LinkedIn groups consist of professionals and like minded people involved in a common industry or interest. LinkedIn groups give you an opportunity to interact, network and find prospects. You can also use LinkedIn groups to find people who are influential on the site so that you can follow them and grow your network. LinkedIn lets you joined and create groups of your own. This is a very powerful way to use the site to its fullest.
Starting up your own LinkedIn Group is a great way to create a tribe around your services, website or ideas. It is a subtle way of advertising what you are offering. Starting a group brands you as an expert and leader in your field and it can also gain you more exposure for your profile.
If you build a group based around your target market, it provides an opportunity to interact directly with them and get to know your customers better. This makes it much easier to develop and market new products in the future because you know what they want. It allows you to find out first hand exactly who your prospects and customers are and what they like.
Before starting your group, try joining a few similar groups to get a feel for what you want to do and what the group is like. Chime in on the conversations as much as you can and try to see what they like. This can also give you a perfect starting point for your own LinkedIn group. When you are known in some popular groups and you go ahead and start your own, you can announce it to your existing connections and maybe even attract some of those members to your own group.
A number of different methods to promote your group are out there. You can get going inviting your contacts to join your group. Contacts in your network that are interested in your business stand a good chance of joining right up. This can help significantly when you have a foundation of known users to start with.
It can also help to make an announcement on related groups. However, self-promotion is looked down upon on LinkedIn so it’s important to lay the groundwork by participating in the group and getting to know the members first. Make sure that your new group offers something of value to the groups you are promoting in, instead of just repeating what they are already doing or just existing to promote your business. Emphasize the benefits that your group offers in a natural way.
Incentives could help to stimulate growth as well. By offering exclusive deals or special discounts to your members you can draw in more individuals.
It’s important that your group not only offer information and occasional deals that they find valuable, it also needs to be active. It’s important to guide and stimulate discussion by posting questions, running polls and surveys, presenting information and topics to discuss and sharing news items. Make sure you select topics and articles that your group is interested in.
As your group grows, appointing other group members as moderators can help you introduce content more regularly and get a broader spectrum of ideas. Encourage them to share new content and links that they find interesting.
In the end, you need to listen to your members and what they like. While you are there to guide the group, you need to guide them somewhere they want to go. If your members’ interests don’t come first, they will eventually turn somewhere else.