Whether you're a nonprofit business or individual you almost don't exist if you're not online and in social networks.
A few weeks ago, a nonprofit development director asked if I could help raise her profile on LinkedIn. You know the world's about to end when Amanda Ponzar becomes a social media guru. When I first started using LinkedIn three years ago, I didn't post a profile photo because "it could fall into the wrong hands." I quickly realized I don't get to choose whether or not I'm online, but I can be proactive about controlling my information.
Fast forward to 2010, and I'm a LinkedIn junkie, networking out the ying-yang which benefits me personally (five recruiter calls this year) and helps advance United Way's work and recognize our corporate partners. No offense to Facebook with its 500 million users, but I'm just not that interested in posting personal weekend plans or reconnecting with high school crushes. "This is business not personal" to quote The Godfather.
My five LinkedIn Tips:
- Get to know people in the real world (volunteer, attend association events like AMA, PRSA, Chamber of Commerce, etc.) to build your network.
- See who you already know on LinkedIn (LinkedIn can do it automatically if you enter your personal email), and ask for recommendations.
- Complete your profile with employer names so former business associates can link to you.
- Share news, research, tips or job postings on your network activity update. Include links. Post what YOU would want to read.
- Join groups and respond to other posts.
One of the best nonprofit social media experts I know is Heather Mansfield at DIOSA Communications, who I heard earlier this year at HandsOn Network's LEAD Summit. Heather has a knack for social media and trains nonprofits nationwide. Check out her LinkedIn tips for nonprofits (or any organization). Plus, I asked Heather where women excel in social media. Her response?
1.) Women are friendlier online, thus they tend to be better at building online community. Men are often too combative and argue. Some men could actually learn a lot from women when it comes to building and nurturing an online community -- if they can check the ego at the door and just listen.
2.) Women in general know how and when to use :) (smile icon).
3.) Women's ability to multi-task makes them excellent social media managers because you have to be running 5-10 profiles on a daily basis.
So, get out there. Read, succeed, create, think, do -- and make sure people know about it. Why not get started by commenting on this post?