You may have a personal LinkedIn profile, but is your organization leveraging “LinkedIn’s 175+ million strong network of professionals” to promote your mission, engage supporters and identify and connect with volunteers?
If not, now might be a good time to take a closer look. LinkedIn launched a number of enhancements during September and early October that make this social media platform more effective for individuals and organizations.
Here are highlights of three enhancements that might impact you:
1. Rolling out LinkedIn Company Pages
In an earlier post - Can LinkedIn Recommendations Grow Your Membership? - we talked about creating “company pages” for your non-profit or membership organization. Since then, LinkedIn has rolled-out re-designed company pages that offer a new look and additional functionality. The LinkedIn Blog offers details and a video you can watch here.
This change echoes the Facebook timeline updates we saw a while back with an increased cover image (now 646 X 220 pixels). On their marketing page, LinkedIn suggests these changes are intended to help organizations “welcome visitors to your page with an eye-catching image that represents your company or brand.”
For example, here’s what Wild Apricot’s LinkedIn Company Page looks like:
If your organization doesn’t have a Company Page, you can find out how to create one through LinkedIn’s Help Center - Adding a Company Page.
2. Launching of Board Connect
With it's new Board Connect feature, LinkedIn suggests it will be able to help organizations “deepen relationships and cultivate connections” which should help you identify and attract volunteers and board members. As Beth Kanter explains in a recent blog post,
Board Connect [will help] nonprofits transform themselves into networked nonprofits by finding and recruiting board members using a networked approach. Leveraging their own networks as well as their board members’ networks, nonprofit leaders now have free access to a premium LinkedIn feature that lets them search for and connect with professionals who meet the needs of their organization on LinkedIn.
The idea is simple, but powerful. You and your board look at your professional networks and connections on LinkedIn. Board Connect lets you zero in on the right candidates with the right networks and knowledge for your nonprofit. You can contact them through LinkedIn and the interface has tools to manage your search.”
As you can see in the slide (below) from the LinkedIn SlideShare presentation, you can identify the skills or profile of the volunteer or Board member you are seeking and use this LinkedIn feature to search your network to screen and connect with potential candidates.
Nonprofits that sign up for Board Connect, will receive:
For more details on Board Connect, you can check out this LinkedIn video.
Free access to a Talent Finder account ($1,000 value) (Amplify your ability to search and to reach out to your board's extended network.)
Exclusive LinkedIn educational webcasts
Membership to the Board Connect group (access to exclusive content and a powerfully connected nonprofit peer network)
3. Following on LinkedIn
As the Nonprofit Quarterly recently noted, LinkedIn’s “recent makeover includes a new “follow” feature similar to what other social networks, notably Twitter, have offered. The site will now allow users to follow some 150 thought leaders that they aren’t directly connected to, allowing followers to see their public posts.” Some of the nonprofit “thought leaders” identified include Beth Kanter and Katya Andresen.
Getting interested? Want More On LinkedIn?
If you are just getting started on LinkedIn and want more information, here are some tips and resources to help you understand how you and your organization might benefit from LinkedIn:
Wild Apricot Blog Posts:
- LinkedIn’s own blog and Learning Center are full of helpful suggestions so you can make the most of your use of the network.
- They also offer LinkedIn webinars - these are free, but do note that you’ll have to register
Portrait of a LinkedIn User:
The infographic we excerpted at the beginning of this post - created by powerforumula - offers some insight into who is using LInkedIn and how it has helped. You can check out the full infographic on the powerforumula website here.