The rapid growth of social media as a way to drive business growth has led to increased usage of social media groups to make connections and find new prospects. For B2B companies, LinkedIn groups are undoubtedly the best venue for doing this. It’s a great tactic for social media marketing and engagement.
LinkedIn groups are increasingly effective at bringing in new business. If you’re unaware of LinkedIn groups and how they operate, you can quickly educate yourself with this helpful guide.
To effectively generate the maximum return on investment (ROI) when participating in LinkedIn groups, you need to approach your participation with a solid strategy and knowledge of best practices.
Below we’ll cover the most important tips and best practices for leveraging LinkedIn Groups to drive revenue and company growth.
How to use LinkedIn groups: 8 best practices
LinkedIn groups can provide enormous benefits to your company, but only if you take the right approach. Here are eight best practices to ensure you generate the maximum ROI possible from the time you spend participating in these groups.
1. Start by doing your research
You can’t just find a random group, join it, and start promoting your product from day one. Rather you must complete some important research before you get started.
Do a LinkedIn group search to identify groups that are most relevant to your industry and are the most active. Form a list of target groups and join them. Once you’re in, your research will continue in the form of careful observation of each group’s activity (more on that below).
2. Observe and comment before posting
Before you start posting your own thoughts or content in a social media group, you must take the time to get a feel for the group and how it operates.
Take the time to observe which topics members are posting about and what kind of dialogue those posts are generating in the form of comments.
Once you have a grasp on the group and its identity, you can start commenting on posts or replying to others’ comments. This will let you ease yourself into the group slowly, which is more effective than joining and immediately posting company promotions.
3. Post as an individual, not as a company
Once you’ve done your research and are ready to start sharing your own posts, you should do so as an individual, not as a company.
Your company’s social media manager should use their personal profile to join and participate in groups. You should always avoid trying to join a group with your official company profile.
Joining with your company profile makes it very obvious that your goal is to sell your product. Plus, many group administrators will reject invitations from company profiles.
4. Be helpful, not salesly
When you start sharing your own posts, always keep in mind that other members didn’t join the group to receive sales pitches or product promotions. They joined to learn about new trends, form connections with other members, and educate themselves about their industry.
Start by sharing helpful and important industry news or trends. At first, avoid sharing your own content. Instead, find helpful and relevant content from others and share it.
If you begin growing your group presence by sharing helpful resources that solve common problems for other group members, they will start to see you as a thought leader.
Once you solidify your reputation as a thought leader, you can start to subtly promote your brand, but you must do so in a passive way that doesn’t come across as a blatant sales pitch.
5. Ask questions to engage group members
Once you’ve established your presence in a particular group, you should try to engage members as much and as often as possible. A great and very effective way to do that is by commenting on others’ posts and posting your own posts in the form of questions.
Asking pertinent questions will encourage other members to chime in with their opinions. This will start a dialogue and help nurture your potential relationships with other members.
Plus, if members see that you are asking questions to engage the group, they will see that you are there to participate, learn, and contribute to the learning of other members, rather than to sell your product or service.
6. Use LinkedIn groups for lead generation
LinkedIn groups can be a highly effective setting for lead generation. And if you use an all-in-one CRM that includes contact management, marketing automation, sales enablement, and customer service help desk capabilities, all on the same platform, you can leverage a LinkedIn integration to streamline your efforts and track your results.
Once you establish yourself as a thought leader and have a positive reputation in a group, members will start to look for your posts to solve their problems.
When someone comments on your post, replies to one of your comments, or tags you in a post, you can reach out to them and send an invite to become one of your connections. But avoid trying to connect with anyone who has not directly engaged with you.
Once you make a connection, you can instant message that person to start a conversation and learn their pain points and challenges. Then you can offer suggestions for solving their problems—i.e., you can subtly pitch your product or service as the solution to their pain points.
This will allow you to build trust and form a rapport with the members you engage with. Once they trust you, they will be more amenable to considering your product or service recommendations.
7. Approach each group as a unique community
You will want to join various groups to maximize the exposure of your group presence. Naturally, the groups you join will be related to one another or at least cover similar topics in your industry.
Because of that, there will be others who are also members of those multiple groups, meaning they will see your posts in every group you share them with.
Due to this overlap, you should never share the same post with more than one group. People who are members of those multiple groups will quickly notice, and they will start to question your authenticity.
Instead, aim to share unique posts every time you share with a LinkedIn group. This will help boost your reputation as a thought leader and position you as a genuine participant who is there to learn and educate, not sell your product or service.
According to TechCrunch there are over two million LinkedIn groups in existence and more than half of LinkedIn users belong to one or more groups. Considering those statistics, it’s easy to see how important LinkedIn group participation can be for your social media marketing efforts.
If you form a strategy and follow the tips above, you’ll see significant results from your group participation efforts. With the use of LinkedIn groups growing, it’s critical to start participating if you’re not already.
Do you have any tips for generating results from LinkedIn group participation? Let us know in the comments section below!