LinkedIn Groups: The Secret Weapon in Generating New Business
Filed Under Social Marketing
LinkedIn Groups are probably the least utilized weapon in any business arsenal. When used effectively, they can be a fantastic resource for new opportunities and increasing your brand’s profile. However, as with any weapon used in business, you must have a well-planned strategy. You want to interact within LinkedIn groups so that your business will be getting the most from the networking opportunities it offers.
The first thing you want to do is start joining Groups. On LinkedIn, the maximum number of Groups you can join is 50, so that should be your target number. Of course, interacting with so many Groups on a regular basis isn’t likely. The purpose of joining so many is to increase the size of your LinkedIn network. This is very helpful when using the “Advanced Search” option when you’re looking for people with whom you’d like to do business.
Once you have a sizable number of Groups, choose about 3-5 of the groups which best meet your target demographic and are well-populated, and focus on actively participating in each of them. Be aware, though, that trying to be seen in groups which have thousands of members can be very difficult since so many others are trying to grab everyone’s attention too.
After you’ve selected which groups to focus on, try to be active at least twice a week. Post thought-provoking questions and start discussions that are relevant to that particular group. Make sure that your title will grab readers’ attention. Browse through other members’ postings and see which topics generated the most comments and interest.
Try to always be involved in the most popular discussions, even if it’s not directly related to your business. You could add an interesting point of view and earn some recognition from other members. The more popular discussions usually start from the top of the page, so if you’ve posted to them others will be more likely to see them. You also have the option of sharing your discussions by forwarding them to any contacts you want to engage with.
When you have a pretty good idea about what topics generate the most discussion among Group members, you can start to post your own discussions that relate to previous ones. You want to chime in with issues that are important to other Group members. Even if you feel that you have a valid point to make, if it doesn’t fit with the content of the Group you’re in, you could be ignored by other members.
Finally, if you want to stay uppermost in other members’ thoughts, especially the ones whose interest you are actively seeking, stay current with any responses to discussions that you are participating in. You want to show the others that you are committed to the topic, so don’t leave too long of a gap before responding.
LinkedIn Groups are a great source for finding captive audiences and interacting with fellow members, no matter how many degrees of separation there are between you. Stay at it and work on finding what works best for you. Find where you are seeing the most results and change your approach as it becomes necessary. Start implementing a plan this week, do a search of the Groups available on LinkedIn and start joining!