Much like Facebook Pages, LinkedIn groups allow business, associations and other groups to collaborate and lead discussions on any particular topic of interest with other members of the popular business centric social network. Amazingly, a new member joins LinkedIn approximately every second, and about half of their members are outside the U.S. Additionally, executives from all of the Fortune 500 companies are reportedly LinkedIn members. With these groups you can build thought leadership, share expertise, market your brand and of course grow your personal professional network. LinkedIn has over 65 million members in over 200 countries.If you’ve pondered creating a group of your own this post will help you understand why we decided to do the same, and why you should too.
Before you create your group you should take some time to stop and think about what topics you really want to discuss. Do a bit of research and see what other groups are already out there on the same or related topics, and what they are actually discussing. You can use the groups directory to do this easily. You’ll likely find one or two that you’d like to join in the process. I know we sure did! If there are other groups on your topic, don’t give up just yet. Take a moment or two to try combining that topic with other popular ones, or narrow the topic a bit and see if that works out for you. Also, be sure to check the groups that you find, making sure that they are still active and that there are a good number of members. Sadly, a lot of groups are started and poorly or not at all maintained.
Naming Your Group:
Now, we decided to go with our name Vertical Measures for our group, but we urge you to strongly consider other options before doing the same. Naming the group after your brand could be a limitation, and it may be more difficult for the group to grow because people who aren’t already familiar with your brand may be hesitant to join. Keep in mind that Linkedin automatically lists the groups that a member has joined their profile (unless manually turned off), so make sure that your group has a name that people wouldn’t mind showing off.
Description & Directory:
Now that you’ve got a topic, purpose and a name for your group don’t skimp on the description. Make sure that you include all the keywords that will help other interested parties find it. Another way to help your group be found is to list in the Groups Directory.
In my humble opinion, the best way to promote your Linkedin Group is actually by making sure to add content, content and more content. Tips, valuable resource links and articles related to your topic should be included and updated regularly. Make sure to list upcoming events and webinars that you find on the related topic, as well. Good content spreads online and this activity will kick-start the promotion of your group. Then, you’ll want to be sure to mention your group in all of your social media messaging. Consider adding a link to it in your email signature, link to it on your website and of’ course post to your blog about it. When promoting the group, let prospective members know what kind of useful information they can expect to find there.
Just remember not to completely inundate your following, or fan-base with too many messages about your new group. Instead just try to think of your group as another way of providing valuable information just like your blog or email newsletter. Remember…the very best and most successful blogs, email newsletters and groups focus first and foremost on providing value and less on promotion.
Best of luck to you in your new Linkedin Group, and be sure to stop by and join our Vertical Measures LinkedIn Groups, we’ll be sharing a plethora of information on internet marketing, website marketing and promotion, link building, social media marketing, online reputation management, content creation and distribution, local search and more! If you’ve got additional advice or questions regarding a LinkedIn group feel free to share them here.
This entry was posted on Thursday, May 13th, 2010 at 4:00 am and is filed under Social Media. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.