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LinkedIn 101 - Finding & Joining Groups [Social Media 101]

LinkedIn 101 - Finding & Joining Groups [Social Media 101]

LinkedIn is the social media platform that makes it easy for your MSP to connect with business professionals who may be interested in your services, or are already taking advantage of them. If your company is not already on LinkedIn, then it’s time to join.

On top of having a LinkedIn Business Page and actively posting content to it, there’s more that you can do to take advantage of everything that this platform has to offer: you could join a Group.

About LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn first introduced the Groups feature back in 2004, back when the platform was in its infancy and only had approximately 300k members. LinkedIn created these Groups with a goal to “provide a place for professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to share their insights and experiences, ask for guidance, and build valuable connections.”

Since they were first created, the capabilities of LinkedIn Groups have expanded, and they have grown in popularity. According to a 2018 report by DMR Business Statistics:

  • There are currently over 2 million LinkedIn Groups
  • There are about 200 conversations per minute occuring in LinkedIn Groups
  • More than 50% of LinkedIn members belong to at least one group
  • The average number of groups that LinkedIn members join is 7

So, why should you consider LinkedIn Groups as a part of your MSP marketing strategy? Here are a few reasons:

  • Engaging Conversations: Depending on the size and type of the Group you’re looking to join, it’s often a lot easier to have conversations in Groups compared to your posts on your company’s Business Page.
  • Sharing Your Insight and Experience: Groups are a great way to show that you, a representative of your company, are an expert in the field. This expertise can be extended to your business.
  • Asking for Guidance: You don’t always have all the answers, and LinkedIn Groups are a great way to engage with other business professionals who can answer questions that you might have.
  • Building Valuable Connections: Through LinkedIn Groups, you can discover local decision makers to connect with through your own profile. If you’re sharing information through your own profile about your company (as you should be), then they will come across those in their Feed after accepting your Connection Request.

Unfortunately, you can only join a Group as an individual and not as your business. This doesn’t mean that you should create a user profile for your Business, like some small businesses will attempt to do. However, you can join as an individual on behalf of your company to promote what your company does (either directly, or through indirect, educational contributions).

How to Find and Join Groups

LinkedIn tries to make it easy for you to find groups relevant to your interests. You can find Groups that LinkedIn thinks might interest you through their Discover feature. These suggestions are based on the attributes of your profile (your company, school(s) attended, industry, etc.).

To get to the Discover feature, click on the Work icon in the top right of your LinkedIn homepage, then select Groups from the menu that appears. Then, just click on ‘Discover’ at the top of the page.

You can also search for Groups by typing group names or keywords into the search bar at the top of the LinkedIn homepage, then click on the Groups tab.

What Groups Should You Join?

The groups that you join will depend on what is available in your local area, and how involved you want to get with LinkedIn Groups. Here are a few suggestions tailored to small business owners in the IT sector:

  • Local Business Groups: Look for any Groups tailored for businesses in your local area that the industries you target might be a part of, such as one created by your Chamber of Commerce.
  • Industry Groups: You can consider joining various Managed Service or related Groups. Doing this can help you ensure that you stay up-to-date on the latest industry news.
  • Your Vendors’ Groups: The vendors that you use might have official or unofficial LinkedIn Groups. It doesn’t hurt to check; joining these groups can give you additional insight into the products that you get through these vendors.

Be Mindful of Individual Group Rules

Keep in mind that each Group on LinkedIn has its own rules. Many groups want you to steer away from promotional-type posts because these posts can ‘spam’ the Group Feed. If you start immediately posting content like this, you could be banned from that group, and those in it may look down on your brand because you couldn’t follow their rules.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t bother joining Groups if they have rules like this. You can still join as an IT subject matter expert, and answer questions that may come up. If the Group allows, you can link to a relevant blog on your company’s website toward the end of your response so that the user can learn more about that topic if they wish. This allows you to direct traffic to your website in a way that (typically) wouldn’t break Group rules.

Need More Help?

We’re always here to provide more guidance if you need it. Feel free to fill out our form if you have any questions related to social media that you would like us to write about, then keep up with this topic by following the Social Media 101 tag. You can also reach out to us directly if you would like your question answered sooner.

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Monday, March 25 2019

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