facebook Groups.
The principal difference has to do with the reason each site exists: Facebook is more about establishing personal relationships, while LinkedIn is more about conducting business. Joining LinkedIn groups is more likely to result in conversations about prospects for doing business, and this extends to the business done by non-profits.
A Hidden Gem for Non-Profits
In spite of its extensive social reach, LinkedIn has not been comprehensively embraced by non-profits. That’s a mistake because LinkedIn groups provide an unparalleled opportunity for non-profits to increase their visibility by building robust communities.
Here are 6 tips to get your non-profit noticed and achieve its core objectives:
1. Create Posts Around Engaging Topics: Listen to group discussions and design posts that complement those discussions. Establish yourself as a group leader by adding substantially to the thread.
2. Invite Them Home: Use topical discussions to move users to your website. Make sure that the landing page you send them to is relevant and a natural extension of the ongoing discussion.
3. Give Them Valuable Content: Social media is all about delivering valuable content. Give group members content that’s relevant and usable via how-to videos, webinars, white papers and case studies. You can find a host of online tools to help you create and curate great content.
4. You Want to Know What I Think?: Most people are flattered when you ask for their opinion. Engage group members by asking for their input. You’ll build group loyalty and trust, and probably receive some great advice you can actually use. When you do get good advice, take the time to thank the group member(s) who gave it to you. Showing your appreciation tells every member of the group, not just the ones who get thanked, that your connection to the group is genuine.
6. Don’t Overdo It: Messaging the group is important, but be careful not to overdo it with too-frequent messages. Put the old bromide about “beating a dead horse” in the front of your strategic thinking. If what you send just lies there, don’t think that sending it again will get more attention. More likely, it will get you spammed.
Leveraging LinkedIn groups
Leveraging LinkedIn groups can serve as an important aspect of a strategic marketing campaign, but it’s not the only one. The best LinkedIn groups campaigns are thoughtfully integrated with other marketing channels, such as your website and email marketing.
Take the time to integrate what you do through LinkedIn groups with your larger marketing efforts, and you’ll reap the business rewards for years to come.