Of the many features of LinkedIn, Groups are often one of the most recommended for your marketing effort. LinkedIn groups marketing lets you better connect with other members for promotional purposes.
Trying to get the most out of it can sometimes be a challenge. Read on to learn how to make your LinkedIn Groups marketing plan a more successful effort.
LinkedIn groups marketing: Why do it?
Groups let you connect to a thriving community
One of the goals for joining LinkedIn is to become part of a community where you can attract potential clients. Groups let you do exactly that, bringing you to an already thriving community that shares your interest. This beats the hard task of trying to find, and draw, those people on your own.
Groups help in establishing your network
Another important factor in your success on LinkedIn is being able to build a personal network that you can use for marketing. Again, groups facilitate that by bringing you together with the people who are most likely to connect with you.
They can be used for lead generation
Getting leads is especially important for any marketing effort. Becoming part of a group lets you get those leads easily, as you are already interacting with people who are most likely to follow you. What’s more, members can direct you to more leads outside of the group through their connections.
Groups can drive traffic to your site
Getting people to visit your site is another challenge when marketing in LinkedIn. Groups let you overcome that by providing a natural venue for you to share links to your site. By establishing yourself as a reliable resource within the group, you can further encourage them to visit your site.
That’s exactly what you can see the Devumi Gorilla doing here:
Groups can be used to establish yourself as a thought leader
Having the power to influence the mindset of people around you can be very beneficial for your marketing efforts. A group can help you establish yourself as such. By catering to the needs of your fellow members, you can persuade them to throw in their support for your brand.
Joining the right LinkedIn groups
Finding the right groups to be part of
With thousands of groups on LinkedIn, and hundreds more being created daily, it can be hard to decide which ones to join. Here are some of our tips:
- Know your goal: Decide on whether you want to connect with potential clients, or simply want to better understand your industry. Putting a specific goal forward will help you narrow your search to only those groups that would fit the bill.
- Use specific search terms: With your goals set, you can define the terms to use when conducting your search. The more specific the term used, the shorter the list of potential groups you get.
- See where the people you follow are: Check out the groups that they are a part of and decide whether you should be there too. By joining the same groups, you can better connect with other people who have similar profiles to the ones you are already following.
- Read the descriptions: The brief description can often be helpful in understanding what the group is all about. Some even specify what kind of people they expect to join.
- Evaluate the quality of discussions: Read a few of the threads and assess how well the discussions go. Do they stay mostly on topic, or do they frequently veer off to less relevant discussions? Take note of any spamming.
- Join a few groups: The idea here is to lurk around and see how the group actually functions. If you do find that the group is not what you initially expected, it is easy to leave and move on.
- Have many connections: Being able to get the attention of people using LinkedIn Groups marketing is possible. Getting people to actually follow you is a more difficult task. Make this task easier by using our LinkedIn Connections Service to quickly grow your follower numbers, and make yourself appear to be an influencer right away.
By following these steps, you can narrow down the list of groups to join to just a few dozen. This will make it easier for you to build, and manage, your presence in the groups off your choice.
Building your initial presence in a group
Your first task is to make your profile more attractive. Members would likely be checking the new kid on the block even before you get to introduce yourself. In particular, they will be looking at your summary to get a good idea of what you are all about. If group members find you interesting and a fit to the group, they will be more welcoming of you by the time you make your presence known.
Popular search marketing expert Neil Patel’s profile, for instance, is very detailed and contains a good summary. This makes him an attractive prospect member for any group.
When introducing yourself, it would be a good idea to do it in a designated new member’s board. Not only is this a good gesture to the admins, but it also lets you interact with other new members. This can be especially useful when establishing your initial support base in the group.
Once you have introduced yourself, it’s time to interact with the community:
- Don’t immediately jump into creating your own threads. Get a feel for how the actual discussions go by first participating in threads that interest you.
- Your responses should add value to the discussion to make a positive impression
- Quoting other members also helps in drawing their attention to you and starting a conversation.
- When providing links, make sure they do not look spammy. Instead of posting the whole URL, embed it into anchor text that would best describe its content. This not only makes it more helpful to other members but will also establish your image as a helpful hand in the group.
Break yourself into the LinkedIn Groups slowly. It’s easy to become annoying very quickly in any group. This applies in real life, and on LinkedIn.
