LinkedIn is one of the most powerful platforms to market your B2B business effectively.
According to this study, 88% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn for marketing their products/services.
The same study shows that 42% of all LinkedIn users agree to benefit from participating in LinkedIn groups.
LinkedIn groups are certainly an essential for successful B2B marketing and here how a community on LinkedIn can be of help:
- With the help of a LinkedIn group, a business is able to establish expertise in its domain.
- You get to interact with your audiences and engage with them for useful discussions.
- A community on LinkedIn is certainly a source of long terms leads for your business.
4. There are quite a few ways in which you can drive traffic to your site from your LinkedIn group.
a. One way to do this is to mention your website in the profile of your group.
b. You can also share company blog articles with group members, through weekly announcements.
5. LinkedIn groups are a useful channel for promoting business events. If you have regional events or promotions you can use the subgroup feature of LinkedIn.
6. A community on LinkedIn gives you an option to amplify useful content for your target group, by simply bringing them together on a platform.
It is a cost effective and productive way to add value to your potential clients.
Here some simple steps that you can follow, for running a successful LinkedIn group that creates and spreads value:
1. Define Your Group Objective
An objective for your LinkedIn group will help you define the framework, in which it would operate in.
Remember, the business results would never show up in the short run.
Create a set of long term goals. For example, if you are a small business consulting company, the objective would go something like this:
1. 1000 members in the first six months
2. Target group : Logistics business owners from Toronto
3. Fuel discussions for all kinds of small business help – finance, loans, advice, marketing, taxation, tools, productivity and more.
Establish a vision for your group, to build a community in a focused niche.
The target for leads and traffic should come in, after the community has reached a certain threshold.
2. Name Your Group
Having an interesting name for the group is equally important.
1. The group name should be relevant to the industry.
2. It should highlight the vertical, your business specializes in.
Here are the names of some existing LinkedIn Groups:
a. B2B Content Marketing
b. Accounting and Audit
c. Marketing Automation Experts
Add a group logo to establish identity for your group.
3. Group Description
Write an interesting group description to get more people to request for joining it.
A thorough keyword research would help optimize the community name and description.
Here is an example of how you can describe the group:
4. Create Rules
You need to have a set of rules for members to post. These rules can be introduced to members when they join, while also being displayed on the group page.
This helps you ensure that members are posting relevant stuff and not spamming it with promotional posts.
Here is an example of how you can define the rules of the community:
5. Add People
Getting more and more people to be a part of your LinkedIn community involves a 2 step process.
A. Connect With Prospects
In the first step, you need connect with more and more people.
For that, you need to work on your LinkedIn profile and showcase your expertise.
Add an appropriate profile headline and a summary.
Do a brief profiling of the people that your business is targeting. Now use the advanced search feature of LinkedIn to find people and send out connection requests.
B. Invite Connections To Your Group
You can use the ‘send invitations’ page within the group to send invites to your existing connections.
Go to this section from the ‘manage’ option on the top right hand corner of the page.
6. Promote The Group
Once the group is up and running, you can do an email campaign and invite your users and prospects to be a part of the discussions on the group.
Here is an example of an e-mail message to invite your users to your group:
In our endeavor to improve the productivity of logistics businesses in Toronto, we have started a new community on LinkedIn.
The group will encourage discussions on the subject from experts in the industry.
It will be our pleasure to have you as an active participant in the group.
Please visit us here [Link]
You can add posts on social channels like Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, to create awareness about your group.
When you start getting requests, for joining your LinkedIn group, you can approve or disapprove these, from the ‘manage’ section of your group page.
7. Add Discussions
A LinkedIn group is solely meant for useful discussions. Create discussion topics on a regular basis, to maintain a high level of activity and engagement on the group.
Make sure, you are creating discussion topics that the audience would want to participate in.
As the owner of the LinkedIn group, you need to encourage members to ask questions and discuss. Be aware of the latest in the industry and create new discussion posts around those.
8. Curate Content
As a group owner, you have to ensure that the members are constantly getting stuff to talk about.
a. Curate trending content in your industry and post it on the group, on an everyday basis.
b. Proactively add new discussion posts.
You need to keep a watch on the discussions in the group. Approve only those discussions and participations that add value.
This may test your patience for a while, but will surely help you build a community that will fetch you reputation and business in the long run.
10. Make Announcements
This is a very useful feature of LinkedIn groups that lets you reach out to your members.
a. You can make one weekly announcement to your group members. These announcements go straight to their e-mail inbox.
b. You could send your members a roundup of the weekly discussions or invite them to participate in a new discussion.
A LinkedIn group needs to be persistently nurtured for building trust and loyalty amongst its users. As the owner one has to focus on the existing industry problems and their possible solutions.
The more value, the community adds by having useful discussions, the more popular it will become in your niche.
This in turn would get you a growing number of quality leads for your business.
* Adapted lead image: Public Domain, pixabay.com via getstencil.com
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