Without looking at your profile, can you quickly answer the question, "What LinkedIn Groups are you in and how have they helped you lately?" If the answer is, “Huh, I haven’t really thought about it lately,” then it could be time for a fresh look at this aspect of your social media marketing strategy.
Social Media Today’s Andrew Hutchinson recently shared LinkedIn’s anticipated new groups features, including empowering group admins to review and approve posts and to curate and highlight more engaging or relevant posts or discussions.
Whatever they’re doing seems to be working, with engagement increasing along with LinkedIn’s overall membership. LinkedIn boasts more than 630 million members in more than 200 countries and territories, so there’s no question that a powerful and growing audience awaits. But how do you best leverage your engagement in relevant groups for your marketing clients or business? Consider these five ways to get more views and grow your brand in LinkedIn Groups.
1. Find Your Tribe (or Build Your Own)
According to LinkedIn, “LinkedIn Groups provide a place for professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to share their insights and experiences, ask for guidance and build valuable connections.”
Finding relevant groups to help your LinkedIn marketing strategy couldn’t be easier.
Go to LinkedIn’s help page to learn how to search within the platform for relevant groups or to explore suggestions based on your experience and skills.
Or simply type “the best LinkedIn Groups for …” in your search engine and explore the wealth of results, like this one: 15 LinkedIn Groups Marketers Need to Join Now.
Want to start your own group and invite connections to join? Just access your main LinkedIn Groups page and click the “Create a new group” button on the right side of the page.
Invite company or individual connections to join and link to your new group in blog posts or social content to attract like-minded members.
2. Appreciate the Benefits of Membership
No matter how many individual connections you’ve acquired in your career, your reach is much greater in a group, where membership can range from dozens of members to hundreds of thousands.
Your engagement in a group is a great way to connect and interact with your company’s customers and industry colleagues. Stay up to date on trends, learn about customer pain points and even pick up language quirks or references that can help shore up your buyer personas.
LinkedIn Groups allow you to target an audience with specific interests or in an industry of interest to your company at no charge!
Check in regularly and for various reasons: Looking for help finding a technical solution or qualified job candidates in your region? Searching for advice on what software works best for your purposes? Ask the community and weigh in when you have the answers others are seeking.
3. Listen, Learn and Generously Contribute
Once you’re accepted into a group, don’t immediately jump in and start sharing your company’s content and flashing around your expertise. Observe for a few weeks and read through previous discussion topics to get a sense of what topics are most relevant and useful to the group.
Your LinkedIn Groups marketing strategy should be subtle. Start engaging in other discussions and offer your perspective. When others ask for feedback or input on challenges, thoughtfully respond with examples and solutions that have worked for you or your company.
Don’t be that member who only cries out for help and doesn’t offer value for others. Once you’re established as a regular contributor of substance, start sharing useful educational content where appropriate to help boost your brand and your company’s expertise.
4. Establish Yourself and Your Company As a Thought Leader
It’s our (perhaps biased) perspective that the marketing industry is among the most generous in sharing knowledge and adding value to companies looking for support and advice. Just look through any of your marketing LinkedIn Groups or Google any given topic and see how many perspectives you get: How to work with social media influencers in 2019; how to launch a website; how to get a Google answer box, how to improve a landing page and/or how to work with sales to generate qualified leads. Ask and you shall receive; the truth is out there.
The more successful the marketing company, the more content it shares, and for good reason.
If you’re trying to get more LinkedIn views and engagement for your company, sharing content like how-to articles or videos, white papers or other educational content shows that you know your stuff.
Potential customers following an industry or searching for a solution will value consistent, knowledgeable contributions and be more likely to check with your company first for trustworthy solutions.
5. Respect the Neighborhood and Follow Best Practices
We’ve all been through it before and don’t want to go back. Protect your LinkedIn Groups neighborhood and don’t promote or push products, offer unforgettable deals that expire in a few hours or rudely criticize the competition.
Make sure to read the ground rules before you ask to join a group or begin contributing.
LinkedIn offers its own best practices, including:
- Get people talking. When you post an article of interest to the group’s membership, explain why you think the article is relevant and ask the members a question about the content to get things rolling.
- There’s no need to get ugly; trolls who are just there to get everyone stirred up are likely to find themselves kicked out. Read up on and follow the LinkedIn Professional Community Policies.
- Your educational content can be considered self-promotion if you use words like “buy,” “email now” or “attend.” Be conversational, not sales-y, if you want the opportunity to stick around awhile.
- If you see something out of line, say something. Don’t let the trolls win. LinkedIn shows you how to report spam or questionable content.
Here are some more helpful tips to keep in mind:
- It’s definitely not cool to share URLs or links to products or services that are for sale. If you do, your post will be flagged and removed.
- Don’t forget that this is LinkedIn; your tone and topics should always stay professional and respectful of others’ opinions.
- Watch your grammar and craft your wording carefully. Remember, you’re here to establish thought leadership and brand trust.
- If you wouldn’t say it to a colleague standing right in front of you, don’t say it in a LinkedIn Group.
- Make a regular calendar appointment to browse group options and engage; we’ll see you out there!
LinkedIn groups could be a great way to get in front of your target audience. By following these best practices, you can effectively promote your brand while simultaneously growing your network.