Marketing with LinkedIn requires a plan and a strategy. Like any other type of marketing, you need to have a clear strategy and a clear goal of what you want to accomplish as well as the desired outcomes. LinkedIn Groups provide an easy way to market your business, whether you’re marketing to companies or consumers.
- Joining and Participating in Groups
Note that this is a two-fold marketing strategy. LinkedIn allows you to join 50 groups and 50 sub-groups. Many are Open Groups that you can join freely while you have to request to join others. Sometimes it takes a while to get approval as the Group Owners will review your Profile to see if you’re a good fit. You can decide if it’s worth the wait or you may look for groups that are similar.
Since there are thousands of groups on LinkedIn and growing, deciding which groups to join can be a challenge. I recommend that you join a combination of three groups: ones where your ideal clients hang out where you have the opportunity to build a relationship by giving of your knowledge and support so that you become someone they know, like and trust; and groups where your peers hang out as these can provide support, sources of learning, and potential Joint Venture partners. The third would be groups where you find Influencers, Mentors and Coaches, and the people you want to connect with at a higher level.
Once you’re a member of a group it’s important to join in and contribute to the conversation by becoming involved. Like, make meaningful Comments and/or Share members’ posts. Submit your own posts or status updates. These can be your own content, such as content from your blog, or they can be other people’s content which you know will be of benefit to members of the group.
Another form of status updates can be asking questions that you have the answers to but you want to encourage engagement and interaction. In addition, even if you’re an expert on a topic, you can benefit or learn from reading the viewpoint of others on the same topic.
- Start Your Own Group
Another effective marketing strategy is to start you own group. LinkedIn’s template will guide you through the process but you start by clicking on the “Interests” tab and then select “Groups.”It will then take you to a screen where you click on the button (usually yellow) that says “Create a Group.”
When you have your own group, you are able to send invitations to your existing connections so they may join the group, and also you are able to send email invitations to join your group.
One of the significant marketing benefits of having your own group is that you can send members announcements, which will appear as emails in their Inbox. Here is a list of Best Practices for Group Managers directly from LinkedIn. A well-managed group allows you to position yourself as a thought-leader and expert in your niche. It builds your credibility so that your group members will come to trust your recommendations, whether for your own products and services, or for those that you recommend.
Whether you start your own group or you’re an active member of other groups, LinkedIn groups allow you to build relationships, expand the reach of your brand, get more exposure, and market your business. However, as this is a social platform there are best practices and guidelines for marketing in a way that brings value and avoid overwhelming group members with constant sales pitches.
Are there any other ways you’re using groups? Please share in the Comments. Thanks for reading.