LinkedIn is a social platform that can give you the power to reach more than 347 mln people at once. No skilled marketer should miss a chance to turn that audience into his brands’ customers or at least potential ones. Moreover, LinkedIn stays one of the most effective means to reach professionals working in your niche.
But even though almost every marketing professional uses LinkedIn one way or the other, very few of them know how to make most of it.
To make sure LinkedIn brings you maximum effect, you should start using LinkedIn Groups. This is one of the most useful tools that help businesses to connect with their clients and potential customers and also can generate new ideas for building up a brands' strategy.
It is also a very convenient way to learn what customers really think about your brand – its benefits and flaws – and modify your strategy accordingly, if needed.
To be successful, businesses must learn to listen to their customers. It allows to find out what they prefer, what causes their happiness or appalls them. Marketers’ task is to provide them correct and full information about the brand, its products’ specifications and strong sides. Gaining trust means gaining new customers.
So, in order to build trust through communication, you’re starting a new LinkedIn group or try to revive an existing one.
Creating a group is easy – it requires only a few minutes of your time. But creating a successful group that will contribute to your brand’s popularity, is no easy task.
Let me offer you a few tips to do it the right way:
1. Define the goal of your group. You should clearly determine the reason for this group’s existence and formulate the milestones you want to reach. That will give both you and your customers a clear understanding of brand’s purpose.
2. To make group appear in organic search rankings, don’t forget about the use of targeted keywords.
3. Group must have clear rules and guidelines stated in the description.
4. You should help potential customers identify your group with the brand it presents. To assure that, use brand’s logo for a profile picture; include other corporate branding visual elements whenever possible.
5. Choose, whether you will create an open group or it will be for members only. Your choice here depends on the goals you want to achieve – if you present your brand as an elite and exclusive one, members only is the right choice. If, however, you want better reach and a wider network of customers, you should create an open group.
6. Encourage communication
To be successful, group must give its members – especially the newcomers – the ability to take part in some of the group’s activities. For example, you can give new members an opportunity to say “hello” to others and introduce themselves. You should also ask your customers before making major changes or taking fateful decisions – it will make them feel valued.
7. Be aware of competitors
Each brand has to compete with dozens, hundreds or even thousands of companies working in it’s niche. So make sure the customers you attracted to your group, will return once more and won’t abandon you for a competitor.
Groups allow doing that with the help of several tools:
- Email weekly
Through this feature you can send all your members announcement about your most recent activity every week. That will make customers remember about your brand even if they didn’t open their LinkedIn page during the week.
This feature allows to offer group membership to people who might be potentially interested in your brand. You can invite colleagues, acquaintances, industry leaders and business partners.
Use other social platforms and websites to promote your LinkedIn group. Include a link to your page into your Facebook account; feature it on the company’s website. LinkedIn allows to feature up to three groups at once. Encourage managers to include a link to the group in their personal profiles, too.
Don’t hesitate to share interesting posts and conversation on your pages at other social platforms if you think it will help you engage more customers.
-Creating opinion leaders
Encourage more active involvement of people whose posts and thoughts are the most popular in your group and among your customers. That can help in both starting interesting discussions and involving more people into it, which can also lead to useful insights, but also helps in raising the brand awareness.
8. Employ effective managers
Without reliable and professional management LinkedIn group is doomed to fail or lose its purpose. You need a manager or, even better, a team that will create and enforce the rules, moderate posts and create new exclusive content.
What if your group still fails?
Perhaps you already have a LinkedIn group but it doesn’t bring you the desired results. It happens very often – and usually with those who ignore the recommendations stated above.
To understand whether your group’s case is truly lost, start following the aforementioned rules. If, despite all your best efforts, the results are still poor, it means the group was created a wrong way.
There might be a few explanations to that – either the topic is overdone or the niche you’ve chosen doesn’t interest the active core of the LinkedIn users.
It means your group is dead – and it’s time to drop it. You shouldn’t be frightened of the possibility of closing one of your groups, if it isn’t effective enough – or at all, for that matter. Otherwise potential customers might find a dead group – with the last post from two years ago, and that’s the worst thing that can happen to a brand.
Close the defunct group, get it deleted from LinkedIn and make sure no one can accuse you of neglecting your groups. Inform the group members in advance, so that closing the group won’t come as an unpleasant surprise for them. Explain the reasons that led you to this decision and offer the alternative option – address them to your other groups or your accounts at other social platforms.
If you follow this strategy, listen to your customers, support and promote viable groups and are smart enough to close dead ones, LinkedIn Groups will become a great tool to widening your customer network, will help you in marketing your brand and generating traffic, therefore, raising brand awareness and sales.
LinkedIn Groups might become just what you need to succeed!