Glad to have you back. Are you getting sick of my not-so-clever titles yet? This week on “Bekki Blogs for Your Benefit,” we’ll be talking about LinkedIn. Since you’re already a professional, chances are you either have an account or have at least heard of it, but I’m going to let you know how to set one up for your health organization.
For those of you who aren’t sure what LinkedIn is, basically it’s another social networking site, but its goals are entirely professional. It allows its members to establish and document networks of people they know and trust professionally. It emphasizes employment history and education and has professional network news feeds. For personal use, it’s mostly used to get a job or recruit for one. Study up on its glossary.
Establish a Marketing Plan
You know that word “goals” I keep using? Yeah, still important. Just like all your other social media accounts, to have success with LinkedIn, you’ll need to make a long-term commitment to them. Que Beyonce singing “If you like it then be sure to put a ring on it.”
Set up your page, of course. You’ll want to build a LinkedIn company page so that you have access to additional features that enhance your visibility. As usual, think about what profile picture and graphics will suite your organization best, add your website link, and with LinkedIn, you can add volunteer or job opportunities! Woo!
Once you have that set up, invite your existing employees or volunteers, clients, customers, vendors and so on to follow your page. You can even have these people recommend you, which shows up on your page for everyone to see and adds to your credibility. You’ll then want to fill the page with interesting status updates about your organization so that you get noticed. Over 1.5 million healthcare professionals are available to connect with you, so take advantage!
Would you look at that banner picture from Pan American Health Organization? And look at all of that information right there for you to see. I’m just so proud, I might cry.
Become familiar with LinkedIn groups. They’re pretty cool because they help you become a “thought leader” of your area of expertise. When you launch the group, get the word out to employees, clients and partners that revolve around your health organization. The most successful groups focus on gaining relevant members with common goals. Get a good manager for these groups as well.
The group will give you the ability to message your members once a week, which goes directly to their email inboxes, to deliver special promotions or campaigns. Make sure whoever is managing the group is fostering a healthy community by provoking discussion and adding content. Happy wife, happy life, but in this case, happy followers, happy… well, life I guess.
Obviously, you can’t force LinkedIn upon your employees and volunteers, but it’d be great if everyone had one. It sets up an extended network that strengthens your organization’s presence. If everyone looks professional with a neatly designed profile and added goals, it makes your organization look even better.
Plus, who’s a bigger fan of your organization than the people actually working with it? They’ll be able to update their personal pages with information and promotions about your organization, which will get to all their connections. Your web of people just increased big time!
You know I always have tips
- Proofread your profile. Please.
- Ask and answer questions. There’s a “Q&A” module in LinkedIn that your can participate in, which will get your profile viewed by people who have interest in your organization.
- Visit the resource pages. LinkedIn loves its nonprofits because its all about building relationships. There are even resources tailored for nonprofits.
- Fill your page with keywords. This will help search engines pick up on your profile in search results.
- Showcase yourself. This is new from LinkedIn. It allows you to highlight specific campaigns and programs, which just so happens to be great for health organizations like you. You can also advertise with sponsored updates. Like I said, check out your resources.
- As always, look at what other similar organizations are doing. They can provide insight to the content you may want to share and who to connect with.
I’m a big fan of the Susan G. Komen profile. I follow this page personally, and I noticed that their banner picture is always changing to keep up with its events, which I think really shows attention to detail. They also managed to get a lot of their employees to get on LinkedIn, which we talked about before. The information they provide is terrific, and they’re good at keeping and gaining followers. What I really enjoy, however, is the personal stories they share. They do promotion too of course, but it’s the personal touch that keeps my attention.
Now go on and make those awesome pages. As always, I’ll be watching.
Best of luck,
Read something you agree or harshly disagree with? Let me know! The cool thing about opinions is that they aren’t facts and can change at any time, including mine. I’d love to hear your thoughts.