#AskLMS: How Can I Best Use LinkedIn Groups in My Marketing Plan?

February 3, 2016

Editor’s Note: This post is authored by Matt Verghese, Senior Product Manager at LinkedIn.

Welcome to Ask LMS, where LinkedIn Marketing Solutions answers your questions about marketing on LinkedIn and beyond. Our question today comes from Sam.

Sam asks: Do you have any tips for marketers looking to make the most of LinkedIn Groups?

Thanks for your question, Sam, we’re glad you asked! LinkedIn Groups are a worthwhile addition to your LinkedIn marketing toolkit. Groups offer a chance to get up close and personal with your peers, potential customers, and existing clients. You can find out what’s on their minds, what problems they need solved, and build a reputation as a source for valuable information.

The recent changes to LinkedIn Groups are aimed at encouraging more high-quality conversation, as well as making LinkedIn Groups easier to use. These five tips will help you make sure your fellow group members love having you around:

1. Find the Right Groups

Since you need to be connected with a group member to join, your connections’ profile pages are a good place to start the search. You can also use LinkedIn’s search function and the Discover Groups page to find groups relevant to your interests or area of expertise. Before you apply to become a member, get a more detailed understanding of the group by reading more in the “About this Group” tab.

2. Invest Time to Understand the Group’s Dynamics

Each group has its own unique social atmosphere and rules of etiquette. Make sure to read the Group Rules, of course, but it’s important to not stop there. Spend time reading others’ posts and replies to get a feel for the level of discourse. That way, you can post without worrying about breaking unwritten rules. Group members will appreciate that you respect them enough to learn about the group before you post.

3. Don’t Sell; Be Social

Demonstrate your sincerity by asking questions. Groups are intended to foster a dialog, so it’s important to balance talking with plenty of listening.

Once you have a firm understanding of what your group is discussing, you can write content that directly addresses their issues and questions.  Make sure your content fits in line with the group’s expectations and rules.

4. Engage and Forge Relationships

Engage with other group members by leaving insightful comments on their posts. When they post a response, be quick with a thoughtful reply. As you become more accepted into the group, start engaging with key influencers. Doing so can boost your credibility, making it more likely that other group members will engage with you as well.

5. Share Valuable Content

Make sure the content you share benefits everyone in the group, and is presented in a way that encourages discussion. Group members are likely to ignore a post with nothing but a link to someone else’s content. So when you share links, make sure to add your own insights to the post. It’s a good idea to include a few discussion questions to get the conversation started.

LinkedIn Groups are a valuable marketing asset, as long as you treat each group and its members with respect. Make sure the groups you join are relevant, learn the etiquette before you post, add value with each piece of content you share, and you can establish a reputation as a valued and trusted contributor.

How can we help you become more effective at marketing on LinkedIn? Submit your questions to us on twitter using #AskLMS, or click the banner below to send us an email. Who knows, maybe you’ll be featured in an upcoming post!