20 Sep Start Generating Business Leads with LinkedIn, Step 3
Step 3: Form Your Group
LinkedIn groups give you a great opportunity to reach and engage potential customers online. However, there are still a lot of industries or groups of professionals not yet represented in LinkedIn groups. If no one has created a group for your industry, go create one.
1. Tips When Starting a Group on LinkedIn
- Your name is important! Consider which keywords your target members will search for. Make sure your group name is clear and includes these keywords.
- Create a group for your industry, not your company. People are more likely to join and participate in a group when it’s not simply for fans of your company.
- Display the group in the Group Directory and on members’ profiles. Take advantage of the functionality already in place on LinkedIn to help your group get more visibility.
2. Tips for Promoting a LinkedIn Group
- Invite coworkers, past colleagues, and customers to join and start discussions. Leverage your existing network to get your group started. After all, who wants to join a group with no members?
- Promote the group on your website, blog, email newsletter, and social media networks. Make sure people know that you have a group and how to join.
- Invite key industry experts to join and engage. If there are some heavy-hitters in your industry, invite them to engage with the community.
- Cross-market to related groups that you manage on different social media networks. Create a similar group or page on Facebook and invite members of each network to join the group on the other network.
- Integrate LinkedIn into all of your marketing efforts. Every time you conduct a webinar or go to a conference, notify your group and invite those you meet to join the group as well.
3. Tips for Managing a LinkedIn Group
- Add discussions, news and jobs. The more opportunities for interaction you add to your group, the more valuable your group will be to the community.
- Use “Most Popular Discussions” to highlight particular content or offers. The group discussions can quicklyget overrun and it can be hard to get your discussion thread noticed. But you can browse by “Most Popular Discussions” to see which articles are getting the most attention and which you can highlight particular content in.
- Send announcements. Announcements are emails sent by you through LinkedIn to your group members. The benefit of sending these announcements through LinkedIn is that your recipients, and their email filters, are more likely to recognize the email as trustworthy and your deliverability may be higher than if you had sent the email yourself. Announcements get added as discussion threads for your group, and you also have the option to mark such threads as featured discussions for extra visibility. Announcements are text only, and have no analytics, so if you want to track clicks, use a URL shortener with analytics to measure the response to your announcement.
- Import your blog RSS feed. If you write a blog that’s relevant to the group, you can import your articles automatically to the News section. Go to News and then Manage news feeds and add the RSS feed for your blog.
- Make your own LinkedIn analytics. LinkedIn does not have analytics features. So, if you want to track the success of your group, you’ll need to develop your own LinkedIn analytics. To track the growth of your group, check the number of members every week and keep track of the group size in a spreadsheet. To track the click through rate of links in your announcements, use a URL shortener with analytics like bit.ly. And be sure to measure the traffic, leads, and customers you get from LinkedIn over time. This will help you understand how effective your LinkedIn profile or group is in terms of lead generation.