By: Merissa Muller, Public Relations Intern
When LinkedIn first opened its doors in 2002, the impact was not felt right away. Some days, there would be as few as 20 signups per day. But now, more than 332 million participants use the site, which has given itself the title, "world's largest professional network."
While it was originally intended for young professionals to use when searching for jobs, schools and universities should use LinkedIn to improve public image and connections to the community.
Take Arizona State University, for example. ASU takes advantage of the site in as many ways as they possible can, housing student program information, study abroad inquiries and program descriptions and promoting on-campus activities. The university uses the site as another tool in generation school spirit, as well, engaging their students and followers in contests and posting "Fan Photos of the Week" for enthusiastic Sun Devils. ASU capitalizes on many of the techniques and tools that LinkedIn has to offer, and your university should, too.
You may already use LinkedIn as a resource for school-wide updates and information. But students can also use it to create their own online CVs and improve their resumes. They can use your institution's page to connect with alumni and expand their professional networks. Faculty can also keep in touch with former students, offering important career advice and tips for success.
There are advantages to using a platform that was not built solely as another social media channel. Appealing to a diverse audience, LinkedIn can connect you with parents and your local community on a professional level. A strong connection shows the public that your institution values open and trusting relationships. By connecting with local businesses, you may open the door to opportunities in events, experience for students and funding. This potential growth and strong support system equally benefits your school and your community.
LinkedIn goes beyond strengthening community relations. You can encourage faculty to share insights and tips with each other as well as page followers. You can also attract and recruit prospective faculty who can enhance your school's expertise and reputation.
Don't fall behind. LinkedIn is an important step toward success within and outside of your community.
Where Else It Worked
- University of California, Berkeley's LinkedIn page includes industry news, campus event information and highlights of college milestones.
- University of Washington uses LinkedIn to promote career opportunities within the school's administration and recruit alumni back to their alma mater.
- Pennsylvania State University utilizes LinkedIn as another selling tool, giving an overview of the school and its values.