You’ve checked out our post about navigating the personalities of social media for your organization. (If you haven’t, head over here. We’ll wait.). You’re already using the biggies: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. But you know some of the other platforms could be your secret weapon --- if you can use them to the fullest potential.

If you’re thinking about LinkedIn, here’s how you know if it’s right for you, and what you need to know to maximize your reach. First things first:

Who is on LinkedIn? Business-minded and career-focused influencers. Those forward thinkers who tend to be politically active and engaged in their communities offline. LinkedIn is also a job recruiting platform, which ensures that you can reach people at all levels of work experience, from a variety of industries.

Great. Where should I start? There are 2 types of pages that you’ll need for your organization’s LinkedIn to thrive.

  • The Company Profile: The company/organization profile represent your organization as a whole, like a Facebook page. This is where you’ll post regularly to keep your audience engaged and active. Encourage current employees to join the Company Page too! See how the Red Cross does it.
  • Influencer Profile: This page belongs to the person on your staff who provides the most knowledge or visibility on your issues. Often this is your Executive Director or Lead Policy Specialist-- someone who can post the more in-depth content, and can be seen as a thought-leader whose opinion matters. Follow Beth Kanter’s lead.

How do I make good profiles? Because LinkedIn is a professional platform, your organization needs sleek profiles to garner respect and engagement. Here’s what you should focus on:

Profile Photo: For the Company/Organization Page, make it a high-quality version of your logo. For the Influencer Page, a straight-on photo with neutral background from mid-chest up. This isn’t a passport photo or a one of you in action.

  • Headline: A 120-character primer that comes up in the LinkedIn search. This is a great place for your organization’s mission statement or a concise description of your influencer’s role in the organization.
  • Summary: Give page visitors your story here. Tell them about your organization’s founders, what regions it covers, and what has been accomplished. An Influencer’s Profile should tell briefly about what they do and makes them qualified to do it.
  • Credentials: Useful for completing an Influencer’s profile, fill out professional experience, skills, education and certifications, similar to resume format.
  • Groups: Make sure that your Influencer is a part of relevant groups on LinkedIn, to establish their credibility, and increase the network.

What is the language? Professional. Think anti-click bait and gifs. This is not the place where you post the photos of your latest event or rally. LinkedIn users expect a lively professional discourse where they can find information that will give them an edge, whether it’s the latest credible opinion on a big issue, or how a local issue can affect their business or organization.

What are my tools? You can post, repot and gain data insight:

  • Posting: Engage your connections (like Facebook friends) by posting industry articles and think pieces about your issue Monday to Friday when they’re at work. Get them involved by asking them to weigh in on the topics you present. No need for fluff but a catchy, unexpected headline always helps.
  • Reposting: Everyone loves to hear themselves talk. By sharing the posts of people you are trying to reach, you can make them feel valued and get them interested in what you have to say in return.
  • Data Insight: Get in-depth analytics of who is visiting your site using the Insights Data Pixel that LinkedIn provides. If you’re trying to reach young tech workers, it’s good to know if your site is only being visited by older politicos so you can change your strategy.

Any bells & whistles? LinkedIn’s magic lies in targeted ads. Once you’ve identified your audience, you can go as broad or as specific as you need across age, ethnicity, location, company size, and more.

  • Sponsored Updates: Put money behind regular posts (like “Boosting” on Facebook) to get them seen by exponentially more eyes.Onsite Display: Stick clickable ads with eye-catching photos. Use them to get more people to your site or for valuable message testing.
  • Sponsored InMail: “Hack” LinkedIn’s messaging feature once every 60 days to deliver a specialized message. The best part? It’s delivered while the user is online, so they’re much more likely to open and engage than traditional email. do I win at LinkedIn?

  • Know your audience.
  • Make clean Profiles.
  • Post/repost on-topic, professionally written content daily on your Company Profile.
  • Be active on relevant groups.
  • Post monthly long-format pieces on your Influencer profile.
  • Utilize the ads.

Then reap the benefits of this active, engaged user base.