W hen you think social media, LinkedIn Groups, might not be the first thing to come to mind. However, with 500 million members to it’s credit, LinkedIn isn’t actually as un-cool as it may sound!.
What are LinkedIn Groups?
LinkedIn Groups are subspaces on LinkedIn which provide a “place for professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to share content, find answers, post and view jobs, make business contacts, and establish themselves as industry experts.” If you’re looking to find relevant groups for your own personal interest, sign into LinkedIn and simply use the search feature at the top of your homepage or select from the suggestions that LinkedIn offers you of your own “Groups you may like.” LinkedIn groups can help when connecting to areas of your own personal interest, but many small business owners do not know these groups can be a happening place for businesses. When done right, people do have real and thoughtful conversations – plus, your business can build awareness, credibility, generate leads, connect with your audience, network within your own industry, and find as many qualified B2B suppliers and leads as you’ll ever need! So here are 3 ways you can use LinkedIn to grow your business.
1. Use LinkedIn Groups as a lead generation channel
If you know the groups of people that already buy your products or services you can make a list of potential customers by using LinkedIn Group’s search function and filter by job title, company, and geographic location. With this list of prospects, you can send personalized messages (even if you’re not connected,) see what they’re posting about (to identify their main points), and build a connection. You can also find tools to send multiple messages at one, however, prospects will be more receptive to your message if they know a bit about you or have a connection in common. Make sure your presence in the Group is known, your profile is optimized for lead generation and you actually engage within the groups. Have your website clearly visible, and write that you’re open to messages regarding business opportunities.
2. Find new employees
LinkedIn Groups can hold a goldmine of opportunity for employers. Take note of active members in groups who are actually participating in the conversations. Take even more note of those who can answer questions thoughtfully. Make a list of these individuals, and see who fits your hiring criteria. Once you have narrowed down your targets, reach out to them and try to make a genuine connection. Comment on their posts (when you have value to contribute) and then reach out to them directly.
3. Build your brand as a thought leader
With patience and hard work you can use LinkedIn Groups to establish yourself as an industry expert. Post interesting questions, articles and discussion topics, and be sure to participate in good group conversations once they start. A LinkedIn Group is a perfect way to seek to actually help other people but at the same time a place to grow your online community.
What should you be aware of when using LinkedIn?
Just like every social media site you have to be careful. LinkedIn may be a social network for professionals, but that doesn’t mean everyone acts professional – and that means there are still trolls and the occasional creepy message in the mix.
So try it out and tell us on Facebook what you think...
What do YOU like or dislike about LinkedIn groups?
Got thoughts about LinkedIn groups?
Are you already an active participant?
Or does it all seem like kind of a waste of time?
Tell us what you think in the comments below