Some LinkedIn groups for you to join
When using LinkedIn groups for marketing, it is not enough for you to only focus on the ones that are directly related to your niche. Joining other diverse groups can also bring in plenty of useful knowledge you can use.
HubSpot content marketing strategist Brittany Leaning lists down some of the most popular LinkedIn groups to be part of. We will look at them below.
With more than 427,000 members, this is one of the largest groups in LinkedIn. As the name suggests, Digital Marketing focuses on digital marketing strategies and trends. The group provides its members with plenty of inspiration and tips to use in their marketing efforts. The discussions here are also very lively and offer a lot of useful insights.
Sales Best Practices
If you are looking for ways to increase your business’ sales, this is the group for you. Sales Best Practices focuses on the strategies and tactics required to drive more sales. It is also built around the latest sales trends. This group is perfect for both beginning sales personnel, as well as the more experienced ones looking to brush up on their skills.
Social Media Marketing
Run by expert social media marketers, this group boasts of more than 700,000 members. Social Media Marketing delivers a lot of information on the latest insights on social media. Members get weekly announcements about the industry, keeping them up to date on developing trends. The group also offers great resources and webinars.
Creative Design Pros
While Creative Design Pros is aimed at professional designers, marketers like you can learn a lot about the design process. The insights you get here will help you better understand how your own designers do their work. What’s more, the group actually gives you insights on the daily lives of designers. This can help you develop a better relationship with your own designer.
Harvard Business Review
With over 579,000 members, the HBR is another major group on LinkedIn. What’s great about this group is that it is open to both large and small business representatives. If you are looking to learn a lot about business from established thought leaders, then this is the group to join.
Creating a LinkedIn Group for marketing
While joining groups can do a lot for you, one big challenge with this approach is that you are pretty much under the power of the groups’ admins. Since this can impact your ability to market, creating your own LinkedIn Group could be advantageous.
Establishing the group
One of the important things that you have to define early is the purpose of the group you want to build. I suggest that you create a group that is focused on your industry rather than one that focuses on your company. The former is more likely to attract many members as even those who might not be fans of your company can be encouraged to hop on board.
Choosing a narrow niche to cover within your industry also helps in further flushing out your group’s purpose. You will particularly want to identify what your group’s specialty is. This will differentiate you from all the other groups that might already be catering to your niche.
With your group conceptualized, it’s time to put it up. When choosing a name, consider the terms that your target audience is likely to use when searching for your group. Use the relevant keywords in the group’s description. The group LinkedIn:HR, for instance, has an easy to recall name that also tells a lot about its purposes.
Promoting your group
When trying to attract your first members, you don’t need to look far for them:
- Past employees
- Your peers
Are all some of the best pioneers for your new group.
Attracting key industry experts is also a good move. Their presence in the group also helps in attracting other members as people will want to be associated with them. This does require some work, though, as you need to give these experts a good reason to join you.
Make full use of the various channels you have. This can include your website, blog, or social media accounts to draw attention to the new group. Twitter is particularly popular for this purpose:
— Collegiate DECA (@CollegiateDECA) March 16, 2017
Lastly, don’t forget to promote the group during offline engagements. Webinars and conferences are some of the events where you might find potential members. Be discreet while promoting, though. You don’t want them to get discouraged.
Managing your groups
As the number of members in your group grows, the quality of engagement can sometimes drop. You can avoid this by closely monitoring ongoing discussions and ensuring that members are following the user guidelines you have set. In the case of infractions and member complaints, be quick and firm in your decisions while making sure to take into account the member’s input.
Members also like it if they are given many opportunities to interact with others. Do this by creating separate boards for specific topics, such as:
- Main discussions
- Job offers
You can also highlight specific discussions and draw interest to them by pinning them at the top of the boards.
Keeping track of overall group activities is also a must in the management process. For this, you will want to make the most out of the Groups analytics tool that the site provides. The tool lets you see the demographics of your members, as well as their activity level.
Engaging LinkedIn Group members
Whether you joined a group or created your own, engaging other members is vital for a successful LinkedIn Groups marketing run. This is also one of the most challenging parts. You need to be low-keyed while marketing to avoid being labeled as a spammer, while still being able to effectively persuade them to take a look.
