Posts Tagged ‘linkedin groups’

Is Your Nonprofit Organization LinkedIn Yet?

Many of AvoLead’s clients and professional associates are leaders in various nonprofit organizations (serving as consultants, officers, board members or evangelists). My own nonprofit passion is our area’s local community foundation, so I’m always interested in articles that teach ways to leverage the time and talent of hard-working volunteers or overworked staff.

One of the blogs for nonprofits that I follow is called the Wild Apricot Blog, “dedicated to small associations, member-based organizations and non-profits.” They have had several recent articles about ways that nonprofits can use LinkedIn effectively to increase their online visibility among an important demographic of professional LinkedIn members. In hopes of saving you some research time so you can quickly understand the pros and cons of using LinkedIn for your nonprofit, I’ve listed clickable links for these and some of other relevant articles below with a short summary of each:

“Is Your Organization LinkedIn Yet?” This article discusses using LinkedIn’s relatively new company profile function for nonprofits. Information can be found in LinkedIn’s Learning Centre. The article suggests that creating a LinkedIn organization profile and getting your staff and board members to include links to it on their own personal LinkedIn profiles, can increase Search Engine Optimization and enhance name recognition and credibility.

“How Can Nonprofits Use LinkedIn?”  Podcast from The Chronicle of Philanthropy. This article explores the burgeoning use and benefit of LinkedIn for nonprofit organizations. It especially goes into the significant difference between nonprofit presence on LinkedIn compared to Facebook.

“Are Nonprofits Warming Up to LinkedIn?” by Joanne Fritz.  This article discusses the important differences between LinkedIn and other common social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and shows that the use of various social media tools for nonprofits is an evolving picture.

February Net2 Think Tank Round-up: Using LinkedIn for Change – nonprofit folks shared their experience in using LinkedIn to “create a community around their cause.”

“Should Your Nonprofit Be on LinkedIn?” by Joanne Fritz

“Tips for Using LinkedIn for Nonprofits” by Joanne Fritz

“LinkedIn Sharing: A New Tool for Nonprofit Outreach.” This article discusses the additional Share functionality that LinkedIn has added to their site. Here’s a very short video about this too:

 

Beth’s Blog by Beth Kanter – “How Networked Nonprofits Are Using Social Media to Power Change.” Beth Kanter is known for her sensible approach to using social media in the nonprofit world.

Bobby’s Blog by Bobby Thalhimer offers “Trends and Issues in Local Philanthropy.” Bobby is senior vice president of advancement for The Community Foundation in Richmond and has been a generous mentor to many young and growing charitable organizations.

Social Media for Nonprofits is a reputable LinkedIn Group where those interested in nonprofit management can learn and share.

Professional Networking: LinkedIn Groups

One of the potentially powerful features of LinkedIn is the option for you, as a professional and a leader, to join Industry or Shared-Interest Groups so you can read or participate in the discussions taking place in your field and see who’s doing the talking! I’ve embedded LinkedIn’s clear and helpful tutorial below on how and why you might wish to use LinkedIn Groups.

Don’t dismiss this without watching this video, and don’t equate LinkedIn Groups with the Group function in Facebook. It’s an entirely different and more professional interaction and can involve as little or as much time as you wish.

Depending on the purpose of  the Group (which should be declared when you go to its page), LinkedIn Groups can offer you:

  1. Visibility and the building of your reputation as an Expert
  2. A place to find — or share — tips, techniques, and best practices
  3. A place to seek a job or post job openings (though not all groups have a JOBS tab)
  4. Quickly discover the most popular discussions in your professional groups
  5. Have an active part in determining the top discussions by liking and commenting
  6. Follow the most influential people in your groups by checking the Top Influencers board or clicking their profile image to see all their group activity
  7. See both member-generated discussions and news in one setting
  8. Easily browse previews of the last three comments in a discussion
  9. Find interesting discussions by seeing who liked a discussion and how many people commented

When I’m looking for Groups I might wish to join, I consider the description provided by the Group manager, look at the length of time it’s been active, and look at the number of members. If it’s an open group, I look at the activity to see if discussions are interesting and informative. It’s easy to leave a group you have joined if you decide it doesn’t fit with your interests or priorities. Most groups require you to express an interest and be approved by the group’s manager.

For example, one newly formed group I have joined recently called Coaches and Consultants for New Horizons has been helpful because group members are generously sharing their experience with various webinar sites, marketing tools, and other programs. Sometimes people abuse a group by blatantly marketing themselves instead of joining in a legitimate discussion. If that happens too much, it’s time to think about leaving that group and joining another one.

Of course, you can start your own group too, but you should participate in one or more groups a bit to get the hang of it first.

Friends of AvoLead is a LinkedIn group established for connecting like minded individuals who share AvoLead’s values of Abundance, Evolution and Leadership. It is for sharing and networking by individuals who want to advance partnerships and authentic leadership. If you fit that description, we welcome you!