While many people who engage in internet marketing may use LinkedIn in some capacity, they might not be using it as effectively as possible. For example, are you making use of LinkedIn groups? By not using LinkedIn groups you’re missing a big part of the potential marketing opportunities the site has to offer.
There are two primary challenges marketers face with LinkedIn groups in most circumstances—how to choose the right groups to be part of, and how to market within those groups. The first problem is challenging because there are over a million groups available, making it hard to find options that are relevant for your particular industry. Additionally, with that many groups available, it’s inevitable that a large percentage of those are going to be poorly managed and ineffective, which makes it even more important to find groups that are of value.
Use The Appropriate Searches
The first step to finding value in the use of LinkedIn groups is to actually find the groups that are best suited to your individual goals. You can use the LinkedIn search feature to narrow down results based on any number of criteria, including your location, your industry, educational institutions you may have attended, or even your hobbies. Before joining any groups, look into the recent posts, and see how involved other members are.
This is a good indicator of whether or not it’s an active, worthwhile group. A few other questions you can use to evaluate a group include:
- How engaged are the managers and administrators of the group?
- What are the rules for the group? Typically, the best groups are those that have a solid set of well-defined rules.
- Are most of the group updates self-promotional?
It’s best to use LinkedIn groups to build relationships based on real, valuable information. Create pertinent subject matter that can in turn create leads over time, rather than limiting your group interactions to your own advertisements. By the same token, the best way to build relationships with the other members of groups is to let them know that you also care about what they bring to the table.
Maintain Your Group Memberships
Just as you maintain your social media profiles, keep your group memberships regularly updated with fresh content. Don’t simply join groups and leave it at that. Start interesting, relevant discussions, and then continue to contribute continuously. Check back often, and continue offering input. When you start a discussion, be sure you create a title that’s going to grab attention, and include a link back to your company’s website, LinkedIn page, or blog.
Use The Tools Provided By LinkedIn
LinkedIn has created a number of valuable tools designed specifically for the purpose of making group interactions easier and more effective, so take advantage. For example, LinkedIn provides sharing buttons that make it easy to start polls and share discussions with a broader audience.
By using all that LinkedIn has to offer, in terms of groups, you can build a broader audience, and increase the potential for the development of leads beyond what you might be able to achieve by simply utilising your LinkedIn profile page.
The Internet Marketing Academy
(Image by Coletivo Mambembe)