Any business person knows that LinkedIn is one of the key networking tools now a days. LinkedIn has become essential for B2B marketing, and the one feature that has proven to be the most valuable when boosting sales are Groups. Using the Groups features gives you the potential to get your company in front of more people than relying just on your company page. If you haven’t already started getting involved in at least one group, then here are some tips to get you started and boost your sales.
Be Directly Involved in Your Group
If you have started your own group, you need to be active. Potential customers feel much more confident about businesses that are interested in their client’s experience, opinions, and ideas. Show your interest in them from the start. Set up automated messaging to send to users a friendly welcome and allowing them to contact you directly with any questions they might have. Consider each member to be a potential client or customer and give them the quality service you would any real client or customer.
Encourage Member Involvement Too
While you will be posting a number of topics for discussion, it is just as important that you allow group members to lead some discussions too. Instead of seeing a ton of topics from solely you, new members will see a group full of people engaging in discussions with useful information. Remember, you will want to make sure you participate in the other discussions, because you want to show your members that you value them and their ideas.
While having active members is crucial to your group’s success, you have to be aware of what is going on. Having group members post their own topics is amazing, but some might take it too far and turn into spam or self-promotion. You really need to monitor and make sure a few bad apples aren’t ruining it for the rest of your members. In the case you do come across a few rotten ones, handle it in a professional manner by sending a private, polite, message saying their behavior isn’t adding to the group and that you are asking them to stop.
People join groups for a reason. They are interested in a certain topic and either want to be involved in discussion on said topic or just get as much information and advice as they can from the sidelines. Therefore, only relevant content should be posted to your group. The best thing about groups is that you’ve got a ready-made audience there for the taking—possible future clients or customers who are interested in your topic and have joined your group voluntarily. These folks are there to read information that pertains to the category under which your group falls. Don’t post (or allow others to post) anything that might take away from relevant subject matter.
In addition to managing your group, you should also be looking for prospective members that could turn into clients. LinkedIn now has an Advanced People Search, which is extremely useful in farming for a specific group of people. For example, you can search for people who have a specific job title, such as CFO, or perhaps those who run companies with less than one hundred employees. LinkedIn helps you find the exact audience you have always desired but never knew how to contact. Inviting these people to join your groups will give them a small taste of what they can expect from you and your company.
Like Facebook, LinkedIn now offers advertising options. You do have to pay for the feature, but it gives you the ability to reach your target audience. Within the ad feature, you can have your ad targeted at specific groups (ie: you can say you want your group in front of Project Managers, or Marketing groups). You have to write the ads yourself and they must be accepted by LinkedIn first, but it is a very useful tool.
Join Other Groups
Why put all your eggs in one basket? By joining and actively participating in other groups you can gain exposure for your own group. But don’t be one of those “Spammy self-promoters”, find ways to be a part of the conversation while slyly mentioning your group.