Want to know the quickest way to connect with others on LinkedIn? Join a group.
Groups are an easy way to meet people and develop relationships that can be leveraged for business. You can join up to 50 groups, but a more effective strategy is to limit yourself to 10 or 20 groups, so you have time to participate and engage in discussions, and make meaningful connections. Here are a few tips on how to use groups effectively to build your business:
1. Join groups related to your target audience. Find groups that don’t have a huge membership – between a few hundred and a couple of thousand is best. Plan to visit them a few times a week, rather than wait for a weekly email update.
2. Join the discussion. Look for the most popular discussions (found at the top of the group) to see which ones you want to contribute to. These discussions are usually the ones that have the most comments anyway, so you can review them and add your own insight to the conversation, or ask a question. If you add value, members will begin to recognize you as a thought leader in the group and can “follow” you to keep up with your activity.
3. Start your own discussion. Once you’ve participated in the group for a while, you can start your own topics. You can share articles, including your own blog articles, ask a question, or even take a controversial stand on an issue to get the conversation going. The goal is to get as much engagement as possible. If you do, you could become a “top influencer” for the week.
4. Start your own group. Creating your own group gives you a real opportunity to promote your business. You can send messages once a week to your members. You can create a customized welcome message that includes a call to action – such as inviting members to sign up for your newsletter. As group manager, you can invite members to events you sponsor, and import RSS feeds into the news area, so your blog posts can be read by your members.
Devoting a little time to LinkedIn groups can have a big payoff for you in terms of building influence and obtaining business referrals, leads and sales.
If your sales team is not familiar with how to maximize LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter to increase sales, Meredith has the answer– Meredith Oliver’s Social Media Boot Camp! Meredith can teach your sales team click-by-click how to use and maximize social media for business. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
by Meredith Oliver
Meredith Oliver, The Digital Diva, is an author, professional speaker and founder of Meredith Communications; a full-service web marketing specializing in website design and search engine optimization. She delivers keynote speeches and seminars internationally to business owners and salespeople on how to click with technology and Internet marketing to make more sales and make more money. Meredith holds a Masters Degree in Communication Technology and numerous industry designations. You can learn more about Meredith at http://thedigitaldivablog.com/.