We already established that LinkedIn is a must-have for any professional. If you missed you can see how to create an outstanding LinkedIn profile HERE and how to engage on network in this INFOGRAPHIC. In this guide I will answer the most frequently asked questions about very powerful and mostly underutilized LinkedIn tool – groups.
You can find Groups under Interests menu.
1. QUESTION: WHY SHOULD I USE LINKEDIN GROUPS?
LinkedIn groups are useful for three main purposes: establishing thought leadership, find people and being found by people.
Establishing thought leadership can be achieved by posting relevant content in the groups, answering other people’s questions and engaging in discussions. If you engage frequently, you will become “Top Contributor” of the group and your profile picture with professional headline will be shown at the top of the group (another reason to have an eye-catching professional headline, more about this HERE).
This is how Top Contributors of a LinkedIn group are displayed.
Every member of the group can see other group Members in the group menu. This is how you can find people that interest you and invite them to connect, even if you had not met them not-online. Everybody else can do this to you too and if you are out there on pedestal of “Top Contributors” there will be people who will want to know more about you.
In group menu under Members you can find the list of all Group Members and connect with them.
2. QUESTION: WHAT AND HOW MANY GROUPS SHOULD I JOIN?
How many groups: LinkedIn allows you to join 50 groups and you should use it to full extent. Being a part of 50 groups will give you more exposure. This does not mean you have to be active in all of them. Also, you can leave and join groups any time you wish.
What groups: To answer the question of what groups to join will entirely depend on your goals. If you are a job seeker – join groups of the industry and companies you want to apply for. If you are an entrepreneur looking for investors – join angel investor groups and other industry groups that potentially have people interested n what you do.
For business owners or sales people who are looking for potential clients – here is the best strategy for LinkedIn groups. Kurt Shaver, social selling expert, divides groups in two categories: peer groups and prospect groups. If you join 50 groups a great way to divide would be: 40 prospect groups, 9 peer groups, 1 open networking group (this one for more exposure).
For example, if you are real estate agent selling luxury apartments in Manila first join 10 groups that are about real estate. Other 40 groups will be where you perspective clients are. Search “Manila” on LinkedIn and set “Groups” on left menu.
Groups like Manila Guanxi Network, Manila Business Network and Manila Expats will have your prospects.
Perspective groups for Real Estate agent in Manila. Whatever your business, service or product is, you can find relevant groups and connect with people and organizations around the world.
Important note: do not start pitching right after joining the group. Participate, establish yourself first. Nobody likes “salesy” sales people (how not to be “salesy” selling on social media, read HERE)
3. QUESTION: HOW DO I FIND LINKEDIN GROUPS TO JOIN?
Searching on LinkedIn is easy just like on any other search engine. After typing a keyword LinkedIn will list all groups with that keyword. You can further filter them by: Relationship – what people from your 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree connections are already members of these groups; Categories: groups you have membership, open groups and member only groups that require approval to join; Language.
You can search for groups by typing in a keyword in search box at the top or by using “Find a Group” button in Groups page.
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Filter Group Search by Relationship, Categories and Languages. The trick here is to define the keywords that you will search by. Meet with your team and brainstorm about what groups your potential clients are interested in. If you have defined Buyers Persona’s for your business – use those descriptions to come up with the keywords.
4. QUESTION: HOW DO I PARTICIPATE IN SO MANY GROUPS – I DON’T HAVE TIME?
As I mentioned before – you do not need to participate in ALL the groups at once. Choose 5 prospect groups and 1 peer group that you will participate more next 3 months. Devote 15 minutes in your day to engage. Look at other people’s discussion – comment and like. If you are sharing an interesting article or your company’s blog post on LinkedIn – share it in groups as well. Add a bookmark on your browser to remind yourself about this. After 3 months review your engagement and see which groups were very useful and which were not. Choose new groups to participate in instead of non-useful ones and do the drill for next three months.
5. QUESTION: SHOULD I CREATE MY OWN GROUP?
The answer is YES, but only if you have the time to manage it. It does take time to build and maintain!
Having your own group can be very powerful tool. First, every person who joins your group will receive your Welcome Message that you can customize under Group Manage setting Templates. This will go to their email – pretty powerful right?
As a group owner, you can go into Manage menu of your group and choose Templates to edit Welcome Message. Second, once a week you can send your group members an Announcement. This will also go to their email address. Imagine having a group of 10.000 people who are all interested in the topic your business is about. There is much you can do with this and not only in digital space. Arrange networking meetings and other events offline – that is where the true power of the groups begins. Though as mentioned before, building and managing a LinkedIn group takes time. Before you do that – think carefully what kind of group would add value not only to your business, but most importantly – to the people who join it.
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“Never request anyone to do anything without giving that person an adequate motive for doing so” – Napoleon Hill
Download this Quick Guide: How to Use LinkedIn Groups for your convenience:
- Kurt Shaver “S.E.L.L. Score Report”
- Lewis Howes “LinkedIn Master Strategies”
- HubSpot “The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Mastering LinkedIn”
This article was also on: https://www.afdigital.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-linkedin-groups-5-frequently-asked-questions/