The Importance of LinkedIn Groups for your Business Marketing Groups are another great way to be active on LinkedIn, make connections, and reach potential customers or partners (not …
The Importance of LinkedIn Groups for your Business Marketing
Groups are another great way to be active on LinkedIn, make connections, and reach potential customers or partners (not to mention identifying opportunities). You can find Groups according to the key words and phrases you would like to associate yourself with or they can be specific to the service, product or industry that you are a part of.
It is vital that you not only join, but participate in the groups that you join. LinkedIn makes it easy by allowing you to choose when to be notified about group activity.
Upon entering a group, click on the settings cog that will allow you to choose between receiving an email for each discussion, a digest and a few additional options. If the group is very active you may want to request a digest. On the other hand, if you want to be very active in a group, then you will want to be notified every time there is a discussion.
LinkedIn Groups do not equal networks
Groups are not the same as networks – connections in your network are directly linked to you. Members of a group share a kind of similar space and are not directly connected to you. You do not have the exponential value of extended networks in Groups.
Yes, it allows you to contact a member without being connected and that IS a good thing. BUT, your reach here is somewhat limited to the group, and members will view your relationship differently than a 1st connection will.
The bottom line: Groups do not replace your network, and activity within your groups does not replace the value of interacting directly with your connections. Remember, you want to reach more people – not less. Engage your 1st connections, your groups, and the “Public” to leverage all you can from the LinkedIn platform.
Don't Just Follow - Lead: Start Your Own LinkedIn Group
Don’t Just Follow – Lead: Start Your Own LinkedIn Group!
If you are especially knowledgeable or an expert on a topic related to your business, consider starting a unique group and standing out as an expert. This extra step can really give you and your company some gravitas pretty quickly, especially if you can use it as a forum to engage potential customers and keep current ones.
The topic and, more importantly, the title will take some thought. Search on existing groups from around the world for ideas. You may find a similar group in another part of the world that would work for you and your locale. Keep your eyes and your mind open – get creative!
Nurture Your LinkedIn Network
Back to your network – this is your gold mine and foundation for any expansion of your LinkedIn business presence. Your 1st connections can help you by introducing you to their connections who may be beneficial, either directly or indirectly, to your business.
A relatively straightforward example is: You need a graphic artist. You might start by looking at a few of your connections whose marketing you like and see if any of their connections include a graphic artist. You can ask to be introduced directly or choose to send an InMail to the graphic artist if you are concerned the connection will want to keep that artist to him- or her-self.
Less straightforward is you share an article, a post, or an update and several connections share it with their network and several from each of theirs share it and so on. The reach of an online network is hard to fathom and harder still to concretely illustrate, but I am sure you get the picture. In an online network:
1 + 1 = way more than 2
Comment on What They Share
So how do you engage this powerful network? Share and/or comment or what they share or do. Your connections will then be likely to do the same for you.
Ask Questions or Advice
Ask your Network about something they recently posted or ask advice within their area of expertise. People love to feel important and asking them about something they know will instantly endear you to them. It seems like a small thing, but it will go a long way toward building a solid network.
Keep in Touch
Use the Keep in Touch feature of LinkedIn’s connections. Depending upon your free or premium plan, you can schedule how often to follow up, add contact information, take notes about your interactions and plan your next steps. It also notifies you of a change in a connection’s employment, birthday, work anniversary and major changes to their Profile.
Embrace these opportunities to remind your connections of your connection so to speak! Make it personal and be consistently available and active in your online community.
Meet In Person
Of course, it is literally not possible to meet with all of your connections from all over the globe. Nor is it necessary, but it may be beneficial in some cases. If you are living in the same city or area, it may make sense. If you would like to bring your relationship to another level it definitely makes sense. Phone, Skype, or Hangout if an in-person meeting isn’t possible and you want to improve your relationship.