LinkedIn is decidedly the most popular social networking tool for working professionals and recruiters. A mecca for headhunters, it boasts a whopping 400 million users from across 200 countries. According to a survey by ComScore, LinkedIn is the 13th most popular site in the United States. But that’s not all - the site also accounts for 64% of all visits from social media channels to corporate, as per a study by Econsultancy.
Arguably, it’s a fertile ground for B2B businesses that want to promote their brand and grow a loyal audience. One of its many popular features, LinkedIn Groups are particularly useful for brand promotion and lead acquisition.
Despite the potential benefits of the LinkedIn Groups, they are some of the most underrated tools of content marketing. Here are some tricks to help you make the most of LinkedIn Groups to promote your brand.
Set a Unique Theme for Your Group
Joe Pulizzi from Content Marketing Institute once famously said, “If your content marketing is for everybody, it’s for nobody.”
It’s true —if you want your LinkedIn Group to be unique, you need to set a specific theme for your group. LinkedIn Groups that allow multiple themes fail to project themselves as a unique destination. In order to set a common theme for our group, you need to:
- Keep your discussions focused around the theme of your LinkedIn Group
- Declare your guidelines in Group descriptions and policy details
- Ask your managers/moderators to remove distractions and maintain group’s focus
Choose a Closed or Open Community
Building and managing a LinkedIn group requires hard work. In order to build your brand, you will need to attract a large number of followers who can contribute to your group’s growth and make it a popular destination.
Therefore, you can either make it open or closed. Both have their respective pros and cons - you will need to make a call based on your content marketing strategies and specific goals.
For example, if you make it a closed group, you’re setting a high entry barrier, making it harder for interested members to join your group. While this can mean you’re letting only serious members join your Group, at times, it can also discourage many others.
At the end of the day, you will need to consider how well you can moderate discussions in your group and keep the discussions focused. This is where your co-moderators and co-managers come into the picture.
Select Your Group Managers Wisely
Group managers and group moderators play a key role in shaping the brandability of your LinkedIn group. Therefore, you should select them wisely. LinkedIn groups allow managers to perform a number of duties including controlling membership, discussions, settings and more. Basically, they are the gatekeepers who set boundaries for discussions and take disciplinary actions.
Since group managers carry so much responsibility and discretionary powers, they should use their best judgment and manage the group activities keeping your brand’s best interests in mind. Therefore, while choosing a person for Group Manager role, make sure they have a strong LinkedIn personal presence - someone who has some recognition.
Likewise, while selecting your Group Moderators, choose a person who knows how to pose a question to the group, answer comments like a boss, and revive lagging conversations. Moreover, both group manager and the moderator should know how to promote your content and help members feel privileged being in your group.
Serve to Empower Group Members
One of the common mistakes many LinkedIn Group owners make is self-promotion. The success of LinkedIn Groups such as HubSpot’s Inbound Marketers Group shows that you should always serve to empower your group members. Your group should encourage others to ask open-ended questions and offer innovative answers in order to help others. As the owner of a LinkedIn Group, it’s your responsibility to create an inclusive culture where members are motivated enough to join discussions and actively engage in discussions. Share your content only when it offers some great value to your followers.
One of the best ways to encourage your followers is promoting the best commentators or highly active members by acknowledging their role and highlighting them on group’s leaderboard from time to time. This can go a long way in building leadership and encouraging top contributors to help your group grow further.
Recommended Reading: How to Use LinkedIn for B2B Marketing
There are a staggering 2.1 million groups on LinkedIn and how you manage your group will shape the influence of your brand across the social space. If you stay focused on helping your group members and answering their queries, the growth of your group will take care of itself.
About the Author
Susanta Sahoo is founder and chief content marketing strategist at Top League Technologies, a digital marketing start-up in Bhubaneswar, India. By offering SEO consulting services, he helps SMB’s build their online presence and boost ROI. Follow him on Twitter: @ugosus.