With over 1 billion members and counting, LinkedIn has solidified its place as the go-to B2B social media network.
While LinkedIn is best known as a place to scout out job opportunities, one of the most overlooked opportunities on the platform is this: LinkedIn Groups. These closed, gated communities have the potential to connect you with like-minded users in the share industry or those who share common interests.
If you’re ready to expand your network and boost your engagement with LinkedIn Groups, we’ve curated your how-to guide to mastering this powerful community-building tool.
What are LinkedIn Groups?
Similar to other closed social media communities like Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups are private spaces for members to connect, engage and network. Located inside the LinkedIn platform, LinkedIn Groups are designed to unite users around a shared interest, industry or topic.
Rather than publishing content to your LinkedIn profile or Company Page, LinkedIn Groups allow you to start or join forum-style conversations in a private, members-only space. The good news is that you’re not limited to text-only posts. Instead, you can share everything from videos to external links and even polls.
Why should you care about LinkedIn Groups?
LinkedIn Groups offer a unique proposition: the ability to reach, engage and forge deep connections with highly relevant users. Unlike traditional LinkedIn content, which is broadcasted to the general public, Groups are highly curated and filled with new, relevant connections.
Still not convinced? Here are three reasons why you should jump on LinkedIn Groups:
- Connect with like-minded users who are united around a shared interest, a similar profession or care about a specific topic. This allows you to expand your LinkedIn network and boost your reach in a highly targeted way.
- Foster a sense of community and connection with peers, potential partners as well as customers. Groups offer the opportunity to build meaningful rather than transactional relationships through dynamic, two-way conversations
- Expand your network proactively without investing in paid LinkedIn advertising. Who knows what doors these new connections will open for you and your business?
How to harness LinkedIn Groups: 4 strategies to try
Ready to tap into the networking potential of LinkedIn Groups? Here are four best-practice tips to follow to maximize the results you generate from Groups on LinkedIn.
Identify and join relevant groups (or start your own!)
There’s no shortage of LinkedIn Groups to join—over 2 million, in fact. But that doesn’t mean you should blindly join every single one.
Instead, the first step to cutting through with LinkedIn Groups is to be selective. Spend some time searching and researching the groups that exist and narrow down a shortlist of niche, relevant groups to join.
Make sure to consider:
- The purpose of the group: Is this group for members of an offline program, or is it open to anyone interested in a specific topic? If you’re looking to build your network, make sure to join groups that are explicitly focused on forging new connections and building relationships between experts in a specific field.
- The current members: What kinds of members are already a part of this group? Assessing the demographics of the group before you join can give you an indication as to whether this group is likely to align with your ideal target audience or not.
- The group’s activity level: When was the last time someone posted in the group? If a group has been inactive for weeks or months, it’s likely not going to be a valuable resource for networking and brand building.
Can’t find a LinkedIn Group that aligns with your interests, expertise or goals? Why not build your own! Any personal profile on LinkedIn can start a group, giving you the opportunity to foster an engaged community of like-minded users united around a shared interest or common goal.
Always follow the group rules
All online communities, including LinkedIn Groups, have specific rules that members need to follow. These rules are designed to create welcoming, inclusive spaces that are free from unsocial behavior, spam and excessive self-promotion.
It’s essential that you review the group’s rules prior to making your first post. Why? Many LinkedIn groups have specific rules about how to ask questions or advice and even what you can or can’t do when it comes to promoting your business.
Trust us: ignoring these rules is the quickest way to sabotage your LinkedIn networking strategy!
Join existing conversations
Once you’ve joined a LinkedIn Group, it’s time to get a lay of the land and understand what conversations are already happening within the space.
Before you make your own post, we recommend joining existing conversations by leaving open-ended questions as comments and voting in polls. Take note of which group members are the most active and be proactive about responding to their posts and comments.
Instead of simply reacting to posts, make sure you’re engaging in ways that inspire two-way conservations, such as asking questions, tagging members and calling out for tips or advice from other members.
By offering your insights, thoughts and expertise in a value-adding way, you can begin to solidify your presence as a trusted leader and active participant in this online community. Plus, don’t forget to regularly check back in on the group to ensure you can respond to any comments or replies you might receive too!
Create posts that spark engagement
Ready to take your group involvement to the next level? It’s time to create your first post! After taking the time to assess the types of content published in the group, why not author your own post?
A few ways to nail your LinkedIn Group posting to boost engagement and inspire networking include:
- Adding a headline to quickly summarise the topic of your post in one sentence or less helps other members to skim and quickly digest what you have to say.
- Leveraging a range of content formats (from images to video to polls) to make your post interactive, dynamic and eye-catching.
- Tagging some of the most active members of the group in your post and asking for their advice or thoughts is a great way to get the conversation started!
- Ending your post with a clear call to action encourages users to do something after reading your post, whether that’s sharing an insight in the comments, signing up to an event you’re hosting or connecting with you or your brand on LinkedIn.
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