Keys to Success with LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn is a great platform for building your brand, especially if you’re a B2B company. This social media platform targets professionals, and has members who represent the oldest age demographic of all social media users: 51% of LinkedIn users fall in the 30 – 64 age range, suggesting a population of professionals at mid-to-senior management level.
Forbes recently published a handy article, The Best Way to Get Started with LinkedIn Groups, which provides a 7-point list of practical advice for building a credible presence on LinkedIn via Groups. Some of the most important points are about participation:
- Know your brand: this includes not only understanding your target audience but identifying the decisions-makers and influencers who are typically part of the buying cycle for your product or service.
- Choose the right groups: the main takeaway from this advice is to select not one group but a mix of relevant groups. Avoid putting all your eggs in one basket. Chances are that some of your members belong to multiple groups; your trustworthiness goes up if they see you/your company on other groups.
- Lurk before you leap: before jumping in to offer opinions and advice, follow the discussions and learn about the group’s culture. What sort of interaction generates the most positive feedback and which ones get shut down quickly?
- Commit to active participation: your ongoing, thoughtful, consistent contribution is the single biggest indicator to other members that you are sincere.
I’m a big fan of that last point. Make the commitment. It doesn’t mean replying to every single post or discussion. It does mean taking a marketing campaign approach to LinkedIn:
- Monitor your groups: stay on top of the latest trends (hot topics, concerns, regulatory issues), not just so you can respond but also to bring insights back to your company.
- Provide helpful responses: sometimes you can answer a question directly, but other types of responses are also helpful. With your brand and target audience in mind, focus on what’s relevant. Can you point to a resource? Can you recommend a service? Can you help by clarifying or expanding on the original question if it was poorly expressed? Understand what LinkedIn considers spam and how to engage thoughtfully.
- Support the members: only when it’s appropriate for your brand. Help promote their blogs and posts, not just on LinkedIn but via your other social media channels.
Once you feel established and accepted by the group, you can start drip-feeding your own requests. Whether you’re hiring, looking for partners, or asking for product input, do it in a way that shows you value the group’s collective intelligence.
The first step of any marketing campaign is to understand your brand and target audience. If you’re having trouble articulating this in an actionable way, download our free P.A.C.E. Workbook. P.A.C.E. (Promote, Analyze, Convert, Engage) is designed to give marketing teams a hands-on, practical framework for implementing programs that deliver ROI. The first section is all about branding and profiling your target audience. Contact us if you have any questions about brand, target audience, or social media marketing.