Between 2011 and 2017, LinkedIn’s membership grew from 140 million to 500 million. In 2017 alone, LinkedIn grew by 100 million new members, most of whom are college-educated, advanced in their careers, and live in high-income households.
In fact, the demographics of LinkedIn members are nearly identical to the demographics of public media listeners and viewers (National Public Media).
But most of public media has failed to include LinkedIn in their marketing and fundraising strategies. Most stations focus on utilizing Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, all of which having declining organic reach. The opposite is true of LinkedIn.
Encourage your staff to cultivate personal LinkedIn Profiles. It's the first step toward cultivating an active LinkedIn presence that draws in audience members and donors. Consider including staff LinkedIn URLs in station bios and email signatures as well. Another powerful outreach tool is to cultivate your station's LinkedIn Page.
How to Connect With Your Audience and Donors Using a LinkedIn Page
LinkedIn Pages are the best-kept secret in social media marketing and fundraising. Engagement and click-through rates are generally higher than on other social media and LinkedIn members are enthusiastic and participatory followers. If your organization hasn’t yet experimented with LinkedIn Pages, now is the time to get on board. LinkedIn has recently redesigned Pages, improved analytics reporting, and changed the algorithm so that Page updates are prioritized in the home feed. LinkedIn is investing significant resources into the LinkedIn Page tool set and some exciting improvements are likely to be revealed in the coming years.
Odds are that your organization already has a LinkedIn Page (and followers). The first time any LinkedIn member added your organization to their work experience, LinkedIn automatically created a Page for your organization. If you have not already claimed and set up your LinkedIn Page, then first conduct a search on LinkedIn to find your Page. If a Page comes up and there is no admin, follow the link to claim the Page. If no Page comes up, then create a new Page for your organization.
1. Create a visually compelling Page.
Once given access to the admin dashboard, upload your organization’s social media avatar, a visually compelling header image, and a compelling “about us” blurb. First impressions are important on LinkedIn and its membership has high standards for brands. Don’t post any updates until your have your Page set up completely and the design is compelling and polished.
2. Post a minimum of every other day to your Page.
Your organization should post a minimum of every other day and the content can be varied. Brands often incorrectly assume that content must be relevant to professional career advice, but the LinkedIn membership has changed. Increasingly, LinkedIn members are turning to their LinkedIn home feed to get their daily news. Post a wide variety of content and through the analytics reporting tool, see which type of content performs best and then post more of it.
3. Engage with your followers.
LinkedIn followers like, comment, and share with regularity and, unlike on Facebook and Twitter, followers on LinkedIn are much less likely to comment with political rants and crazy feedback. If a follower comments, respond to their comment with a comment or like their comment. Again, remember the demographics of LinkedIn members: professional, educated, and likely to have disposable income to donate to their local public media. Engaging with your followers makes an impact. Put in the time.
Finally, add a LinkedIn icon that links to your LinkedIn Page to your website, blog, and email campaigns and recommend that staff follow and engage with your station’s page.