Social media marketing is about expanding your connections and reaching more clients and potential clients. Even though LinkedIn.com is a more buttoned up way to participate in social media, it is still a great way to expand your connections. One way in which to do that through LinkedIn is by joining groups.
Any LinkedIn member can create a group, or join groups on LinkedIn.com. They are kind of like mini forums based around one topic, niche, or association. For instance there are groups for writers, virtual assistants, sales professionals and even subgroups for specific types of writers, virtual assistants and sales professionals. Any type of professional group you can imagine is on LinkedIn.
Before joining groups, ensure that you have a strong profile and a professional headshot. Use a lot of bullet points in your profile summary and make sure that your website links and other factors in your profile are completely up to date. Go over your profile at least quarterly to ensure nothing is amiss. Having a strong profile will encourage people to connect with you due to your participating in groups.
Groups are listed under interests on LinkedIn currently. Keep in mind that LinkedIn often updates and rearranges their website, so it could move. Highlight interests with your cursor, then point at Groups and click. From there you’ll see groups you already are part of, or that you created, and also a heading, “Groups you may like” based off your preferences and profile. You can also search groups by typing your search term in the search box at the top of the page, then clicking on groups.
Be sure to join groups that your target audience will belong to. Only join one or two at a time so that you can take the time to participate in the groups. If you don’t participate, you won’t increase your reach at all. People want to get to know you without feeling as if you’re selling them something.
By joining groups you’ll expand your indirect connections, extending the group of people who could hire you or purchase products from you. Choose groups that are networking possibilities for meeting colleagues within your niche, as well as places your target audience would participate in – focusing more on where your target audience participates.
You can also create your own group, inviting all your current connections and asking them to invite their connections, hopefully increasing your first degree connections exponentially over time. Make the group engaging, interactive and educational by posting thoughtful articles, blog posts, and information which you discuss within the group. You can also post surveys and other information to get good discussions going.
Like with any social media, participating is the key to making LinkedIn groups work to boost your reach. Without participating, even if you start twenty groups, and join the maximum number of groups allowed, you won’t make a dent. People want to get to know you on social media networks. This is especially true on LinkedIn, where tolerance for trolls and spam is very low.