LinkedIn has increasingly morphed from merely a place to host your CV into a business-focused social network. LinkedIn Groups offer you the chance to get together with people in virtual meeting rooms. Everyone in a Group is there because they share the area of interest that drew you there – this is usually a specific industry, but it can sometimes also mean things like workplace diversity or management trends.
Using Groups To Build Relationships
LinkedIn Groups are great tools for lead generation and relationship building, since you're connecting with people who are already interested in the area. They provide a fantastic opportunity for creating and enhancing relationships with others who share your outlook – but this is only so if you use them effectively.
Using Groups The Wrong Way
While LinkedIn's Groups feature can be extremely useful, that doesn't mean you should throw yourself into every Group you see, showering it with contributions indiscriminately, or being a wallflower who never participates. Make sure you understand the Group you're about to join – find out who's active there, what value the Group adds and why it exists in the first place.
Don't go in purely to promote your business. If you start sharing every piece of content you create and every backlink you can think of, you won't be seen as a helpful contributor, even if you're truly going in with that intention. You'll be seen as a spammer, the Group's reputation will suffer, and after a while the Group managers may block you entirely.
Doing It The Right Way
There are several things you can do that will help create and maintain strong relationships within Groups, as well as building a reputation:
- Answer questions... and ask some, too – This will show you understand the Group's ethos as a place for like-minded people to gather for mutual benefit.
- Share posts and articles – Keep them relevant to the Group, though, and make sure you leave breathing space between each contribution you make.
- Make connections – After a while, when you've established some good interaction with a Group member, invite them to connect with you. Mention the Group in your invitation.
- Keep promotion under control – Whether you're answering questions or sharing articles, you're in the Group to build relationships. You're not there to be a virtual advertiser.
- Step outside sometimes – There's more to business networking than LinkedIn. If you build a good relationship with someone, aim to extend that relationship by finding them on Facebook or Twitter.
For advice on how to use LinkedIn as a strong lead generation tool within a tailored marketing strategy, please call 01332 343281 today.
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