LinkedIn Groups are not very popular. The reason for their unpopularity is the fact that most are full of spammers and people promoting themselves instead of being a part of something actually useful for businesses. That’s why it is no wonder that many would refuse to even think about the idea of creating a LinkedIn Group. It would serve no purpose.
Even though most of the groups on LinkedIn are useless, there are a few out there that can be useful for businesses. There has been a shift in the social media world in recent times and because of them, we might be seeing a greater number of users on closed groups like the ones that exist on Facebook and those on LinkedIn.
In this post, you will learn why LinkedIn groups can actually be useful for businesses and how you can go about creating and managing a useful and successful LinkedIn Group.
The Utility of LinkedIn Groups
Here are a few reasons which will sufficiently highlight the importance of LinkedIn groups.
First of all, social media is seeing a shift. The simple broadly reaching messages with the intent of engaging more people are not something that’s being heavily relied on. Instead, social media is becoming more targeted with close communities of followers. Because of this change, the redundant content floating around on various social media platforms is being prioritized less and interactive content is being given priority.
LinkedIn has also made similar changes to the social media platform with the intent to improve the user experience which was deteriorating due to useless content and spam. LinkedIn is a more professional, industry and career-oriented social media platform which comprises of professionals and industry leaders who want to share a platform to build better professional networks.
Secondly, the number of users on LinkedIn now is more than ever. While LinkedIn is nowhere close to being more popularly used than the likes of Facebook or Instagram, it is still widely used. It doesn’t have to be as popular as other social media platforms either.
The people making use of LinkedIn are focused on professional networking while the other social media platforms cater to users with a more general use of social media in mind. LinkedIn allows for professionals to increase their networking and build their repertoire to help them increase their knowledge of various industries they are a part of. This is why LinkedIn is one of the best platforms that bring together all your customers, especially for businesses that operate on a B2B basis.
LinkedIn groups also have amazing features when it comes to managing the community which cannot be found on any other social media platforms. LinkedIn makes it a point to send digests of all the activities taking place in the group to all members in order to keep them updated daily. Being an administrator, you can also make announcements to your group members by sending emails.
Creating a Successful LinkedIn Group
Now that you know about the utility of LinkedIn groups the social media platform’s relevance, let’s learn a little bit about how you can create and manage a successful LinkedIn Group.
Choose a Relevant Topic
A group on LinkedIn should be focused more on a general topic which all the people in the group find relevant and related to the industry that your brand operates in. The LinkedIn group should not be focused on the promotion of your own brand or company. The people on LinkedIn feel more inclined to join a group and engage with the members if the group is centered upon topics they find interesting and helpful. The connection that the members in your group will make with your brand will occur in an organic manner over a period of time once they start engaging in discussions on the group, other members, and your firm.
For instance, the LinkedIn group by HubSpot is about inbound marketing. They did not deign to focus on their own brand but on the topic that their customers actually find relevant.
On your LinkedIn group, you might find customers who are interested in discussing your products with other members but they’re probably going to be inclined to discuss the broader topic. For instance, if we ran a LinkedIn group, the members of the group might be more focused on discussing the different aspects of social media marketing rather than our company.
If your group has a topic that your customers will find relevant, it will attract more potential customers to your group and also help to keep the discussions going on in the group more pertinent to the general interest of the members in the group. That will make management of the group a lot easier.
When you’re deciding on a topic for your group, you can ask yourself these few questions to help you decide:
- What are the conversations that your customers would be more inclined to participate in?
- What are the queries that your customers often have from you?
- What general topics can your brand be related to?
- What is the overall goal for this community?
Create a Group
Once you’ve decided on the general topic for your group, you should start making the group on LinkedIn.
It’s a simple process. Just go to this page https://www.linkedin.com/groups/create and fill out the relevant fields.
When you’re creating the group, you should particularly focus on the group rules. These rules will help your members recognize what the group encourages and what it does not deign suitably. Clearly stating your group rules will also make it easier for you to manage the group.
Within the group rules, you can write about the conversations which will be deleted and are not allowed. You can also write that repetitive breaking of the group rules can result in the member(s) responsible being deleted from the group. While it may sound harsh, having clear cut rules will help retain a group that’s filled with relevant discussions.
Start Actively Discussing on the Group
So now that you’ve set up a LinkedIn group, you have to add all your connections to the group. Once that’s done, you have to make the group active. The members joining your group are not likely to start discussions with the group if it is empty. That’s why you need to start discussions on the group.
Maybe invite a discussion. At least add a post to welcome the group members and share what this group is about. That way you will be sending the group members a soft reminder about the group rules to follow and inviting them to start a discussion.
You can even start discussions in a question-answer format. That will engage the members and start a discussion where everybody interacts. Actively participate in the conversation and encourage all members to speak their minds about the topics being discussed.
Remove Spam and Moderate all the Posts
This is also an immensely important step. Once your group is active, you will start seeing more and more members join the group. What you have to do with the increased activity is start moderating the discussions taking place in the group. One of the main reasons why most LinkedIn groups fail to make any real impact is lack of moderation.
You will find a lot of spam as the group on this social media platform grows and more members start discussing various topics. You have to make sure that you remove the spam and keep a check on the members responsible. It’s not like everybody will follow the group rules. That’s why it falls upon you to moderate.
You should also make it a point to encourage your group members to flag any posts that can be considered spam or if they’re not adequate or relevant to the group. That will make it easier for you to manage the group and moderate all the posts.
LinkedIn is one of the best social media platforms out there for professionals to reach out to other professionals. The community that you have the potential to build on LinkedIn can help you find a good standing in any profession within your industry. LinkedIn groups currently do not have a very good reputation among the general community but that does not mean they lack the potential.
Running a successful LinkedIn group can be very rewarding but it is something that can take time to become something big. Patience and perseverance will go a long way in making your LinkedIn group successful. All you have to do is stay on your toes and be proactive with the management of your LinkedIn group. All the best!