How to Use LinkedIn Groups for Your Business

There is no doubt that LinkedIn is one of the biggest online networking sites for for professionals and business owners. When it comes to generating business leads, it is quite hard to beat LinkedIn.

LinkedIn will help you build online authenticity for your business, give you a place to conduct organic marketing and better still, it is a place where you can network with industry leaders and pacesetters. Most importantly, LinkedIn is a great source of clients.

One of the most popular features that most successful businesses use on LinkedIn is the LinkedIn Groups.

Interestingly, most people are often not sure what LinkedIn Groups are or why they should be using them in the first place. So that’s what I’m here to simplify today. 

What is a LinkedIn Group?

LinkedIn Groups are a place where people who share similar interests or engage in similar industries come together to share content, hold conversations related to their interests and businesses, and establish relationships.

Groups enable you to interact with people and participate in discussions related to an industry and interest. Groups are a great way of networking and generating leads.

To participate in a group, all you need to do is join. Currently as a basic LinkedIn member you are allowed to join up to 50 groups

FINDING LinkedIn Groups

For a group to be beneficial to you and your business, it has to be relevant to your industry. To find LinkedIn Groups that are relevant:

  • Use the search feature located at the very top of your homepage.
  • Find relevant groups by viewing suggestions of ‘Groups you may like’. This feature works by suggesting groups based on your current profile and connections.
  • There is also an option to find groups at the lower right of your home page.
  • Alternatively, you could ask your connections to recommend the groups they belong to.

linkedin groups

Examples of LinkedIn Group categories include: Corporate, Non-profit, Trade organizations, and industry-specific such as Online Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Freelancing and so on.

Benefits of LinkedIn Groups

If you’re still wondering whether you should spend your time participating in LinkedIn Groups, here are a few benefits to joining – regardless of the industry you’re in.

1. Networking

Joining and participating in group discussions will help you network with other professionals in your industry. When you join groups that connections belong to, you will be able to nurture relationships with them by more interactions on the groups than on your LinkedIn profile.

2. Online Reputation

LinkedIn Groups are very helpful when you want to build an online presence and reputation for your business. You achieve this by sharing valuable information related to your industry. The more you participate in group discussions, the more likely people are to view your LinkedIn profile and connect with you. This will gain you and your business publicity and credibility.

3. Content Marketing

Groups give you an avenue to share your content and gain more views. Through groups, you will often be able to send traffic to your blog/website and get important feedback from other professionals in your industry. Check out the views that this post gained, impressive right?

content

4. Source of Inspiration

There are those moments when your creativity levels are just running low. Discussions on a LinkedIn group will often get you thinking. You could use the chance to discuss challenges that you are experiencing and members will most often give you valuable and professional solutions that you may not have otherwise managed to come up with, on your own.

5. Build Relationships with Potential Clients

LinkedIn Groups are a good source of potential customers. There are thousands of people using LinkedIn Groups and among these could be potential clients. When you show your expertise in a particular industry through group participation, you might just catch a potential client’s eye. Groups give you the opportunity to build valuable relationships with potential clients and you could even find partnership opportunities that will help you grow your business in future.

How to Use Groups for Business

Join Relevant Groups

Don’t join groups for the sake of it, make sure that you join only those that are relevant to your industry, or topic in order to interact with people that you would like to network with. Not all groups will be beneficial to your business even if they are relevant. A group with dormant members, for instance, won’t help you much. So before joining a group look at the most active members, are they people you want to interact with? What is the level of participation? If all you find are members promoting their businesses, then you might want to reconsider joining such a group. Here’s an example of relevant groups that a communications specialist can join:

Groups

Interact with Members

Groups become beneficial to you when you join in the conversations. Being a fly on the wall will not bring you much results as members will not get to know you and hence no meaningful networking will take place. Participating could include a simple introduction when you join a group, replying to posts that interest you, asking questions, posting relevant articles or having one on one conversations with members that you’d like to know better.  

Show off your Expertise

Joining in the discussions is a great way to showcase your expertise in the industry. Show your understanding of a particular topic by answering questions that others have asked, asking questions of your own or sharing articles on that topic. This will make people notice you and gain interest in you and what your business has to offer. Showcasing your expertise gives you an opportunity to establish your brand as an industry leader.

Don’t Over-Promote Your Business

Even though marketing yourself and your business is great on LinkedIn, ensure that you do not overdo it otherwise you will bore people and they will see your contribution as spam. You certainly don’t want that as it will ruin your online reputation. Remember, the main goal is to build relationships.

Create your own LinkedIn Group

Once you become good at using LinkedIn groups you could consider creating your own topic group.  Your group could target a specific group of people that you are interested in engaging with. Make sure that your group is unique, offers value to potential members and is considerably active.

Spending a few minutes every day on relevant LinkedIn Groups can certainly be beneficial to your business. Try it out and see what relationships you manage to build for your business.

Do you use LinkedIn Groups for your business? I’d love to hear from you!