LinkedIn groups are one of the best methods for online sales prospecting. By sharing one discussion post, you can potentially reach thousands of LinkedIn members per week, even if you’re not connected to them.
For marketers and sales staff operating in the business-to-business (B2B) environment, LinkedIn groups can be a treasure trove of opportunity. But there are ways to optimize your posting – specifically, choosing the right groups to share in.
You can join up to 50 LinkedIn groups. We’ve got tips for how to make sure the 50 you pick are the right groups to find LinkedIn success:
- Know your brand.
Before you start searching for LinkedIn groups to join, you need to think about your brand and your purpose for joining. What is your ultimate goal?
If you are a sales professional looking to find more prospects, you may be planning a strategy of posting an engaging discussion each week and developing connections through private messaging group members. In this case, you would be searching for groups with members who might feasibly want your product or service.
If you are a marketer looking to establish brand authority, you may want to post an engaging discussion in groups with industry influencers. In this case, you would be looking for groups targeted to these industries.
If you are a recruiter or HR professional, you may be hoping to find the best candidates for vacant positions. In this case, the groups you may join may either reflect the industry or job category you’re hiring in, or you may even frequent groups for job seekers.
In order to decide where the best place is to be, you need to know what result you’re hoping to achieve.
- Find the right group size.
Another way to narrow the search field for groups is to look for ones of a specific size.
It may seem that bigger groups are better, but it can actually make it easier for your posts to get lost in a crowded space.
Smaller groups may not have enough members to make it worth your time (the exception being if they are in a niche category that makes sense for your brand).
The sweet spot generally lies in the middle. For example, if you join 20 groups with 1,000 members each, and post one discussion per week in each group, you’ll reach 20,000 people per week – and those 20,000 are far more likely to see it than 20,000 people in one group.
- See what groups your existing network connections belong to.
Another strategy for picking the right LinkedIn groups is to see where your connections are already spending their time. If you have a network full of your target audience, they may lead you to other similar prospects.
For instance, if you are looking to target marketing managers, you could go to the Groups tab on LinkedIn and search for groups with “marketing” in the title. But at last count there were about 41,000 results. You can filter the results to narrow the search, or you could go about it a different way.
If you already have several marketing manager connections, or potentially even customers and leads, try visiting their LinkedIn profiles and seeing what groups they belong to. Chances are there will be one or two that fit your target.
- Check the posting guidelines.
Before joining a group on LinkedIn, take a look at the rules set by the administrator. Some have guidelines saying you can’t post any promotional content, you can’t share job postings, no links, etc.
These guidelines aren’t necessarily a deal breaker but if they don’t support your strategy you have a decision to make. You can either decide not to join them and look for a group that fits your plan better, or you can decide to join them and tweak your plan to fit the group.
For instance, if you’re a recruiter joining a group that says, “no job postings,” you might decide to join and post discussions about “what if” scenarios. Or post actual questions you might ask in an interview, framed in a thoughtful discussion. If you get responses that are in line with the job position, you could direct message the responder to learn more.
- Scroll through the group posts.
Another good idea to do before joining a group is to look at the posts already being shared in the group. You can identify the content to see if it’s line with what you’re wanting to share.
You can also check the engagement levels within the group – how many people like and reply to discussion posts. Again, low engagement isn’t necessarily a deal breaker — people may still be seeing the posts — but if engagement is part of your strategy (like hoping for responses that indicate good job candidates) it’s important to consider.
- Review members.
Before you join a group, you can also view the existing members.
You may find that the members in the group include people on your prospect list. If so, you know that’s a good group to be in.
If you don’t recognize any of the members, take some time to figure out who they are. If you’re hoping to join a group for mortgage brokers, but find a group is only full of real estate agents who don’t work in the broker space, it may not be your target audience.
(You can also leave groups at any time, so you could join, review the members, and then leave if it doesn’t fit your plan.)
- Create your own.
If you’re not finding enough groups that fit the bill, why not create your own?
You can build your own group in your target industry and set the rules you want. You can also send free weekly messages to the group members.
It can take time and patience to find the right LinkedIn groups, craft discussion topics, and message members, but the results can be well worth it. Plus, you don’t have to go it alone.
At DigiForce Marketing, we offer enhanced LinkedIn programs where we do the group prospecting for you, including creating discussions, following up on responses, sending connection requests, and more.
Contact us today to find out how we can help. Call 1-888-701-4441 or visit www.digiforcemarketing.ca.
Download our free eBook about LinkedIn marketing: https://digiforcemarketing.com/recognized-social-communities-ebook/.