Creating the right content
The posts you create in the group offer the best way to engage other members. As such, you want content that draws their attention. Providing information of value for other members is one way to do this. Your original posts should contain plenty of information about the topic you are covering. They should also be able to demonstrate your expertise on your chosen subject. This should also be the case when you reply to members’ comments where you should provide more information.
Content Marketing Group, for example, serves as a hub for members to get the latest on content marketing and has a lot of great articles to read.
Asking questions at the end of your posts helps in sparking conversations. Be inventive in the kinds of questions you use. For instance, you can probe other members on how they are going to apply the topic to their work. Or you can encourage them to share other related information that they might know of.
Personalizing your posts to the group helps in getting them read. Remember that all the members expect to interact with other people. Therefore, you should post as an individual and not as your brand. This should be reflected in the language of your post. It should be less formal and more conversational in nature.
Bringing in content from your blog or website is another way to create posts that will engage other members to participate. But, as has already been said, be careful so as not to make it look spammy or overtly self-promoting.
Building connections with other members
Good LinkedIn Groups marketing allows for engagement with other members. This engagement can be readily turned into connections that show up on your profile. Commenting and engaging in conversations are good ways of building connections. Twitch senior community manager Joveth Gonzalez offers some more strategies to connect with other members:
- Welcome new members: By welcoming new members, you get their attention early and get the chance to establish connections quickly. Introduce yourself and the group by directing them to popular discussions. If you are an admin for the group, personalize the welcome email you send to successful applicants.
- Be a guide: While new members are expected to study a group before they even consider joining, they could still come in confused. Help them settle in by acting as a guide. Explain the various guidelines and policies the group has in place. You can also help them in getting the hang of posting and joining discussions.
- Be present in the most popular discussions: People on LinkedIn are very eager to engage. By being a constant commenter on the most popular threads and showing your knowledge, people become more interested in you and more likely to connect.
- Send a personal request to connect: While your goal is to attract people to connect with you, it is always a good idea to make requests of your own. Take a look at the list of members and send connection requests to those that are of interest to you. Attach a note explaining that you are a member of the same group and the reason why you want to connect.
- Bring your connections into the real world: To establish a stronger link between you and your connections, it helps to go beyond cyberspace and take it offline. Invite them to be guest speakers and resource persons for any events you organize. They, in turn, could return the favor.
Note that these are not the only things you can do. By constantly finding ways to engage with members of your group, you can considerably expand your network on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn Groups marketing makes you an influencer
Being able to exert your influence on other members of the groups you belong to can boost your marketing efforts. Many of the techniques that we tackled here were also meant to build that influence. You can go further in establishing yourself as a thought leader in the group by:
- Share new inspiring ideas: The members of your group are always on the lookout for the latest ideas they can use. Become their source and provide them with weekly inspirations.
- Keep members up to date with the latest trends: Many people join LinkedIn to get the latest news about their respective industries. By being their newscaster, you draw their attention and get the opportunity to engage them further.
- Share your expertise: By responding to even their simplest questions, you present yourself as the go-to guy for technical information in the community.
- State your insights and opinions: People are most likely to follow those whose insights they share. By being vocal about your opinions, other members learn more about you and will want to hear more of what you have to say.
- Encourage other members: Be there to prop up, and push, other members to the forefront of group activities. They will thank you for giving them the opportunity.
By effectively using your position as a thought leader, you can sway the group to any direction you want for marketing purposes.
Harness the power of LinkedIn Groups for your marketing efforts
As you can see, being part of a LinkedIn group provides a lot of benefits for brand promotions. For your Linkedin groups marketing effort to pay off, you need to know how to effectively harness the power of this feature.
- Select a group: By carefully selecting the groups to join, you will be in the place to make the most out of your membership.
- Create your own group: Being the founder of your own group gives you a lot of control over its dynamics. This way you can leverage influence on your members’ mindset for marketing purposes.
- Engage with other members: Whether you are just a regular member or the one who founded a group, actively engaging with other people in it is vital for building your presence within the circle.
By following these steps, you can establish yourself as an important member of a LinkedIn Group. From there, promoting your brand to these people becomes easier. Even if you never manage to do effective marketing, you will still get something out of your experience.