Looking to get more involved with LinkedIn groups? Doing so helps you to connect with like-minded people and boost thought leadership and expertise in whatever it is you do. There are currently over 2 million active LinkedIn groups, with more than 8,000 others being created each week. People who engage in group discussions get an average of four times more profile views than other LinkedIn members. For many, LinkedIn groups are a powerful untapped marketing opportunity.
For those who don't know, LinkedIn Groups are hubs on LinkedIn that provide a “place for professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to share content, find answers, post and view jobs, make business contacts, and establish themselves as industry experts.”
Here are some tips for improving your engagement strategy with LinkedIn groups:
Select 3-5 groups to tactfully engage with based on two criteria:
Which groups contain a concentrated number of members who accurately represent your target audience?
Which groups are on the smaller side? (Avoid hundreds of thousands of members)
Don’t spread yourself among too many groups because you will need to devote time to actively visiting each 2-3 times a week. If possible, while you grow your brand on LinkedIn, keep an eye out for even smaller groups of concentrated people in your target demographic to join.
Participate in popular discussions before posting or starting a discussion yourself
As you visit your groups 2-3 times a week, you will see posts from members that fire up engagement from other members. These are the posts you’ll want to pay attention to, read links from, and possibly comment on. Take note of who is posting the content, if the content is valuable to you and others, and if you have any genuine reaction to the content.
If you determine that a popular discussion is something you feel comfortable engaging in authentically, then like the post (or dislike!) and write your thoughts in the comment section. What this action will do – over and over again – is get your contributions reviewed by the group, get you used to the feel of the group, and begin to provide value.
The key here is to be authentic. Do not comment just to comment. Members will soon see through any half-hearted attempts to engage. Remember to interact with these groups as you would with real-life groups of people.
When you do post, be you. Always.
After a couple weeks of commenting and liking posts, you’ll want to post content of your own. If you have monthly, fresh content that goes up on your blog or is published by outlets, that content will be perfect to offer to the community. Another example of such content could be questions you have for the community. Something casual such as “Wondering how my fellow XX decision-makers are helping with XXX. Let me know!”
Be sure to keep your own posts to once – maximum twice – a month. In the meantime, comment and participate in other group conversations.
Some quick tips for when you post:
Posts should ask a question of the community or provide others-focused value. They should not be self-promotional in nature.
Posts must be related to the topic of the group. Keep discussions in the community relevant to its audience.
Do not start a discussion with a link. If you feel that a link will add value to a conversation, you can include links in your replies to other member’s discussions.
Above all, be sure to have every post or comment reflect your brand personality - more on that here.
Good luck and have fun!