Posted 10/30/2013 at 8:48 AM
Posted 4 years ago
Although LinkedIn is still seen by many as a lionized job search board, if handled adroitly, this social media platform can turn into an excellent business-to-business marketing tool, in order to promote your business. And, if the way you create your profile on LinkedIn is important, joining a group is imperative in order to build authority through discussion postings.
Hardcore business professionals prefer to create their own groups in order to stay connected with their clients, customers, and colleagues in the industry. With the power of a LinkedIn group, the professionals build their whole business, market their products and services, sell out events, and become authoritative leaders within their circles, all around that single group.
Forming a LinkedIn group and making it work effectively by getting the targeted people to join and participate in discussions can be a pretty tough job. As such, simply creating a group isn’t enough — you will have to make sure that the group attracts your target people.
CREATING A LINKEDIN GROUP
To create a group, you have to complete the form in the ‘Create a Group’ page. You can manage the group on your own, or you can assign others as moderators. But deciding on the name of the group is crucial, as the first impression of the target members rests upon it. Make sure your group name is clear, and that it covers the keywords that your target members will likely search for.
When creating the group logo, keep in mind that the logo displayed will be quite small in size. Don’t pack your logo with illegible text.
When you create your group, it would be advantageous to create a custom webpage for the group on your website as well. So, if you could buy the URL and redirect it to a page on your website, it would give your group more visibility. Also, take advantage of the LinkedIn settings, and display your group in the Group Directory, as well as on the members’ profiles.
Finally, make sure to keep it an open group when you start, and then decide who gets in. An open group enables the discussions to be indeced by search engines, and can be shared on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Such open groups will add to the visibility of your group, and your group members will be able to share the group or certain group discussions via their social networks.
PROMOTING THE LINKEDIN GROUP TO YOUR CONNECTIONS
No one wants to join a group with hardly any members in it. Make use of your existing networks by inviting your co-workers, colleagues, clients, and customers to join your group and engage in discussions.
As mentioned earlier, disseminate information about your group on your website, blogs, email, as well as on other social media platforms. In case you are simultaneously managing some other groups on some other social networking sites, invite them to join your LinkedIn group.
Gradually, once your group starts looking fuller with members and discussion posts, start inviting key industry experts to join your group, and give in their valuable insights into discussions.
Make sure to integrate your LinkedIn group with all your marketing efforts. For instance, if you are going to attend a conference, you should not only announce it to your group, but also ask those whom you meet in the conference to join your group.
PROMOTING BUSINESS THROUGH LINKEDIN GROUPS
No other social media platform, right now, is arguably as effective as LinkedIn in promoting business and spurring sales. A LinkedIn group has the capacity to generate a surprisingly big number of leads from sophisticated decision makers. However, for that, you shall have to make sure that every person who joins your group is a qualified lead. You will have to make sure to retain the interest and confidence of your group members.
Manage your group with augmented group interactions, like featured discussions, in order to highlight specific content or a particular offer, which will remain on the top of the discussion board until you unpin it. Besides, if you are writing blog posts which have something to do with the interest of your group members, then import your blog’s RSS feed to the group, so that every new article is posted automatically on the homepage of every group member. You can also send weekly announcements to your group members that will help drive traffic back to your site.
LinkedIn has a special feature that allows one to promote an event for free. Hosting an event is a powerful method of building a business. So now, you can promote an event on LinkedIn, targeting thousands of professionals. Simply create an event on LinkedIn by answering a few basic questions, and then start promoting the event by sending invitations to the targeted people. Your business will gain heavily from these events.
Finally, asking questions to some of the high-end veteran members in the group would not only show your credibility, but you’ll gain valuable answers from some of the top experts around the globe. Answering others might win you some clients as well.
Learn something about the person who has asked the question to you. If he is really of interest to your business, offer as much help as possible, and be as resourceful as you can, sharing related website links, additional information, making recommendations, or giving personal tips. Not only that, leave your answer with an open invitation to the person to approach you privately for further help and communication. That way, you’ll develop powerful and valuable business relationships for sure.