Don't Start a LinkedIn Group Until You Do This

By Michelle Davidson, Editor

Neal SchafferYou might be tempted to create a LinkedIn group as a way to generate new business. After all, conversations in groups can help you demonstrate your expertise, showcase your personality, and lead to business conversations with prospective buyers. Further, if it's your own group, you can control who participates and guide the conversations they have.

But running a group requires a lot more work than participating in a group, warns Neal Schaffer in a recent podcast interview, How to Use Your LinkedIn Profile to Generate New Business. You can't simply create a group and expect people to come or conversations to take off.

"I know huge corporations that have started LinkedIn groups only to find that nobody joined them, or once people join them it's like a ghost town," he says. "So, you really want to do it only after you have [planned]. And you want to take a strategic approach to it."

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Listen to the complete interview here:

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If you create a group that is just your company name, your audience is going to question joining. If they can connect with you via your company page, why should they bother with a group that just represents your company? You must give them a compelling reason to join.

Before you create a group, consider the topic, issues members can talk about, your audience, and whether you have the time and resources to maintain the group.

Even before you consider those things, however, evaluate your activity on LinkedIn, Schaffer says.

"It really starts with are you yourself participating," he says. "Are you yourself posting status updates, engaging with people on LinkedIn, joining groups, monitoring conversations, and posting your own discussions? If you have that down—you have that daily LinkedIn habit down—where you're spending a little bit of time and you're doing everything you can, and you don't see you're getting the best out of it, at that point I'd say think about starting your own LinkedIn group."


Linked In or Linked Out: Learn How to Generate REAL Business
Using LinkedIn

Watch Neal Schaffer's on-demand webinar Linked In or Linked Out: Learn How to
Generate REAL Business Using LinkedIn
 and learn how to take advantage of this
powerful social network for B2B firms to grow new business for your company.

 

Michelle Davidson is Editor of RainToday. As such, she oversees all of the articles published on the website and publishes the weekly newsletter, the Rainmaker Report. She also produces the site's weekly podcast series, Marketing & Selling Professional Services, and the site's webinars. You may contact her via email at mdavidson@raintoday.com and via Twitter at @michedav.

Comments

Kent

Yes, it is all about relevance of content, group and people on Linkedin! :)

September 12, 2012, 4:38 AM
Reply
Damian

Yes,I spent a lot of time creating an invitation only group without the usual spam content. But I find others don't post or comment much and I takes a lot of time to search or create content. I want to be the go to location for the best of news and studies etc. without the junk but it's a lot of work. On balance worthwhile -- but I have not hit the right formula yet.

September 15, 2012, 6:40 AM
Reply
Damian

My approach was to make it a closed group to avoid all the spam and marketing and I excluded my competitors and try to make it the go to for key news and developments in my field. Also to keep it small around 200 key leaders. Most groups are full of diverse junk to be useful. Still info find it takes a lot of work to find and post/link useful content and people are not participating much. I think I'm close to a winning formula but not quite. Overall it has elevated my profile above the vendor "pack" an by posting gives me a chance to show my knowledge and credibility. I think having several other people to post who are not direct competitors keeps it varied so its not the same person posting. Those are te people I'm finding now.

September 15, 2012, 6:49 AM
Reply
Joseph

Some very strong points you have shared with us, creating a group in any social "Media Business Sites" is always going to an over above average of commitment by the creator of the group. As you stated, if you do not keep the members up to date and with new articles and get members to also share their idea. concepts or what it is that relates to the group, your group will become a ghost town as you said.

I have created many groups, some became very successful, on APSense and LinkedIn, but it is almost a full time job, when your in control of all the articles that get submitted, you need to approve them or delete them. I have always had a hard time with members who only join for one reason, to spam the group, l have a zero tolerance for these types of members, l normal provide them with a warn and an attachment of the group rules. Some get upset and leave perfect, job done.

Following a dedicated game plan it can work and become an effective part of your "Marketing Campaign" as it has with the new group l created on September 20, 2012 l have over 70 new members and several have up graded to the program l was promoting. That was my game plan to provide the group with enough logical information so they had the ability to make an intelligent decision.

I also learned from your article that l have to also revise some of the methods of how l am running this group, want to make sure l am doing it for all of our benefit not only mine. Once l get them to the level l want then they get a series of emails for additional reminders and training so they also will become successful with the program they have just joined.

I also am running a full time blog on this topic so all the members know that l am dedicated to this program that l am promoting. The blog is updated every few days or when l have something l need to share, making it worth reading, keep it fresh and informative is how l do it.

All the Best

Joseph F. Botelho

October 3, 2012, 4:35 PM
Reply

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