Should I Create a LinkedIn Group?
By now, you may be aware that LinkedIn offers you to be a member of a group. In fact, you can be a member of up to 50 groups. There are millions of different groups available. Some are closed groups, where you need to be approved by the manager of the group. Others are open groups, which means anyone of the 414 million members on LinkedIn can join.
The purpose of a group is to connect you with others who are like-minded or in the same industry as you. It’s where your customers hang out. Seth Godin, the author of 17 books including “Tribes” says that those most likely to buy from you are those that already know you, so a group may be useful for you and your business growth.
Some of the most common questions we are asked by clients relate to being a member of and running a group.
Benefits of being in a group:
- It expands your ability to be returned in search results. You will turn up in someone’s search result if you’re a first second, third-level connection, and also if you’re in the same group.
- It allows you to contribute to discussions and share your area of expertise.
- It can give you a direct line of communication with your ideal audience.
- Your contribution to the group sends a clear message to connections about your expertise, interests and passions.
- A group can help you find people in your local area with similar interests to you, particularly if it’s a location-based group. This is especially helpful if you are new to your region.
- It increases your profile views. This is achieved by increasing your search results and people’s curiosity when they see you making comments in the group.
- Groups build your knowledge and expertise.
Disadvantages of being in a group:
- You receive updates in your inbox daily or weekly, summarising what has been happening in the group. If you’re a member of 50 groups, this means a lot of email landing in your inbox.
- It may mean people pigeonhole you based on their perception of the group.
- There is limited ability to include personal branding in responses. You cannot include the same level of formatting that you can in a personal email, such as hyperlinks and a signature block, for example.
Benefits of running a group:
- It positions you as a leader in the industry and you effectively become the “go-to person”. It also allows you to include your website address in the group description.
- You have access to a responsive audience. A group owner has influence in the group and can direct the group’s direction.
- It gives you visibility across your areas of expertise, and you are the “first to hear” what’s happening.
- When a member joins a group, the group details and logo will be displayed on their profile. This increases the group’s visibility.
Disadvantages of running a group:
- It can be incredibly time consuming. However, there are features that can reduce this. These include an automated welcome message to new members, and the ability to create sub-groups that allow easier targeting.
- Once you start a group, you cannot close it so you need to be committed!
- There is limited analytics and return on investment data. It is hard to gain a tangible measure of running a group.
Running a group might be helpful for you when you have a community of like-minded people who are open to sharing. It would not be helpful if the group has a high potential for conflict and negative engagement.
Top tips for starting a group:
- Have a clear purpose for the group.
- Complete all the required fields and ensure all members know the group’s guidelines and expectations. Setting clear expectations will help you manage a situation where a member does not comply.
- Make sure members know what to expect from you. For example, will you be checking in daily or weekly? You could consider co-managing the group to reduce the workload. Expectation management is key.
- Use the automation features to reduce manual workload.
- Maintain engagement by contributing topics for discussion and providing positive feedback to All-Star group members.
How to Start a Group
When you are logged into your profile:
Key questions to ask before starting a group:
- Does your ideal customer hang out on LinkedIn?
- What value will the group give to members?
- What will a group allow you to do that a standard profile doesn’t?
Managing a LinkedIn group is not for everyone, so if you can answer these three questions you’ll do it on purpose rather than to be popular.
Love to know your thoughts on running your group!
Related Podcast and Video:
Jane Anderson works with Sales Managers, Marketing Managers, Thought Leaders, Experts and CEO’s to leverage the expertise of their talent through LinkedIn.
She is an author of “CONNECT: How to Leverage Your LinkedIn Profile for Networking, Business Growth and Lead Generation”. Her 1 day Brisbane LinkedIn For Lead Generation Workshop can be delivered in-house. You can find out more about Jane’s CONNECT book here.
To inquire about Jane speaking at your next event, please email email@example.com