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Using LinkedIn Groups To Become Influential In Your Industry

Last week, LinkedIn announced that its popular Groups feature was getting a complete redesign. LinkedIn has also released statistics illustrating how popular LinkedIn Groups have become and how important it is for businesses to create a LinkedIn Group themselves. By creating a LinkedIn Group, businesses can start and join conversations about their industry and, potentially, become influential, gaining themselves a reputation for good knowledge and sound advice.

New Groups

The new LinkedIn Groups are more streamlined and easier to customise. Group managers and members with administrative privileges will be able to make their groups stand out from each other by giving them a distinct, industry-relevant look. LinkedIn has updated the feature (at least partially) due to its popularity:
There have been more than 2 million Groups created around almost every topic imaginable — from entrepreneurship, philanthropy and careers to social and digital marketing. These communities have become places where our members are exchanging and sharing their experiences, business knowledge, interests and ideas with other like-minded professionals daily.
LinkedIn also revealed that “there are more than 200 conversations happening each minute across LinkedIn Groups and more than 8,000 Groups created each week.” The new look LinkedIn Groups will be rolling out to LinkedIn’s English speaking members over the next few weeks.

Creating a Group

Creating a LinkedIn Group is very easy. Linked has released a slideshow advising its users on best practices, which you can find here. The company advises that you make your Group profile attractive, interesting and informative so that potential members know what the Group is about immediately.

Your Group can be either open or closed to search. If open, anyone can see the content and it’s more likely that people will join; if closed, only members can see the content. You also need to create a unique voice, one that your members will understand and appreciate – this is now easier thanks to the new Group streamlining options.

Of course, you need to promote your Group across all possible social media channels, as well as promoting all your own content in the Group. Perhaps LinkedIn’s best piece of advice is that you should be able to adapt your Group depending on what members you attract and what conversations they have.

LinkedIn also advises that you use the Group to find and promote influencers and brand advocates but, as I’m focusing on using Groups to become influential yourself, I won’t go into detail on this point.

linkedin groups redesign 2013
Becoming Influential

Creating a Group is actually a very important step in the process of becoming influential in your industry on LinkedIn. As the data above shows, LinkedIn Groups are very popular and, if you create the right one, you’ll probably be inundated with members, all starting their own interesting conversations.

Most importantly, and rather obviously, you need to chose a niche for your Group that you are a complete expert about. Work out what your particular niche is and design a Group around it. As soon as you’ve set up your Group start sending invitations. Make sure that your Group appears interesting and attracting in your invitation emails.

You should also organise your Group so that members and potential members receive regular, insightful emails. By sending out regular emails, not only will you build up your Groups membership, you will also show yourself to be informed and interesting. A large and active Group means an influential Group creator and, by actively contacting members directly by email, you can be at the forefront of the conversation.

You also need to make sure that you post on the Group regularly yourself, as well as contributing to other conversations. Ask your Group members questions and answer the ones they have asked. Even if a question posted on the Group has been answered already, see if you have anything to add. Keep your content diverse, both in subject and style, in order to maintain an entertained audience.

LinkedIn Groups are extremely popular and, thanks to the new updates, they will become more popular still. As the conversation on LinkedIn Groups is focused on business and industry, a proactive company can take advantage of the readymade and intelligent audience on LinkedIn by driving conversation about their own industry and, potentially, their brand.

Have you created a LinkedIn Group? How is it going?

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Will Sigsworth

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Using LinkedIn Groups To Become Influential In Your Industry Reviewed by Anonymous on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 Rating: 5
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