Leverage LinkedIn to Market Your Community [2020 Updates]

Written by Amy Wood

You can use LinkedIn for more than recruiting top talent for administrative positions.

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You likely know LinkedIn as the job talent recruitment social networking site that your human resources department uses to find quality candidates for your community. LinkedIn offers local governments many more opportunities to engage with citizens outside of employment, however. Read on to learn how to leverage LinkedIn to promote community events, local development projects, promote tourism, encourage voting, and more.

Connecting with Engaged Citizens

There are an estimated 303 million active monthly LinkedIn users, over 169 million of whom reside in the U.S. and are potentially citizens or businesses in your community. Not solely comprised of active job seekers, the typical LinkedIn user is looking to network with others in their industry and connect to brands, companies, and their community in meaningful ways. Leverage LinkedIn as a targeted marketing tool to put your message in front of engaged citizens in your community.

Learning from Other Communities

There is knowledge to be gained from other community’s success stories. See what methods are working for another government municipality, whether it’s a neighbor or a community across the country with similar demographics. It may be beneficial to observe how others utilize this networking tool and then employ similar methods or build on what you’ve learned.

Advertising on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the fifth most popular social media platform in the U.S. with over a quarter of adults as users, topping other popular apps like Twitter and Snapchat. The service offers a targeted paid advertising resource for local governments, and the cost is relatively affordable. Here are four options for advertising on LinkedIn:

  • Pay-Per-Click Advertising. Create and place ads on LinkedIn.com. Ads can be targeted to just citizens who live in your community. You can even narrow your targeting by age, gender, and occupation. Paid ads are a great way to recruit for jobs and community volunteers.
  • Content Advertising. LinkedIn’s content ads appear as landing pages that allow you to display up to four messages in a single sidebar widget. Use content advertising to promote upcoming events in your community, like your annual holiday parade, 5K road race, Fire Department Pancake Breakfast, and upcoming local elections.
  • SlideShare Content Ads. Spread the word about local initiatives and programs by sharing presentations on LinkedIn. Take the slide deck your administration recently presented at your last town hall meeting and share it on LinkedIn. Doing so will put your message in front of those citizens who were unable to make it to your meeting. Link to the SlideShare content from your primary LinkedIn profile to encourage as many views as possible, and promote it using LinkedIn’s SlideShare content ads.
  • Use Follow Company Ads to increase your total followers. If your community is new to LinkedIn, an investment in Follow Company ads may help you grow your followers. Follow Company ads allow you to promote your community’s LinkedIn profile using targeted ads programmatically presented to users in your target demographic and geography.

For those new to advertising or unsure of a strategy, LinkedIn also offers an objective-based option that will assist in tailoring ad formats based on goals and desired outcomes. To get the most out of your ads, ensure you have clear targets set.

The Importance of Staying Active

As with all other social media platforms, the key to success is staying active. Of monthly LinkedIn users, 40% access the site or app daily. Citizens will be more likely to find your community profile and pay attention to updates if they see your profile is regularly sharing content and posting information. Any information you would be sharing to other social media sites and on your local government website can be shared to LinkedIn, including:

  • Information about upcoming elections and candidate profiles
  • Updates on community development projects
  • Stories about successful initiatives implemented by businesses in your community
  • Profiles about local leaders
  • Notes from your recent committee and council meetings
  • Information about upcoming community events
  • Public health updates

Streamline Your Efforts

If you’re ready to integrate LinkedIn into your multi-channel talent search strategy, save time using a system that will allow you to post job openings to multiple channels in one step. The most powerful local government communications systems will integrate with a subscription service so that citizens can opt-in to receive job alerts while indicating their preferred communication method (e.g., email, text/SMS, phone).