Getting Started with LinkedIn Groups
There are over one million groups on LinkedIn, covering just about any topic you can think of. Start by joining groups that contain useful information that is applicable to your business. As a group member, you will be able to contribute to discussions or start your own topics within the group. An even better way to generate traffic to your Company Page is to start your own LinkedIn group. Think of a topic that is relevant to your business, and base a group on that. There are over 200 million users in 200 countries on LinkedIn, and 81% of those users are members of at least one group. On top of that, two new users join LinkedIn every second. This means there are plenty of people out there to whom you can appeal. A creative, well-defined theme will attract more members to your group.
Don’t Use Groups for Self-Promotion
Yes, your presence in Groups is meant to help you gain leads, but the feature wasn’t created for the purpose of self-promotion. No one is going to want to join a group that’s full of nothing but advertisement for your company. Instead, the purpose is to post information that group members will find helpful and informative. What you can do is use the information from your Group to promote your business elsewhere. For example, you could distribute press releases when you hit milestones like gaining a certain number of group members on LinkedIn.
Feature Groups on Your Company Page
Featuring groups on your LinkedIn Company Page can be beneficial in several ways. First, it will alert new visitors to the fact that you have a Group with information that might be helpful to them. You don’t have to own a group to feature it on your page, though. A Group member can feature any community that is significant to his or her brand on their Company Page. Featuring groups also allows you to cross-promote your content and draw more followers to your Company Page. Specifically, you can post your status updates directly to your featured Group by sharing it as a new discussion.
Don’t Spam Your Group Members
Be selective about what you post within your Group. Your goal is to inform your Group members and start discussion, not spam them with content that amounts to annoying advertising. The best way to ensure that members stick around and actually read what you provide is to limit posting to a few times a week. However, if you’re posting solid content that really adds value to your Group, feel free to post as many times a week as you want. Keeping up with conversations among Group members is a better way to stay involved than constantly posting new updates. A good way to generate interesting conversation among Group members is to share a piece of news or ask a question you know will garner a lot of views and opinions.
Build Relationships Within Your Group
To really get something out of their discussion, your Group members need to know that they’re interacting with a real person who cares about their contributions. When a new user joins your Group, consider sending them a message welcoming them personally and inviting them to connect to your personal LinkedIn network. Let them know that you are there for them if they require assistance or have any questions or concerns. Once you have some key participants in your LinkedIn Group, invite them to brainstorm with you for new ideas about content. Including your top contributing members makes them feel valued and will hopefully inspire them to stay active in the Group. Also think about doing regular features on members who frequently contribute valuable information to the Group.
Cross-Promote Your Content
A good way to drive more traffic to your Company Page, your website, and your LinkedIn Group is to cross-promote. Post information about and links to your LinkedIn Group on your company’s website. You can also promote your LinkedIn activity on other social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Consider sharing content across your platforms. For instance, create a blog post about specific activity or discussion happening in your LinkedIn Group. Conversely, you can post your blog content in a new Group discussion.
Maintenance is Key
Remaining active within your Group is the number one most important thing you can do to maintain and increase traffic. Make sure you participate in the discussions you start. Don’t post a topic for the day and think you’re finished. If you find that you don’t have the time for maintenance, assign Group upkeep to another person within your company.
If you follow the advice in these seven LinkedIn tips, your Group could potentially grow into one that fellow LinkedIn users look to for advice and guidance. Long-term business relationships can be built through the Groups feature. Once participants see how great you are at what you do, chances are they’ll turn to you when they need the service and or product your business offers.