So lets jump into it and show you how to increase your authoritative status within LinkedIn and drive more traffic to your website. First, keep in mind how LinkedIn is structured, just so you know what you’re dealing with and how to use the LinkedIn Social Media Network. LinkedIn is basically broken into 3 distinctive pieces
- Part contact/networking,
- Part job/recruitment and,
- Part topical news feed/broadcast.
When you use the groups feature of LinkedIn you’re tapping into all 3 components, but most importantly, posting your content within a group is broadcast for other group members to see. The higher your post quality, relevancy, and helpfulness to the group will provide you the opportunity to become an authority in your domain. Authority will not come overnight, so you will need patience and consistency to reach that goal.
Find the Right Groups
Selecting the the correct groups is probably the most critical step. Resist the temptation to join all groups within your area of interest. You do not want to join groups that have a low activity count, low popularity, and out of your domain of interest. You should do the complete opposite:
- Look for groups within your domain of expertise,
- Confirm they have ‘significant’ member activity and,
- Make sure the groups have high popularity associated with them.
Start by going to the LinkedIn search box at the top right of your screen, and then select ‘Groups’ from the drop down box. Enter your industry search term. For example, if you are interested in Social Media, then key in the terms “Social Media”. Or if your expertise is within Small Business Accounting then enter “Small Business Accounting” into the search box, and the hit enter. You should be presented a list of groups that relate to your search term.
Select the group language, for example English, and then look for a group that has an “Active” or “Very Active” status. The “Active” and “Very Active” status, together with the number of members should give you an indication of the quality of the group. At this point you should ask yourself a couple questions”
1. Is the group active?
2. Are the members engaged?
3. Can I contribute positively to the overall group?
If you answer yes to all three, then go one step further and look at the group statistics. View the demographics, growth, and activity.Make sure the demographics fit within your target audience, there is sufficient and consistent growth for the audience and the activity is what you originally thought is was.
Join the group. You may need to be approved by the group administrator before you can post or comment.
Participate and Engage
You will get best results if you participate actively in the LinkedIn group you joined. The more you participate, the more authority and trust you will build with the other group members. Your content should be engaging with great ideas, excellent comments, and a genuine intent to help or contribute. If you do the opposite you will probably go unnoticed, be blocked, and the group administrator will probably not be thrilled.
Just after you join a new Linked group you should do the following:
- Introduce yourself, giving your background and your intent,
- Establish the key players and/or the most active group members,
- Read what others are posting and,
- Make comment on posts if appropriate.
Do not, at this initial stage, post any links for stuff you are trying to sell; Just like any social network, you are trying to establish credibility with the group and the group members. You will need to show the other members that you are there to learn and educate. Only after you have established credibility you can start promoting your own content, links, etc.
Understand the LinkedIn Group Rules
It is extremely important to respect the group rules. Please do not violate them, as you may find your membership terminated. Typically the larger the group the stricter the enforcement of the rules. Group rules tend to be enforced by the community as a whole – members and the administrator/moderator. You can find the Group Rules in the the top right corner of the screen after you enter the groups dashboard. Please read and understand these rules.
Measure The Results
Good marketers understand that you need to measure everything. Seeing your overall intent is to drive traffic to your website, and possibly your list, you will want to make sure you measure the traffic results. I have found one of the best platforms to measure results is with Google Analytics. Establish a time frame to measure results, and groups that are not performing well should be dropped. Conversely, the LinkedIn groups that are performing well should become part of your overall traffic strategy. If you are driving traffic to a Facebook Business/Fan page you can use Facebook’s Insights. Bottom line, know your objective and measure against.
Connecting With Other LinkedIn Group Members
It is a good idea to connect with other members of the group. Doing so will extend your personal reach. LinkedIn makes it relatively straight forward to connect with other group members. To do so, hover your cursor over their picture, click on their name, and select “Connect”. When connecting with them, select “Group” as your connection, and send them a personalized message. It is best not to use the LinkedIn standard, canned connection message.
Final Words About LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn groups can be an extremely powerful social networking tool if used correctly. Remember to:
- Select your groups wisely,
- Introduce yourself to the group,
- Engage with great content,
- Have fun.
Make It a Great Day!
Written by: Gary Hyman