As busy marketers, we want to avoid managing another social media channel that’s not providing ROI, or not clearly adding value to our brand reputation. A good marketer knows that the content they serve to their LinkedIn audience should be unique and will not be the same content they serve to their Facebook audience, for example. In order to distinguish this relevant content, one must be savvy to the channel, the target audience, and the content that performs well with them. But what many community managers often miss is the difference of appropriate content and management between their LinkedIn Company page and their LinkedIn Group.
The LinkedIn Group and the LinkedIn Company page are two very distinct channels that should be treated as such. If managed correctly, a LinkedIn Group can provide a rich and vibrant forum for both the brand and other industry thought leaders. LinkedIn Groups offer a great way to showcase internal expertise and create engagement among a new audience of industry intellects.
Here are four steps to put a smart LinkedIn Group strategy to action:
1. Establish Your Management Team
Having a well-established internal contribution team is the first step for LinkedIn Group success. Each team member plays an important role in curating, moderating, and stimulating group participation.
Common group members:
- Group Manager
- Subject Matter Experts, or SMEs
Have one designated group manager oversee the channel – they will lead the SMEs, monitor the group discussions and gather intel for comments as necessary.
Choose a set of internal employees who can speak highly and accurately of your niche service or industry. These SMEs will curate topics of conversation to be approved by the group manager. They are responsible for starting the discussion as well as keeping it fresh and active based on their specific area of expertise.
The SME’s should be encouraged by the group manager to respond to member outreach. This will boost conversation and entice outside audience members into the conversation by creating a vibrant community of shared knowledge.
2. Stick to Your Niche
Remember to stay on track when it comes to creating content topics for discussion. Stick to your area of expertise for clear and consistent conversations that resonate with your audience. Quality of members is more important than quantity. Since brands can leverage LinkedIn Groups to showcase their internal thought leadership and raise brand awareness, your community will thank you for having focused and quality content, with industry leading contributors.
3. Optimize the Channel
Once you’ve determined your niche category, ensure you optimize your group settings. Write a thoughtful and keyword rich group title and description, optimize notification settings and establish rules and regulations to set clear boundaries and guidelines for your audience. Finally, determine a member approval process that will ensure the content that is published stays relevant to members.
4. Promote the Group
Bring your audience to your LinkedIn Group by promoting it on your other social media channels. Announce hot topics of conversation that are taking place, or ask questions to encourage your audience to hop in and join the discussion. Encourage your SME’s to be active on LinkedIn! This could mean active in other LinkedIn Groups to keep on top of industry trends, and also continually seeking out and then inviting new connections to join the group.
Creating a strong LinkedIn Group takes hard work and determination. Follow the above tips and tricks to ensure you’re on the path to success. With thoughtful planning and targeted content, your group will drive new leads and create awareness of your brand and thought leadership capabilities.
Do you have any questions about LinkedIn Groups? Contact Mambo Media to talk about your LinkedIn Strategy.
Know of other helpful ideas to contribute to a successful LinkedIn Community? Reply with a comment below.