LinkedIn is one of the most popular social media sites used today, with more than two new members joining the platform per second – over 172,800 new users every day. However, with all this traffic comes the great challenge to stand out from the crowd. If you are like most businesses using LinkedIn, you are including it in your marketing strategy to:
Drive brand awareness
Reach new customers
Be a leader in your industry
In order to accomplish these goals, it is vital that you are reaching the right people on the platform, and are communicating with them in the right way. Gone are the days when broadcasting to as many people as possible will get their attention. While paid advertising is being pushed on companies by almost all social networks – you have probably noticed that it is becoming more and more difficult for your content to find its way onto your audience’s feeds with regular non-promoted posts, and you are not alone – this can be both expensive and ineffective. You want to find users who have an interest in your niche and engage with them to promote your brand organically, not spam people with unwanted sponsored ads.
Luckily, LinkedIn has a feature which can help you do just that without delving into your marketing budget or wasting your time. LinkedIn Groups.
Groups exist to bring users together around a certain topic, and you can join groups relevant to your industry, services and products or create your own group centred around your brand. If you are looking to grow your business with meaningful, organic communication on social media, here are 5 top reasons why LinkedIn Groups is your answer.
1. YOU CAN CREATE COMMUNITY
A LinkedIn group is a space where like-minded individuals come together to talk about a common interest, share ideas and have open and honest discussions. Unlike posting on your feed, content which you contribute to a group is not a one-way conversation. Here, you are taking part in a dialogue with your fans, people excited about your niche and other influential businesses in your industry – you are talking with them, not at them. Being a part of this community, or building your own, allows you to communicate authentically with the right people and connect them to your brand with relevant content. It’s worth noting that this is not an opportunity to post advertisements of your products or services across multiple groups and expect an increase in customers. Rather, it is an opportunity to give advice, spark discussion, respond to other people in the group and grow brand awareness by being an active, valuable member of the community. This will naturally help you to increase reach, generate engagement and build your fanbase.
2. YOU CAN HAVE DIRECT CONTACT WITH YOUR AUDIENCE
Whether you decide to create a group for your own business or simply join relevant pre-existing groups, the LinkedIn Groups feature puts you in much more direct contact with your audience than elsewhere on the platform. As a Group administrator, you can send announcement emails once a week straight to your members, which will sit at the top of their inboxes rather than getting lost in their notifications. LinkedIn also sends a daily or weekly digest to group members to keep them updated with what’s been going on in the group and keep them engaged with the topic, helping you to sustain their interest. As a member of someone else’s group, LinkedIn now sends out notifications when a new post is made, which gives other members an immediate alert to content that you have contributed. This is an extra incentive (if you needed it) to post high quality, compelling content, as important topics and conversation-starters are prioritised and can be recommended by the group admin.
3. YOU CAN GET FREE MARKET RESEARCH
The beauty of having a place where everybody has an active interest in your brand or industry is that many of them will be both happy and honoured to be asked their opinions. Fans love giving their two cents – many will do so without even being prompted – and this is hugely beneficial to your company. Posting about new products, features, partnerships, designs, events and business ideas in a relevant group and asking what they think will provide you with perspectives from your target audience without paying for any costly surveys or research studies. The huge added bonus is that you are also giving group members some behind-the-scenes knowledge of your business and adding to their experience of your brand. You have a way to show people how much you value them by involving them in your decision-making, and deepening this connection with your audience can only serve to increase your brand reputation and strengthen brand loyalty.
4. YOU CAN DEMONSTRATE LEADERSHIP
As mentioned above, LinkedIn Groups are designed for sharing ideas and advice, coming up with solutions for one another and discussing concepts which everyone has an interest. For you, this is an opportunity to show off your expertise and demonstrate that you are a forward-thinker in your industry. Respond to queries, take part in debates and post your own content which shows you are on top of your niche, such as relevant breaking news, blog articles and industry reports. You can use Groups in this way to prove that you are beneficial business to connect with. As well as increasing your reach to new customers in each group, you are creating shareable content which can be interacted with and will cast your net even wider, making impressions on 3rd degree connections who you would otherwise not have access to.
5. YOU CAN BUILD PARTNERSHIPS
Groups on any platform are a business opportunity, and as a social media channel for professionals LinkedIn Groups provides even more space for ideas to develop into real partnerships. While groups can connect you with potential customers and help you build your fanbase, they are also connecting you with important enterprises. These are communities of businesses, influential individuals and ambitious graduates with a collective passion for what you do, often with similar values and enthusiasm for the aspirations that your brand has. Groups are a constant networking event, and the thoughts generated by post discussions can lead to business collaborations, joint projects, co-hosted events and the formation of brand new concepts. Be open to sharing what your business is looking for in the future, or even what it requires in the present, and find ways to create powerful, mutually beneficial relationships.