How Not to Use LinkedIn Groups & Best Practice Tips

by Paul Friend, Friendly Consultancy of Derby, find me on google+

I’d like to talk about LinkedIn groups again as I’m using them real time for a couple of clients who are achieving returns from utilising the social media forum. I would like to share some insights I have gained as well as tips I’d like to share with you. In previous posts on the topic of using Linkedin for business growth and marketing I discussed the approach you should undertake to win new business whereas here I’m going to cover mistakes that people make with regard to group activity. I still think that LinkedIn groups are very underrated not only for the opportunities that they offer but also for the ability to learn and share information with potential customers and fellow professionals. Based on my experience of using groups and running one, here is a list of things you shouldn’t do:

Post and Forget
Post an article or blog post and hope for the best. A common tactic that may have some success but again it’s not going to be as fruitful as engaging in discussions with fellow group members.
Tip: Post an article but start a discussion around the content. Make sure it’s topical as you’re more likely to have success.
The Machine Gun Approach
The machine gun approach is posting content across a number of groups and not doing much else. Some people think that throwing content at groups and hoping someone will bite is a good strategy, but it isn’t. These articles may get a few hits or the odd article may be successful but this isn’t a great way to use LinkedIn.
Tip: If you don’t have time to engage in a lot of groups, concentrate on 1 or 2 that are going to build your profile and demonstrate your expertise.

Self Promotion Followed by… Self Promotion
Some people think that self promotion is the name of the game. They see a discussion and the first thing they think of is… how can I promote my services? I can understand the reasoning behind it, however, most people want to share information on LinkedIn and learn from other members. Let your knowledge and expertise be your self promotion.
Tip: Wait for the right opportunity and only after you have built a trustworthy reputation in the group.
No Strategy
Like any other marketing activity you need a strategy or a plan of action. Group activity is shown in your network news feed so treat it like an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise.
Tip: Plan your approach and start off by asking what you want to gain out of your group activity.

Linkedin is no different from face to face networking, you need to build a relationship with individuals with a group before pitching your services. This way you will know if they actually require what you are offering.


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