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Posts Tagged ‘linkedIn

Just noticed this new detail on a Linkedin profile I was checking out – it’s part of Linkedin’s new style layouts. I really like the way it visualises how you are connected to others: as you roll over the little circles (g+ inspired?) you can see all of the companies associated with a person, and those you share in common.

You can also select network types from the drop-down menu: industry, school and location, e.g.:

With over 100 million professionals worldwide Linkedin is a practical option for businesses who needs to reach other businesses. Here are the main areas marketers should consider for any b2b outreach on the platform:

Formulate guidelines

Begin by clearly laying out the objectives and strategy for your activity on Linkedin. Summarizing this at the beginning of your guidelines helps to keep you and your team clear about what you are doing on the platform and what you hope to achieve from it. Then add guidance on tone of voice including use of slang, scientific language, etc. Depending on the size of your team and specific sensitivities around your company or brand (s) include issues escalation procedure and pre-approved FAQs to enable community managers to answer queries fast and build relationships

Create a group

Create a group and manage actively:

Consider apps, events, profiles and answers

Develop a content calendar

Develop a rolling content calendar for your group and any other activity including  items such as:

  • Questions for group members on latest industry issues /successes
  • New trends in your industry
  • Company blog posts and videos from your YouTube channel / other video service
  • Upcoming company, customer and industry events
  • Press releases and major announcements, as appropriate

Linkedin image via lovell.com

There are almost 1,000,000 groups on LinkedIn, so it’s tricky to get a picture across them all (both open and members-only) about what is working best for people.

Building on previous posts on managing and growing LinkedIn groups – I consider here what makes groups work from the user perspective. For this I have again crowdsourced contributions on LinkedIn Answers  – where I received a range of public and private responses. This is what those active groups users (n=11) said they love about the groups they love:

  1. Interesting, regularly posted industry-relevant discussions prompting you to contribute
  2. Regional / local element or subgroups
  3. Organise in-person events
  4. Useful advice – a good set of people you can learn from and teach to
  5. Good for networking – e.g. industry-wide groups that allow for networking with suppliers (for business owners)
  6. Encourages self promotion (this is rare, as acknowledged by the person who suggested it)
  7. Allows free exchange of ideas with people you come to know and trust (i.e. small / members-only closed groups)


The above post draws on answers by Lisa Nofzinger, Vince Pizzoni, Maryna Burushkina, Dave Mason, Neal Edlin, Jill MacEachern, Dave Maskin, Chris Barton, Kent Ong, Erik Posthuma, Tom Trewick and others. Thanks all for your contributions.


Read on:

Blue globe image via Think Conversation

This quick guide is designed to help owners with creating and managing successful groups on Linkedin. Following the popularity of my Tips to grow your group on Linkedin post I crowdsourced further advice from Linkedin users. The results were fantastic and many apply more widely than Linkedin groups. So big thanks to Ed Han,  Robert Burns, Kim Bailey, Paul Castain, Bernard Gore and Dustin Plett  …who made this post possible…

A group should…

  • Be unique / fill an underserved niche
  • Have a clear sense of identity
  • Develop a core of 4-6 engaged members to help establish critical mass

To promote success…

  • Be active / engage: post quality content, ask questions, contact members through the group
  • Ask questions with a human / unusual angle: successful examples include favourite quotes and dress codes
  • Find active members: seek out people who contribute in other groups. Try asking someone to post their great discussion in your group or simply invite them. There will be groups which overlap in subject and potential membership, but have sufficiently different purposes to be useful separate entities – try to find those and engage in discussions on them – if you are complementary rather than competing for members then this should be mutually beneficial.
  • Use the featured discussions tool: try featuring a discussion to help get its momentum going. After that, give someone else (another discussion) a shot. (Here’s a good example of how NOT to use featured discussions).
  • Be clear and firm on spam: post the group’s view on what is / isn’t spam.
  • Protect community culture / enjoyable activity: e.g if there is mis-use of discussions consider making it ‘discussions only’ in discussions area.
  • Moderate: have clearly posted commuity guidelines and enforce them.  Consistently moderate: set a schedule – even if it’s a little random, that’s sometimes better – and stick to it. And remain consistent in the content you are pulling or leaving up: try to moderate as objectively as you can.  Do not over-moderate. Find the right balance.
  • Deputize members: to manage/moderate in response to the amount of activity.

Crowdsource image from Chris Shakarian’s blog

Linkedin groups are a great way of building up your professional network, learning from your peers and tapping into a community relevant to your interest, product, service or brand.

linkedingroup

After you have created your group, try the following to build and retain your membership:

  • Set group type: You can set your group so that new members need to be approved. This deters spammers and can make your group seem more exclusive. You can change whether a group is open access or request to join in ‘Edit group settings’ from the right hand manage panel of the group.
  • Add a group logo: If you don’t have one choose a rights-free picture that is illustrative of what your group is about. Groups without logos just look odd.
  • Moderate: Remove any inappropriate posts as they come up – but be gentle, don’t scare off newbies. Unless its blatant, irrelevant spam, contact them and tell them why you have done it.
  • Make good use of your Welcome message: There is a feature to send automatic messages to new members – you can use this to welcome your new member and let them know if you have a community elsewhere you would like them to join too / or a special offer for new members on Linkedin. To alter the messages sent you need to go to the ‘manage’ tab on the group and click on ‘manage templates’ on the right hand side. This has worked well for my group after a member joins – but don’t be tempted to put the same automatic message in for when people have asked to join – no-one likes to be bored with the same thing twice.
  • Facilitate: Feature important discussions you post or are posted by the community. People selling and touting their wares / articles are commonplace on Linkedin groups. Help your members sort through the dross by highlighting the best reads.
  • Add news: You can set this up to feed through your web rss / blog or twitter feed – this helps ensure any news of poorer quality submitted by group members is mixed in with items you have vetted. You can edit the news by going to ‘Manage News Feeds’ in the manage panel.
  • Contribute to Answers: Answers are a great way to be seen on Linkedin. As with any social media activity: be useful, helpful and relevant when you answer questions. Be generous in sharing your expertise, but look out for opportunities to mention your group every now and then – where appropriate. You can put a link to your Linkedin group or website in ‘Web Resources’ for your answer. Do this sparingly – you don’t want to destroy your professional profile by being slated as a spammer by others.
  • Tell everybody: Tweet it, put it on your email signature, link to it from your blog, add it to your marketing newsletter, feature it on your forum, tell your friends on facebook, tweet it again. You get the picture. Remember, most people will have one or two social networks of choice – so make sure you link all your social presences together so people can interact with you when they are at the place they like best. And don’t just tweet that you’ve started your group – tell people when you get your first 10, your first 25, your first 100, your first 1,000 members…

LinkedIn image by applicant


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