Quickly and easily creating LinkedIn Groups is something that anyone can do. LinkedIn has made it a priority to optimize their Groups ever since they created their platform as they knew one thing: Being social is what social media is all about! Yes, it’s nice to have a company page, and a personal profile, but nothing will happen until you’re social. Groups are a perfect way to start getting social on LinkedIn.
Your group will succeed or fail based on what you do right from the moment you set it up. Keep reading and I’ll help you set up a perfect LinkedIn group for all of your marketing, socialising, and community building needs!
Using LinkedIn Groups to Market Your Business in 2017
- Quickly and easily creating LinkedIn Groups is something that anyone can do. LinkedIn has made it a priority to optimize their Groups ever since they created their platform as they knew one thing: Being social is what social media is all about! Yes, it’s nice to have a company page, and a personal profile, but nothing will happen until you’re social. Groups are a perfect way to start getting social on LinkedIn.
- Before you begin, there are a number of questions to answer. Do you want your group to be listed or unlisted? (The latter means it’s only accessible invited members.) You can then start sorting out other details: One, your group’s name should have keywords in it that will help people to find you. Two: Define your group’s mission statement—or goal—for its members to follow. Three: Your group’s description can be used to expand on your goals or to establish group rules.
- You further fine-tune your group as your ranks grow. Take the time to ask members:
What sort of discussions they’d like to have; what websites they’d like to see linked to; who they think should be invited to the group; and what type of promotions they think the group should have.
- You need to build the community, and it can be done a number of ways. There’s the old failsafe of using other social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to grow your ranks. Also, you can push people there from your Company Page. Finally, LinkedIn Groups have email marketing is incorporated into the mix automatically. You just have to use the email list from your group to create an email marketing campaign and keep people on your group.
- Finally, manage your group consistently. A group with no manager becomes a group with no function. People will post random things unrelated to the group and it will spoil your community. You need to: One, establish group rules and keep them in the group’s description. Two, post a “Welcome to the group, introduce yourself” thread (and have a message of the group rules). Be strict: When rules are broken, remove the member. Establish a routine for when the group is checked for problems, and include more than one person when possible.Give your group members the power to report violators of group rules and they’ll start to do your work for you.
The first steps of creating your LinkedIn Group
The first thing you want to think about when you create your LinkedIn Group is whether or not you want it to be:
- An Unlisted group: Only accessible to those who are invited. This can be great for influencer marketing when you want to make a small group of people feel special (more on that below), or to share with your employees.
- A Listed group: Can be found via search. While all groups now require that members be approved to cut down on spam, you will be able to grow as large a group as you’d like.
With that choice made you can start sorting out other details:
- Your group’s name: Should have keywords in it that people will use to find you. Make sure you’re choosing the right keywords for the purpose of the group.
- Summary: Define your group’s mission statement, or goal, for its members to follow.
- Description: This can be used to expand on your goals, or to establish group rules.
You can also add what website you want the group to link to, which can be a big, big deal for your business. One last consideration is the logo. Do you want to use your brand logo? Or maybe a new logo which incorporates the brand into it? You don’t want the group’s logo to look too commercial as it can be a turn-off.
Setting goals for your LinkedIn Group
Every good LinkedIn Group has goals. In your summary, write the goal or mission statement of the group. People won’t join if they don’t have a clear idea of why they’d want to join. Are you going to be discussing one certain product and how it performs? Maybe you’re going to talk about something associated with the sport, like how Nike could have a group about basketball.
The group SEO Experts set a clear goal:
They didn’t leave it at ‘We talk about SEO.’ They went deeper and established what the group really wanted to do. Over 22,000 people have seen this and agreed to join – myself included!
Using audiences to shape LinkedIn Groups
- What sort of discussions they’d like to have.
- What websites they’d like to see linked to.
- Who they think should be invited to the group.
- What type of promotions they think the group should have.
If you have a question about your audience, ask them. The deeper you integrate your audience into your group, by giving them real opportunities to grow it with you, the more they’ll start doing your work for you. They will start pushing the group, inviting members, and having discussions. It starts with you taking an interest and asking questions.
Build your community
The only person who will ever really get your group going when you start it is you. You need to build the community, and it can be done a number of ways. There’s the old failsafe of using other social platforms:
Need more Gorilla goodness, #SocialMedia style?
— Devumi (@devumi) February 11, 2016
That link to our LinkedIn works, if you want to give us a follow! #ShamelessPlug
In all seriousness, using a more established social media platform to build another is common. Don’t be afraid to use all of your available tools to send people to your LinkedIn Groups page in the same manner as the Devumi Gorilla did above.
You also don’t want to be afraid of pushing people there from your Company Page. A page with lots of followers, like one that uses our LinkedIn Follower service, is much more apt to grow a large group on LinkedIn. You have to push it to your current followers and get them more engaged in your brand story on the group.
The other great things about LinkedIn Group’s, and your ability to promote them, is that email marketing is incorporated into the mix automatically. You just have to use the email list from your group to create an email marketing campaign and keep people on your group. Not everyone checks LinkedIn every day, but you can be sure they check their email every day!
This is where creating an unlisted group can be to your advantage. You’re going to have people on your group who are more active than anyone else. Speaking with them privately, in an unlisted group, can do wonders for promoting your goals.
To speak from experience, I’m a member of an online group. I’m there every day, talking with the same guys. A conference came up for the community, and guess who was on the committee organizing it? Me. Myself and the group’s owner worked together with another member in a private conversation to organize our part of the conference. In the end, we all had a fun time when the rest of the community showed up.
Work with brand ambassadors and active group members by:
- Communicating with them via private message frequently.
- Getting their opinion on group matters before making decisions.
- Giving the best ones authority within the group.
- Asking them who their friends are and asking them to invite them.
- Asking them what they want to do for the group. They may surprise you.
Every chance you have to interact with someone who loves the group is a good idea. Best of all, you can develop real friendships that blossom into business opportunities or, even better, you just stay friends!
Every group needs someone actively managing it or, frankly, it goes to hell. A group with no manager becomes a group with no function. People will post random things unrelated to the group and it will spoil your community.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Establish group rules. Keep them in the group’s description.
- Have a ‘welcome to the group, introduce yourself’ thread. In this thread have a message of the group rules.
- When rules are broken, remove the member. Simple as that.
- Establish a routine for when the group is checked for problems, and include more than one person when possible.
- Give your group members the power to report violators of group rules and they’ll start to do your work for you.
Your group is like anything else in life. Left to itself, entropy will occur and it will fall apart. A small group of people who are dedicated to controlling the whole of the group will keep everything focused and on track.
Using LinkedIn Groups for your business
Your LinkedIn Group can be a fun, engaging, educational, uplifting, frustrating, or any other adjective you can think of way to promote your business. It’s all going to come down to you and your ability to:
- Lay the right groundwork for your group with the right keywords being used in the title and description, and choosing whether or not the group will be listed.
- Establish clear goals for the group.
- Use your audience to discover what sort of content your group needs.
- Build your group through email marketing, cross-platform promotion, and brand ambassadors.
- Managing your group according to its rule on a consistent basis so that it doesn’t become directionless.
It may sound like a lot of work, and it can be, but the reward is having your own community to follow you and your company’s journey. You may even make a friend or two along the way, and establish real-world business partnerships!