Yes, it really is worth delving into the world of ‘groups’ on LinkedIn. Spend just the right amount of time reaching out to the best groups for your industry and you can open doors to a staggering number of useful leads. LinkedIn, like other social networks will work best when you’re building worthwhile working relationships. Time to park the sales pitch and become a groupie!
To get you started, here are SocialB’s 6 essential ways to use LinkedIn groups to promote your business.
Before you lose an evening to a posting spree, gather your colleagues for a huddle around your marketing strategy. Think of this as preparation for a networking event or conference. You’d choose a conference based on the caliber of the organisers, the likely attendees and the topics you’ll be able to learn about. We always mention on our training courses about the importance of a social media planner for all activities and a foray into LinkedIn groups requires structure. Your time is precious, so organize your exploration carefully.
1. Be a detective
Ask your connections to suggest the LinkedIn groups they’ve found most useful. Review each prospective group for the quality of posts, depth of dialogue, levels of spam, dedication of the administrators to cultivating their community. Check out the stats for the group as these can tell you a lot about the types of posts this group of people respond to most. Be a connoisseur, be picky – it will help you avoid wasting any time.
2. Be helpful
When it’s time for your first ever post on a group, make it a helpful reply to an existing question posted by another group member. Focus on getting to know them – as a fellow group member you’ll be able to see their profile, but it’s not just about snooping – ask them about their organization, goals and upcoming initiatives. Show a genuine interest and you never know what opportunities could come your way as a result of your new contact.
3. Be relevant
Once you have a good idea about how the LinkedIn group ticks from interacting and observing the conversations that resonate with members, craft a post that will provide useful information to your new group colleagues. Avoid any kind of sales pitch. Just as you would face-to-face, project yourself as an expert who’s ready to help rather than just another pushy sales type.
4. Be collaborative (ask questions)
When you’ve worked together a long time, you and your marketing team will no doubt benefit from some fresh perspectives. Could your new LinkedIn groups help you to find new ways to tackle a problem you’re facing? There’s a good chance that if you’ve reached a dead-end with something, another group member has too, and found solution! Post a question. Show your gratitude and interested to those that respond. Follow up with an update on how things are going since you gained their insights.
5. Be a pioneer (if there’s no group yet)
It might be hard to use LinkedIn groups to promote your business if your industry is one of those where groups simply don’t exist yet. You’ve a couple of options here. Broaden your search to a wider category. Perhaps you were looking for something too specific. Alternatively, you could try to build your own group. It can be a slow burner but spread the word via LinkedIn, in person or via email and try to encourage your contacts to give it a try.
6. Be responsive – Follow up with new connections
Encourage your new group contacts to connect with you on LinkedIn. This way you can make notes about how you met them and what you talked about in your connections tab. It’s like a collection of ever updating business cards waiting to greet you when you next need to find a new supplier, lead or recruit. Make time to drop a note to them either on the group or individually to keep the conversation going.
Has this inspired you to investigate the groups available for your industry to see if you can use LinkedIn groups to promote your business? Tweet us @SocialBuk and let us know!