Will LinkedIn Groups help your business? Founded in 2002 and launched the year after, LinkedIn is a prominent online networking site that offering a real-world representation of professional relationships, both local and international.
It creates an online world connected by real work connections that provide professionals – both employee and employer – an easy way to connect with fellow workmates or even the credentials of others.
LinkedIn Groups offers an avenue for professionals and business owners within the same niche, interest or industry, sharing content, finding answers to queries and even post and find jobs.
Here, they can also make connections with other similar businesses and even establish their brands as experts on the industry, making it a prime spot to really grow your business.
But how would you do it?
Is it as simple as registering for membership? Well then, listen carefully, because we have listed the way you can leverage your business with LinkedIn groups and succeed!
Define yourself first
What kind of niche are you part of? And what do you cover as a business? These are just some of the questions when you do decide to join, most especially when it comes to who are you trying to reach. Unfortunately, some entrepreneurs would be more likely to join groups that cater to people that are much like themselves, making it the most common mistake they could make. Though there is value in connecting with people within the industry, joining other groups of niches would better help increase your visibility with your demography.
For example, if you happen to be the owner of a contractual security agency that provides security at a certain cost. Therefore, it would make much better sense in looking for groups that cater to big investments, business that need ample amount of security like banks, jewelers, even museums, thus benefiting your business in the long run. The better your understanding of your desired demographic allows you better control on which group to penetrate and keep.
The easiest way to find your way around is through LinkedIn’s the Groups You May Like feature located at the navigation menu bar under Groups.
What’s your number?
Another common mistake some business owners do is joining too many groups. It is much better to focus on a handful of groups than actually joining more than 50 groups and be inactive for a period of time.
Too much group involvements will thin you out, making things more complicated than they should be. Traction is better when you add content to the discussion regularly. Participating in discussions within your group takes a lot of time and should not be taken lightly.
It is best that you properly allocate time for each group you’re a part of to maximize your results. Start with 7-10 groups for now. Start slow and steady rather than tiring yourself out trying to compensate time for each group you have in LinkedIn. Note: Don’t compromise quality for quantity.
Keep Calm and Build connections with LinkedIn Groups
After joining a few groups, first be an observer to see how the group works and group dynamics. There will be some key players within the discussion, but that doesn’t mean you should rush yourself to impress them. You don’t have to go for the big kill right after you get in. Test waters first and make your business be heard.
Focus your time and effort creating a connection with your new group mates. You can use the deep and narrow approach so that you can slowly build your reputation as a member of your LinkedIn Groups by enhancing your credentials as a professional and create new connections as a business owner. You see, within LinkedIn lies a big treasure trove of clients and contacts just waiting for you to tap and start talking. Build your name slowly and justly – no short cuts.
Then when you have enough buying power, you are ready for the big fish!
Find what’s hot
Talk about the group’s most “popular” discussions, this way you can get the most attention within the group. The topics are what the members are currently attracted to and would likely engage to any discussion revolving around it. You can find them at the topmost part of the list on LinkedIn Group’s discussion page. Try reading the comments under it so that you can learn and review them before actually going for it.
While you weigh on things, try responding to the current comments and give your take on it. You can also ask very thought-provoking questions that would add fuel to the fire, generating more comments.
If your comments add value to the popular discussions, members will begin to recognize you as a thought leader within the group.
Start your own
There will be times that you can’t seem to find the perfect LinkedIn Group to fit in, or that the groups you are part of are starting to go stale and stagnant. If this does happen, starting a new LinkedIn Group might be your best choice. Find a theme that doesn’t seem to be addressed in any other group, and build your new group around it.
You’ll have to promote it initially to attract members, but over time, if your group is active and valuable, people will find it and join it. Remember to focus on delivering valuable content and contribution, not selling. This is personal networking at its best, and the way to succeed is to build relationships over time.
But do remember this; keeping one is a great task that needs conviction. So don’t do it half-baked. Go for it!
Individual Employee Profiles and Engagement
Personal profiles make up the backbone of LinkedIn, with over 277 million users throughout the world. Over 93 million (roughly 34%) of these users are in the United States, which is the highest concentration of users per country, according to the LinkedIn’s press page.
While your small business’ employees only make up a minuscule amount of these users, they still have a significant impact on your company’s presence on the site. It is to small business owners’ advantage to encourage employees to have an active profile on LinkedIn. This is because many features of personal profiles can have a big impact on how much visibility your company can get on the social network.
Wrapping it up
LinkedIn Groups provide an amazing opportunity to position yourself as a thought leader and an influencer. If you lead by example with your participation, others will follow. It’s really a matter of how you fully maximize your online membership because, at the end of the day, the success or failure of any business lies in every corporate decision its owner decides upon.
Remember, each decision will lead you to new possibilities as well as new challenges. It’s all in your hands now.