An extremely powerful tool that every business professional should be using at this point is LinkedIn. More than any other social media platform, LinkedIn has encouraged entrepreneurs, marketers, salespeople and more to connect and share vital information—as well as leads.
Many employers go on LinkedIn to find the right employees, and many entrepreneurs and salespeople go on LinkedIn to find new clients.
While lead generation and job hunting are among the most popular reasons that people use LinkedIn, there is another amazing feature that many people are not taking advantage of…and this is a huge mistake. That excellent feature of LinkedIn is LinkedIn Groups.
What Are LinkedIn Groups?
Just like with sites like Facebook, LinkedIn has a section of their platform dedicated to the formation and growth of groups. These groups can be built around just about any shared business interest or field.
For marketers, there are plenty of groups built around topics such as sales, advertising, marketing and more. The same goes for entrepreneurship, social media management and so many other topics.
While groups would often go unnoticed in the past, they are now very easy to find. Not only can users search LinkedIn and then navigate the top section to specifically search groups, they can also go to the “Work” tab at the top-right of the page, click on the dropdown, and click on the “Groups” tab.
From there, users are taken to a “Groups” dashboard that makes the discovery and management of groups that much easier.
Recently, there has been a redesign of LinkedIn Groups with a lot of exciting new features.
One of the biggest redesigns is the increased visibility that LinkedIn has incorporated for their Groups section. It is now easier than ever to find Groups both on their website and on the LinkedIn app.
Beyond the visibility in finding the Groups area of the platform, information about groups is now available on the main page. Where before a user had to go to the Groups dashboard to see comments, notifications and more, now this information is posted on the user’s main LinkedIn feed.
Another exciting feature is the ability to post native videos in groups, making effective communication that much easier and more exciting.
The redesign has also taken away certain features, such as the “moderator” role and is at least temporarily suspending auto-generated group emails.
How Can I Utilize LinkedIn Groups for My Business Growth?
With the redesign of the “Groups” section of LinkedIn, many opportunities arise. The questions now are, “What are these opportunities?” and, “How can I utilize LinkedIn groups for my business growth?”
There are a few different considerations when getting involved in the LinkedIn groups community…
One of the quickest ways to become involved in the LinkedIn Groups community is to simply search and join groups. Luckily, LinkedIn actually provides suggested groups for their users to join.
Joining is then as simple as clicking a button, and waiting for a response.
LinkedIn’s main site can also be used to find and join groups, as mentioned above. A quick search and then a click on the “Groups” tab will give you a list of options for groups to join in your field.
Starting a Group
The option is also available to start a group. This option is great for people that already have a large network, or would like to build a network of like minded professionals.
Like with building any other following, building a successful group can take some time and effort. Still, starting a group allows users to customize their LinkedIn Group experience and ensure that only the right people are allowed in the group.
So, now it’s time to discuss why it is that people join groups in the first place…
The most obvious reason for joining a group is networking. Groups allow access to a whole new network of people all around the world that may have been much more difficult to seek out without the use of a LinkedIn Group.
During this networking, users are giving opportunities to…
The most direct approach while soliciting within a group is the discussion of services. It is important to understand the purpose of the group, though. Some groups discourage open solicitation.
This means users will need to first get to know people in the group before services are discussed.
Some groups, though, encourage the discussion of services as a form of networking. Pay attention to the culture of the group before soliciting prospective clients.
This is an excellent use of LinkedIn Groups, and it is often strongly encouraged.
Partnering with other LinkedIn users to achieve goals and build businesses is a major part of LinkedIn Groups networking. Unlike sales, partnerships involve opportunities for both parties to work together to make money.
Partnerships also may take the form of mentorships, where professionals that are further along can help beginners to move up the ladder, or grow their business.
A lot of groups are built around learning and sharing ideas. This includes sharing articles, videos, tips and other tidbits that will help everyone in the group to grow and evolve.
While these articles, videos and so on may help to encourage sales, they should be based around good content. This helps people to build their credibility in the group and establish themselves as experts.
Groups shouldn’t simply be dumping grounds for a user’s content. Instead, group members should stay involved and stay active. This contribution helps users to connect with others on the platform, build relationships and eventually either make sales or land referrals.
Groups are built for social interaction (as LinkedIn is a social media platform). Users should stay social and stay involved to build their presence on a Groups forum.
Taking Advantage Of The Benefits Of LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn has always been an excellent networking tool since its debut. With the growth and increased visibility of their “Groups” feature, LinkedIn now allows for a deeper form of connection between users in which they can share tips, find new partners and even make sales.
Check out what groups are available in your industry, join a few, get to know their culture and start interacting. This will help to grow your business and your knowledge about your industry.