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  • Michael Ham 4:39 pm on September 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Charity, , , , Raise awareness, Signpost,   

    ‘We are a charity…how can LinkedIn help us?’ 

    A question that was raised some time last year and again just recently, so we thought we’d share some ideas through our blog.

    LinkedIn isn’t a platform for marketing and campaigns which is how Facebook and Twitter have been used to great success for charities and third sector organisations.  LinkedIn is however hugely powerful, and used to great success, to research and engage in discussion with target audiences in the corporate world.

    With regular LinkedIn usage by nearly 50% of the UK professional population, there is a huge opportunity to tap into and engage with a corporate audience.

    The end goal may be to convert participants into supporters/partners/donors, however in the first instance it is used to make them aware of who you are and what you do (from both an individual and organisational perspective).

    LinkedIn profiles hold a lot of information about people; what they read, who they know, where they have worked, what their passions are. Charities and third sector organisations who want to know their (potential) donors/partners and supporters better use LinkedIn; and this can be very targeted and specific.

    In terms of some simple direct uses:

    • LinkedIn can be used as a great tool for staff recruitment;
    • Promote charity events (through the Events feature, and to promote across networks);
    • Raise awareness and engage audiences in LinkedIn Groups;
    • Tap into networks of CSR professionals.

    The key thing with LinkedIn is to replicate your ‘real-world’ network and build further by pulling on your extended network.   Whilst building your network, you need to be active in the right places, with the correct frequency, and with the right collateral.

    If your current corporate supporters ask how they can help (which they do) then ask them to help promote their work with the charity to their trusted network.  It costs them nothing to retweet or like a LinkedIn post(s) about the charity.  It is also an ideal opportunity to promote their own CSR credentials!

    CAUTION: Avoid direct approaches for contributions!  Raise awareness of your cause through subtle updates about how you help people; key facts and figures; ask for help…and so on to captivate your audience and get them to buy into and support your cause.

    Less than 5 minutes of activities per day doing the right things can be highly productive.

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  • Michael Ham 2:16 pm on November 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Signpost, ,   

    Do you get any business benefits from using Twitter? 

    This was a question posed in a discussion in a group on LinkedIn.

    Here’s some thoughts I shared with the group…

    Twitter is great as a ‘signposting’ system to guide your followers to valuable information…such as a Blog, PR, news, video, new website etc. It’s hugely powerful for searching out conversations on specific topics.  It’s also great for searching for mentions about your company…

    Twitter is also great for promoting events; sharing your LinkedIn status; asking for help, the list goes on…

    I’d also add that you need to understand the different platforms (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc.), and the ‘netiquette’ for each one:

    Keep your message simple – Your audience doesn’t have time to read long and complicated messages. A complex message is hard to understand and to remember and hence it is less effective.

    Customize it – Every social networking site is different and hence has different expectations of you. The way your Facebook audience thinks is completely different from your audience on LinkedIn. So make sure to customize your message according to the place where you are going to present it.

    Make it about them – Your content (messages) on social media sites should focus on the needs of your target audience and how your products/services can benefit them. The best strategy is to write your messages in second person. Use words like “you” and “your” and make them about their problems and needs.

    Promote in the right places (fish where the fish are) – Make sure that you are promoting your message in the right place at the right time, to the right audience.  LinkedIn is probably not the best platform to promote a music event, you’re  probably better going to Myspace for that. Similarly it is hard to find business partners for your new venture on Facebook, maybe you should try LinkedIn.

    Reach out at the appropriate time – The best time to reach out to your audience is when they actually need you – like while making a buying decision or need some latest information about the industry.  Avoid bothering them with your promotional messages again and again as it will frustrate them and they will start hating your company.

    Twitter is an art.  Social media is an art. And like any other art, the more you practice (and the more you listen rather than broadcast), the better you will become.

     
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