One of the most powerful benefits of social media is that it doesn’t require big budgets or marketing teams to leverage…. Just time and the ability to learn new skills. Assuming the manpower is available, it’s a richly featured, ideal playground for non-profits.
Yet one of the most notable gaps I see (for both non-profits and businesses alike!) is taking advantage of company page features. I’m shocked agencies aren’t ALL OVER IT.
It’s free advertising where you don’t even have to PRETEND to be social or active.
(Not that I suggest you aren’t social, obviously. But no excuses even if you flounder at actually socializing. It takes hardly any time at all – DO THIS!)
Not only can you have individual, detailed pages for each product and/or service you offer, but it is a keyword rich opportunity to bolster your SEO rankings.
For non-profits in particular, even those with a business-to-consumer focus, it provides an easy, low-hanging fruit opportunity.
The beauty of LinkedIn for companies isn’t just HR and recruiting – you can have a page for every product and service your company has, and customize the sidebar and images to promote whatever you want. Showcase events, add video, customize the header for the latest new product feature, add coupons. There are hundreds of ways to let your company shine, and NONE of them require a paid upgrade. So why not do it?
Here’s what you do, assuming that you already have a basic company page.
1. Corporate Sponsorships. Even a consumer-based non-profit usually has business-related needs. Do you need sponsors for an event? Want donors with deep pockets? Need office supplies or attendee gift bag donations? Add a products page showcasing corporate sponsorships. Programs like the PBS public television station could easily recreate their Corporate Sponsorship program on LinkedIn to drive more attention, traffic and donations. It would ten minutes – maybe an hour if graphics weren’t readily available – and could easily link directly to a payment page on their website.
2. Corporate Memberships. Looking for donors with deep pockets? Put a corporate membership program together, then add it as a service on your LinkedIn company page. For example, this Corporate Membership program from the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona could easily be promoted on a LinkedIn product page.
3. Corporate Meetings & Events. Do you offer a conference room to companies looking for space to hold their Board of Directors meetings? Offer a banquet facility? Rent out space? All of these are potential LinkedIn services that can be posted and promoted. Add photos, a quick custom header image and a video tour of the space, and you are ready to go.
4. Showcase Specific Programs. With LinkedIn’s new Showcase Pages, a specific product can be treated like a company page – with the ability for people to follow just that specific product, instead of the entire company or non-profit page. If you offer B2B programs that target certain vertical markets or niches, this can be an ideal way to segment your offering. For example – if the Girl Scouts of America offered a corporate leadership program for women, it could launch a showcase page about that specific “product,” allowing women to follow just that program instead of the entire GSA LinkedIn company page. It would also have its own landing page link for use in promotions.
5. Keyword-Optimized Profile & B2B Specific Updates. Last but not least, LinkedIn is a powerful SEO tool because of its size and constant stream of fresh content. Therefore, using it to boost your local search visibility works well. If there are specific search keywords or phrases you target, adding them to your LinkedIn company profile copy, using them in your products/services and including them in your updates work in concert to bump your ranking results. Invest an hour and wrap them in. It helps. Not only will you rank better on Google, but your profile will be viewed more for searches directly within LinkedIn.
Now, assuming you’re at least mildly inspired – go to LinkedIn and create some fresh content!
If you don’t have time right now, don’t feel bad. I surfed through over a dozen LinkedIn pages of some of the nation’s largest non-profits looking for examples to capture, including JDRF, Girl Scouts of America, American Cancer Society, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, St. Jude’s Hospital, and many others. I didn’t have much luck. The American Cancer Society and PBS were THE ONLY ONES who used products and services features well. None of them had showcase pages. The ones that do will benefit tremendously. Will that be you?
Here is a screenshot of the Public Broadcast Service (PBS) “products” page. Nicely done! Note the sidebar video and promotion, and the slider-style header image. Click here or on the image to visit the actual page and surf around.
Not sure how to create brand pages on LinkedIn? This SlideShare shows you how.