Cultivating a Community Through LinkedIn Groups: 5 Best Practices
By Rachel Nicolas
The pandemic has caused businesses worldwide to cancel their annual conferences and many of their speaking sessions or trade show booths. Unable to network in-person and attend industry-related events, it’s safe to say that some of us are lacking a sense of community. If this sounds like you, LinkedIn Groups can help fill that void.
LinkedIn Groups allow you to strengthen your connections with like-minded individuals and provide a place to share insights and experiences, ask for guidance and more. Once you’ve made sure your personal LinkedIn profile is good to go, you can create a group or join one that already exists! Below, we’ve outlined 5 best practices for cultivating a valuable community through LinkedIn Groups:
1. Start off on a good note.
Anyone can create a LinkedIn Group, so it’s essential to use targeted keywords in the title and identify the category. You should also develop a mission statement that distinctly outlines why the group exists to give a clear vision to potential members and filter out those who wouldn’t find the group useful. If you’re joining an existing group, make sure to read their guidelines and rules.
2. Get to know your audience by asking for feedback.
For your group to be successful, you must understand how members want to participate. What are they looking for in a group? What would they find most valuable? The easiest way to gain insight into your target audience is to periodically ask for feedback! Make it a habit to seek member opinions and learn what content they would find most relevant.
3. Start relevant conversations to strengthen the community.
A quick way to lose members is through posting irrelevant content. For example, no one wants to join a group for tech companies in the bay area only to see articles and discussions on pets! Keep the topics related to your brand and category, which allow for not only higher engagement, but more quality interactions.
4. Share your brand’s content, but do so with caution.
You don’t want to come off as self-serving. Only after you’ve made a name for yourself by interacting with others’ posts, you can start sharing your brand’s content! This will help drive more visitors and prospects to your website, and since members are likely relevant to your business, this makes them extremely valuable as potential leads.
5. Take your LinkedIn Group a step further.
Don’t just start a group, sit back and watch. Get the most out of your new community by inviting more people to join, cross-promoting on your company page, determining Group Managers to lead conversations and monitor posts and, lastly, send out announcements via email to send promotions, suggest group discussions and more!
Communities that took years to cultivate diminished in only a few months because of the pandemic. Luckily, platforms like LinkedIn allow us to virtually stay in touch with our network and thrive during these unprecedented times.
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