This is Part 4 in my series on Using LinkedIn for Business where we take a look at LinkedIn Groups:
- what are LinkedIn groups and why should I use groups
- which groups should I join on LinkedIn and how to choose them
- how to use groups and which groups are best
LinkedIn groups offer a way to connect with like-minded professionals related to your industry.
You can join or start a discussion, share insights, post articles, answer questions, create polls and more.
Groups are a fantastic way to generate awareness and leads and show your expertise or simply to do some market research or get an answer to a question.
You can start building relationships with clients and potentials customers, gain access to a targeted audience of professionals and position yourself as a thought leader.
Which Groups Should I Join on LinkedIn?
You can either search for a group from the top search bar if you know what you are looking for OR click on your home page in the menu at the top left of your page.
Then in the right column about half way down you should see a section called GROUPS YOU MAY LIKE.
If you click on “see more” you then get taken to a long list of group suggestions. These will be based on your profile, industry, connections or may relate to or be similar to groups you are already a part of.
If you are a member of the same group as another user, you can bypass the need to be a first-degree connection in order to message them. Also by joining a group that someone out of your network is a member of, you can break down a further barrier, making it easier to connect with them. So for this reason you can certainly join a number of groups to open your network.
However if you want to be more targeted in your approach then you need to look at who else in your network is part of the group, perhaps look at closed groups which will be a bit more targeted than open groups, or delve deeper into the analytics of the group to ensure they are part of your target market – see below.
- You can search group members and also search discussions and polls.
- You can take a look at who are members of the group.
- You can view promotions and jobs listed on the group.
But the menu you really want to be looking at is the MORE menu:
- Here you can view and change Your Settings – so choose to display the group logo on your profile, set the frequency of the emails you get from the group ie daily or weekly or none. This is also where you can leave the group if you wish.
- You can look if there are any subgroups which may be more specific to your niche.
- Take a look at the group profile for more information.
- And last but certainly not lease is the Group Statistics and this is where you can really drill down into the analytics of the group. Take a look at the DEMOGRAPHICS to see if the people in the group are those you want to be connecting and engaging with – you can look at seniority (job title), function (job description or skill), location which is important for local marketing, and industry.
- Then take a look at the ACTIVITY of the group – if the disparity between the blue and green on the graph is large ie there is way more green “discussion” and not many blue “comments” so they are not similar, then there may be a number of reasons – either the content being posted is too promotional or not engaging or there are not really many people engaging in the group so you need to work out if it will be worth your while spending a lot of time networking here. It is always worth giving it a try though as it is still going to increase you awareness and perhaps drive people to your blog een if people are not liking or commenting on the discusssions.
Related Articles You May be Interested In
Have you signed up to LinkedIn yet? No? Then sign up now – http://www.linkedin.com and visit our blog on reasons and benefits as to why you should be on LinkedIn. If you have already set up a profile on LinkedIn then you may want to take a look at how to optimise your personal profile on LinkedIn and also my previous blog on how to connect with people on LinkedIn.