Belonging is an important human attribute human attribute. The corner deli, the pub, the coffee shop–those “third places” where people gather have significance. Online, social plays that role virtually. Professionally, LinkedIn is a leader for connecting with relevant career contacts. It’s also a place to find others with similar interests.
Joining Linkedin groups is a great way to get your organization’s events, projects, mission, and people before new audiences–particularly those targeted to niches where your cause or aligned activities may have traction. There’s a group on LinkedIn for virtually every academic, cause-related, professional, and hobby-related interest. It’s worth your while to test a few groups in which to share and take part in discussions.
Try Linkedin groups that relate o a core aspect of your organization’s mission. Select another that’s specific to a special project or short-term endeavor, such as:
- Your organization has a themed event that features a well-known expert, artist, or sports-figure. You can raise awareness by posting in related groups–even if just for the short-term–much as you would do so by sharing your event and news on related Facebook pages.
- Your organization has a new project that connects to another cause or organization via collaboration. Perhaps your cancer research charity is planting trees or your arts organization is “knit-bombing” city bike racks. The possibilities are as endless as LinkedIn’s groups.
Pick another group that’s about your favorite or most important areas of interest. You’ll find Linkedin groups with topics as broad as: running and most any sport, literary groups such as Shakespeare, reading, or poetry; and hobbies such as knitting, pottery, and photography. As your motivation and purpose for exploring groups may vary, note these aspects:
- Number of members in the group. Groups of 200 or more will generally have some level of activity. Look for groups of 1,000 or more if your intent is not just only local.
- How many of your network members are in the group. This can provide a nice basis for connection in a different way and context.
- What you can share in the groups–posts that will be interest? comments on others posts? events and information that have appeal to the group members.
So what about those bothersome people who post inappropriately in online discussions? LinkedIn is aware this diminishes groups and the site aims to prevent such disruptions. Top Nonprofits noted LinkedIn continually monitoring how to combat spam posts in group in Five Recent LinkedIn Group Updates Nonprofits Need to Know About.
Remember, you can extend the reach of your organization’s events, stories, and people by sharing via groups. LinkedIn users report groups have been helpful in making new contacts, identifying new resources (such as board members and volunteers), and, of course, in job searches.
Want to learn more about how Linkedin can help your organization? Check these Linkedin-specific posts from our partner website, Third Sector Today:
Volunteer Marketplace on LinkedIn
Nonprofit Social Media Help: Linkedin Tools which includes an educational podcast