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  • Rachael Stein
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  • best practice - engagement - harvard - li - LinkedIn - media - network - networking - outreach - Platform - social - usage - use - whitepaper -

LinkedIn is your key to older, professional alumni. Many professionals maintain an active page on the platform, and while there aren’t as many “social” opportunities as other platforms, having a presence goes a long way. As we explored in our Social Media V2 Whitepaper, any social network with a substantial user base is worth exploring, and LinkedIn is no exception. Let’s break down how to effectively utilize LinkedIn to maximize alumni impact.

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WHAT’S YOUR DEMOGRAPHIC? Professional, slightly older alumni. 30-64 year olds comprise the largest usage category – 30.5% of this age group are active users , compared to only 23% of 18-29 year olds.

HOW SHOULD YOU USE IT? Business style, strategic content that provides professional value. Whitepapers, eBooks, infographics, blogs, and industry articles are the most valuable content in this space. Extremely high quality is the key to LinkedIn – don’t waste time posting news or generic updates that will feel burdensome to read.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU USE IT? Maintain a presence and network on the site so that alumni are linked to a community when they list institutional affiliations, but otherwise, don’t post more than once a week.

TOP USAGE TIPS: Post content relevant to professionals in broad industries. Keep a serious, professional focus. Maintain an active presence in alumni engagement groups to express industry presence. Create centralized groups for alumni with shared affiliations to organically build sentiment.

TOP THINGS TO AVOID: Don’t overload with content – posting more than once a week is too much. Don’t post news or non-professional articles. Don’t put any fundraising requests on LinkedIn – use it as a space to get alumni engaged with your institution, but not for donor outreach.


Thinking about those tips, we wanted to find a LinkedIn page that demonstrates best practice usage, and Harvard really showed up.

They maintain active affinity based groups:

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They periodically posts content relevant to professionals in specific fields:

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And they maintain many relevant affiliated institution pages for alumni to build more specific networks:

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LinkedIn is all about maintaining a presence for alumni to interact with one another, and Harvard has done an excellent job in this regard. However, maintaining a LinkedIn page and network is only one component of a strong social media strategy – check out our Social Media V2 Whitepaper for more tips on how to elevate your social media campaigns.

Rachael has started as a Marketing Intern at QuadWrangle in January 2015. She is a current junior at Harvard studying sociology and economics. She participates in varsity women's rugby, LGBTQ activism, and social enterprise advising.

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