With almost 2 million LinkedIn Groups on a social media network of 200 million users, it just may make sense for your company to get involved in conversations by starting its own group. Your group may not necessarily be named after your business – in fact it may be better to keep it generic – but the contacts that you attract and the personalities of a smart group can affect your business down the road.
In terms of starting a generic topic group it is likely that it has already been done but this doesn’t mean there aren’t ample opportunities to create sub-categories. For example instead of starting a group that sells financial products to contractors instead start a group focused on the needs of your demographic to encourage them to get involved. Rather than having a sales-oriented name like “Contractor Financing Group” try something more inviting like “Contractor Business Management.” This more broad type of group can attract participants in the contract industry as well as working contractors who wish to have a sounding board for their ideas or questions.
Below are some tips to creating a group on LinkedIn that may benefit your business:
Connections are the Foundation
Your group will only grow if you first have developed connections that are like-minded and are willing to contribute to conversations related to your niche. The more connections you have, the better the chance you will have of attracting more members to your group. Seek influential people to connect with that you think can help you grow your group’s reputation.
Get Inspiration from Other Groups
Part of the reason you should be starting a group is to provide information in your niche or to create conversations that don’t exist elsewhere. Ask yourself “How can my group be different?” or “What would make people want to join?” and form the basis of your group around those questions.
The other things that you can take away from other groups are the way they are managed. Some groups are very poorly moderated and this structure is not cohesive for shared learning or input. If you start a group, plan on moderating it and establishing boundaries your members will appreciate. In fact, in might be wise to remain the sole moderator of the group until you feel comfortable allowing others to post questions. Self-moderating allows you to control the content as well as cater the conversations in ways that benefit your members and potentially your business.
Share Your Group
Once you have established the structure and foundation of your group begin to share it with other groups that might find it beneficial. Many LinkedIn members are involved with numerous groups so if they find your group appealing they may also join and contribute.
Focus on Content, Not Sales
The most appealing groups are the ones that provide free range of ideas, thoughts and opinions. Members are most attracted to groups in which they can be educated or entertained. Most businesses can benefit themselves by educating the members as to the products and services that are available to them. While it is not ok to be overbearing when promoting your own products or services, once you have established a credible reputation the opportunities to promote your business may promote themselves naturally.
While a LinkedIn group may not establish financial rewards overnight it will establish your credibility and knowledge of your industry. Effectively connecting with like-minded individuals also gives your business the opportunity to have a sounding board with industry professionals so that you can get a better idea of how they receive your products or services. With this knowledge you can improve business operations and help maintain connectivity with your core demographic.
How do you use LinkedIn to forge connections and educate yourself? Are you involved in groups and if so which ones and why? To get help with LinkedIn groups or other social media, contact Success Agency today.
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