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Using LinkedIn Groups

How to Use LinkedIn Groups

1-LinkedIn groupOne of the first things you’re encouraged to do, when you sign up for the LinkedIn social network, is start joining groups.  There’s one overwhelming reason for using LinkedIn groups – whether or not you create your own or join other peoples’:  You can directly message other group members without being a first degree LinkedIn connection or needing an introduction.  This can save you time, give you access to more followers and connect you with the right people much more quickly.

But that’s not the only benefit of using LinkedIn groups as a grounding agent for your social media strategy.  Via LinkedIn groups, you can:

  • Use group polls
  • Share your polls on Twitter via LinkedIn
  • Send group emails
  • Study statistics from all LinkedIn groups (not just your own)
  • Become an industry hub (if you set your group up correctly)

Remember, however, that LinkedIn is primarily slanted towards B2B (business-to-business) – it’s not the ideal place to work on attracting potential retail customers, for example.  If your business is service-based, however, you may find a LinkedIn group more powerful even than a Facebook one.  In spite of the fact that Facebook is still leaving LinkedIn behind in the social network rankings.  Oh, it has a U.S. Alexa.com traffic ranking of12 (13 globally) and is one of the top three social networks ranked by the statistics site – but LinkedIn is third, snapping at the heels of Twitter, with Facebook far ahead of the duo.

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Getting Ready For Your LinkedIn Group

Step 1.  Preparing for Your Group

Identify your market – and your competitors.  You want people thinking:  “I’ll join her group… I don’t have time for his.”

You’re going to be asking influential people in your niche or industry to join your group – this is part of the LinkedIn culture – so think about the type of group you could create that would actually make them want to join.

Ask yourself these questions:  What is unique about my group, compared  to all similar ones?  What is its biggest benefit and take-away?

Once you’ve finalized your idea, you need to prepare in advance:

  • A group logo (100 X 50 pixels, 60 X 30 pixels; maximum file size=100kb)

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Your logo can consist of text only (e.g. your group name); a graphic only; or a combination of text and graphic elements

  • A Summary – This appears in the group directory
 Example:“[Group Name] is a ______________ designed to help you _____________, ____________, and ____________. [Sentence concluding with what group does and why it is unique]”

 

  • A Description – Appears on your group pages
Example:  “Discussion of ________________”
  • Your Group Name
  • Guidelines
  • Confirmation emails
  • Welcome emails

Many people would tell you to “go ahead and choose any name for now”, based on the fact you have 6 chances to change your group name before it becomes permanent and unchangeable – but why not increase your web reputation and present a professional, confident front by getting the name right, first time?

Choose something descriptive, but catchy.  Here are some examples, just to get your creative juices flowing:

  • Blogging for Teachers
  • Guerrilla Writers
  • Women in Advertising
  • Northwestern Photography Club

Be careful not to infringe on someone else’s corporate or trademarked name.  Don’t use a logo you don’t have licensed or copyrighted – and especially don’t use the word “LinkedIn” in your group name!  This is absolutely forbidden.

Before you rush to create your group at this point, why not study how other groups are setting themselves up?

Study their logos and descriptions to get a feel for LinkedIn group culture.  Check your favorite group names to see how active they are, and think about whether or not a strong description, logo and name may have added to their attraction.

LinkedIn absolutely doesn’t allow screenshots of identifiable personal content, but this should give you an idea of what an active group looks like, as well as how to easily check any group’s activity level.

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Finally, join at least 3-5 groups that appeal to you and see how they work.  Choose groups containing like-minded people who share common challenges and concerns with you.

Only when interacting with at least three of your favorite groups has become second nature with you – or at least comfortable – should you come back and set up your own group.

And you can study the initial emails sent to you by the group to welcome you, in order to get an idea of how you want to prepare your welcome letter.

LinkedIn Groups Summary

LinkedIn is the 3rd largest social media group on the internet. It is specifically aimed at a business to business social media network.  You can use the networking groups on this social media network to find friends from other businesses, use it for marketing, and even pursuing employment. So whatever your pleasure use LinkedIn, and have fun!

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