Let’s face it, Twitter and Facebook and all of the shiny new social media startups and platforms are garnering most of the mainstream media’s fickle attention. Meanwhile, LinkedIn keeps chugging along, with a new user added each second of the day, with over 90 million registered users. Powerful LinkedIn marketing insights:
I talked about baseline LinkedIn Marketing in an earlier blog post. LinkedIn offers a superb platform for marketing your personal or corporate brand, enabling you to connect with employers, prospects and engage with this vibrant community. Let’s take a deeper dive into this growing social community.
LinkedIn Groups give you great return on your marketing investment. You can join up to 50 groups at a time and should target those that comprise potential customers or strategic partners. On a practical basis, you can’t contribute to fifty groups in a meaningful way. So, pick your target groups and focus time and effort on those that you think will generate the most marketing ROI.
- Select the top 5-10 Groups that map to your target demographics and monitor the daily or weekly updates from each to engage in discussions within those groups. Use LinkedIn’s powerful search parameters to unearth the right Groups to connect with using keywords that map to your market focus.
- Make regular appearances within these groups by answering questions and participating in discussions.
- Ideally you want “best answer” ratings in your “Expertise In” box that is tied to your profile. As these drive credibility and personal/professional branding when viewed by others in the community.
- Identify the most popular discussions within these Groups, as these reflect the most active engagement within these groups and will give you good visibility. Note the most active discussions are at the top of the Group Discussion pages (Topics) and you will typically see a long “comment stream” in each of these or thread.
- Try to find out which Groups are open and accessible to search engines. This is up to the discretion of the individual Group Administrator or Manager. The benefits are obvious; but, to underscore, posting to Groups with content that is publicly listed via Google and other search engines will give your content much more visibility moving forward.
Starting your own Group can be a powerful way to build long term value in LinkedIn’s vibrant community. Although, be aware this takes a long term commitment of labor and time.
- As the Manage of Group you have the ability to control and shape the discussion flow via the Manager’s Choice features, making you the de facto content editor.
- You also have the ability to message individual Group Members on an ongoing basis, which provides you with significant value moving forward, especially if the size of your group grows over a period of time.
- Be an effective community manager for your Group - stimulate conversations and lead discussions on topics that will resonate with your Group.
- LinkedIn recently gave Group Owners the ability to make Group Discussions accessible to search engines - I’d strongly urge you to make your Group Discussions open to search engines, as this will drive much more visibility for your Group moving forward.
Create a Company Page - LinkedIn enables you to build a company page on the platform. This can be linked to via all individual Profiles and you can request Recommendations and Followers, which will in turn strengthen your connections and visibility with the community.
Create your own Discussion threads within your targeted Groups. I don’t recommend doing this until you’ve participated in top discussions on the site and have a good sense of the dynamics, processes and social etiquette. Once you are up to speed on addressing questions you should be comfortable posting topics.
- Get a sense for what topics or questions will be relevant to the Groups you are following - your focus should be on generating engagement with the broad community, just like any other social media marketing initiative.
- Don’t spam the topic threads with self-serving/promotional posts about your own company or products. LinkedIn’s community is just as transparent as other social communities such as Twitter or Quora and others will see through your self-promotion quickly and negate any potential upside or social cachet you may have built.
- You can be topical and/or provocative with your Discussion Thread, as this will generate responses and interaction. But, focus on Questions that can be addressed by Group Members and that will resonate with them.
I’ll circle back to additional LinkedIn Marketing insights at a later date - if you like the post please sign up for my Blog updates and/or let me know what you thing via comments below.
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