The Best Thing You Can Do TODAY
Yesterday’s post offered tips one through five, plus 19 steps you can take to work LinkedIn to your business or organization’s advantage. Today we have five more tips, plus 11 additional steps. REMEMBER: Before your take your first step determine why you want to use LinkedIn. As with everything else, to paraphrase Lewis Carroll, if you don’t know where you’re going you’ll very likely get there.
6 Join and participate in group discussions
Genuine ‘linking’ happens within groups. This is how you position yourself as an authority. It’s also a great way to meet influencers in your area of work/expertise. Through groups you can learn how people across industries are connected to issues and people you would like to influence to benefit your work.
- Search for and join groups related to your industry.
- Have employees search for and join groups related to their profession. For example, your marketing manager may want to join Social Media Strategies for Business.
- Search for, join and participate in groups that foundations, businesses or major donors have joined. This allows them to get to know you so that when you approach them you’re not coming in cold.
- Develop a content and dissemination strategy for this so that your folks aren’t just randomly and sporadically doing this. You want to ensure you’re discussing topics that have relevance for your constituents. And be sure folks have time to monitor and respond to the discussion (it usually doesn’t require more than a few minutes a day).
- Join LinkedIn Nonprofit Solutions. It’s a group devoted to discussions about how nonprofits can use LinkedIn!
7 Message donors for whom you don’t have emails
This is an often overlooked tool.
- If you don’t have contact information for someone you want to reach, see if you can find it on LinkedIn.
8 Play with LinkedIn Answers (They got rid of this feature since I wrote this post, but you can still do this kind of thing on Quora)
- Subscribe to the RSS feed of a certain category of questions (such as Social Entrepreneurship; Financial Markets; Communication and Public Speaking ) to stay up to date on the latest industry discussions.
- Answer questions yourself. If your answer is designated as the “best answer,” this enhances your professional credibility. Also, questions reach the entire Linkedin community; not just your personal connections.
My new, substitute #8 is Use LinkedIn for major donor “moves.”
Social recruiting is fast becoming “the” way to find new talent.
- LinkedIn is today one of the largest sources of job finding for executive and management positions, superseding things like Craig’s List and even executive search firms. There are both free and paid tools; plus there are discounts for nonprofits on the paid tools. Check out their Corporate Recruiting and Talent Finder sections under the “Jobs” tab.
- It’s also a great place to find new board members. You can post the “job” into the LinkedIn jobs network, and they’ll match with folks looking for exactly this type of opportunity.
10 Play with LinkedIn Labs and Applications (Applications has been retired since I wrote this post, but you can still enrich your portfolio content by adding samples of your work)
- Labs is for fun; Applications may let you enrich your profile, find relevant content and share with your network more effectively. Labs is a place where LinkedIn employees come up with new ideas and allow us to experiment with them. Interesting features now (at least to me) include InMaps (maps your network); TextIn (text messaging) and Signal (status updates/news). Applications has cool features like Creative Portfolio Display to showcase creative work; Legal Updates with news that may matter to you and your constituents; blog linking for word press and type pad ; Slide Share and Google Presentations so you can embed presentations on your profile; Polls , so you can collect data from your connections, and more. There’s some neat stuff to check out!
How are you using LinkedIn? If you’re doing something that’s really going gangbusters, or perhaps doing something really new and creative, please share!