Top 10 Ways for public officials to use LinkedIn

December 18, 2007

Whether you’re out front stumping or behind the scenes running a political campaign, LinkedIn should be an effective part of your e-campaign strategy. LinkedIn can connect your candidate with voters, fundraisers, and volunteers.

It can communicate your campaign’s message to highly influential business professionals, targeting voters in specific geographic areas. And it can trigger conversations that mobilize grassroots support for any candidate.

1. Create a positive online brand.

Use the “Profile” sections to distinguish your candidate from the pack, to extend the communication lines of a government official, or to tout the successes of a campaign consultant.

Check out these examples: John Ensign (Junior Senator from Nevada), Barack Obama (US Senator, Presidential Candidate), David All (Media strategist). Claim the “name plate” web link like these profiles do, and move your profile to the top of a Google hit list.

2. Communicate effectively with key voters

Use LinkedIn’s “InMail” or “Invitation” functions to reach influential voters, including high-level executives and professional audiences. The average LinkedIn member has a household income of $109,000; 75% are 29 or older.

3. Identify voters and key contributors.

Use the “Advanced Search” function to find and target voters and potential contributors in specific geographic areas, at specific companies, or within specific industries.

4. Research business issues.

Use the “Answers” feature to get pertinent input from LinkedIn’s 16 million engaged business professionals on issues that matter to them—and to answer their questions.

5. Highlight endorsements.

Use the “Recommendations” feature on your candidate’s profile to post endorsements from key interest
and constituent groups.

6. Drive traffic to your site.

Use the “Websites” link on that profile to direct viewers to your candidate’s or campaign consultant’s website or blog.

7. Mobilize support.

Create a “Groups” page for your candidate or official to promote top issues and concerns directly to supporters.

8. Generate virtual word of mouth.

Create a digital bumper sticker on your candidate’s “Groups” page that supporters can add to their profiles.

9. Provide greater access to voters

Add a LinkedIn logo to a candidate's home page that will allow voters to one click to get to your LinkedIn profile and connect with like minded voters.

10. Recruit staffers and volunteers.

Use the “Jobs & Hiring” feature to turn up the right people to work on your campaign.