Checklist: Creating A Nonprofit LinkedIn Group
As LinkedIn continues to grow in popularity, marketers are trying to understand the best way to harness this work-centric social network.
LinkedIn currently boasts 2.1 million groups – many of them are brand-specific. In this post, we share a list of prerequisites to help you determine if a branded nonprofit LinkedIn Group is right for your organization.
You want discussion among community members
If you look at any Facebook brand page, fans generally don’t talk to other fans. The interactions are usually between the organization and its fans. This isn’t the case at all in LinkedIn Groups. Groups on LinkedIn are made for community members to talk to one another on various topics. This makes LinkedIn groups particularly helpful for organizations that have multiple chapters around the state, nation or world. A branded LinkedIn Group is a great way to get community members to share ideas with each other.
In the Lean In Community group on LinkedIn, one of the most popular discussions is a member asking about a Lean In group in Berkeley, CA.
You’re fine with giving up some control
Creating a LinkedIn Group is a bit scary for some organizations because it requires that you give up some control. Your members can create discussions on everything related to your cause – the good and the bad. Your members might even start a discussion about your competitor. While you can remove discussions and ban members, we encourage you to not censor potentially controversial discussions in order to be transparent as an organization.
Your organization is very niche
The more niche your organization is, the more engaging your LinkedIn group will be. For example, many education-focused LinkedIn Groups already exist, so aim to create a group that is unique to your cause. For example, an education nonprofit could choose to focus on technology and mentorship in education.
Your target audience consists of professionals
Unlike Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn is highly focused on working professionals. While users on Facebook and Twitter share photos of their kids and status updates about the latest football games, LinkedIn users tend to share career-related information. When deciding to create a branded LinkedIn Group, consider the fact that people visit LinkedIn for professional reasons. A branded LinkedIn Group is likely better for organizations that can appeal to professionals.
You have the bandwidth to manage a group
Creating a branded LinkedIn Group for your nonprofit isn’t simply like managing other social networks. Your LinkedIn Group will take on a life of its own as members create their own discussions and converse with one another. When managed well, a LinkedIn Group can be a thriving community, but it could just as easily become abandoned by members if discussion boards are filled with spam and irrelevant comments. Only invest time and energy in a LinkedIn group for your nonprofit if your nonprofit has the resources to manage it. Otherwise, hire a social media community manager or a digital marketing agency like Media Cause to manage it for you.
While there are several benefits to a branded nonprofit LinkedIn Group, it’s important to evaluate whether its unique attributes make it right for your organization. If you have questions or need help evaluating the opportunity for your organization, please feel free to contact us at connect [at] mediacause [dot] org.