Linkedin is more than just a social media channel to set up your profile and wait for someone to find you. Your profile is where prospects can go to learn more about you, AFTER they’ve connected with you and engaged with you, and want more information on how you can help them. That’s were a Linkedin discussion group comes in to play. It’s the perfect virtual networking opportunity for people to meet you, see you in action and get to know you, to determine if they want to know more. Here are 8 reasons to have your own Linkedin discussion group.
Grow Your Brand. It’s a great way to get professionals to know your brand. Searches on Linkedin groups are chances that your brand will be found, if your discussion group IS your brand. Group managers are allowed to include logos and headings that advertise. It gets you, your product and your brand publicity.
Demonstrate Your Expertise. Let’s say your sell automobile tires and you start a discussion group on tires and safety. Every time you post a discussion or respond to someone else’s, it’s your opportunity to demonstrate what you know about your subject matter.
Attract Prospects. When you’re discussion group logo is found in searches or seen on the group list on someone’s profile, it could attract someone who may want to do business with you. I’ve created several groups and on numerous occasions, someone who joined my group ended up hiring me or purchasing my products or services.
Grow Your Connections. After reading someone’s posts in your discussion group, you could instantly see that they were someone you truly want in your network. Being a member of your discussion group makes it incredibly easy to send them a connection invitation because you’ve already met.
Follow Up to Networking Events. You return to your office after attending a networking event and send connection requests to those who gave you their business card. For the ones who accept and who may also be a prospect, you can invite them to your discussion group so they can learn more about you and your brand.
Invite Your Connections to Join. Similar to the connections you meet at a local live networking event, anyone who sends you a connection request may be good candidates to invite in to your discussion group. Determine if you have a connection with them and invite them in using the easy-to-use invitation process.
Get to Know Your Connections Better. Let’s say you’ve got a professional in your 500+ network who you can help or someone who can help you. Interacting with them in your discussion group gives you the opportunity to further investigate the possibilities that a business relationship with them might be possible.
A Marketable Audience. Number 8 on this list is probably the best. As a discussion group manager, you can send a message directly to everyone in your group once a week. This means you can send a new product or service announcement directly to them, or an invitation to an event. There is the risk that some may feel that they are being sold to and will leave your group, but that’s the risk we take with any business communication.
Bill Corbett is the founder and organizer of the HARTFORD SPRINGFIELD SPEAKER'S NETWORK and an award winning professional speaker who has been speaking since 1995. He has been on stages across the U.S. for everything from brief lectures to keynote speeches to multi-day training events, and was the featured speaker at a conference in The Netherlands this Fall. He is a regular contributor to network television affiliates and provides one-on-one speaker coaching for business professionals. Learn more about him and his top-selling Amazon books.