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Tag : linkedin groups

3 Things You Should Be Doing on LinkedIn But Aren’t

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15Apr

The reason that so many otherwise great local businesses fail on LinkedIn is that they’re not really sure what to do. They look at Google publishing white papers and Wal-Mart rolling out national promotional campaigns, and they’re not really sure what their role is on the platform. Lucky for you, I’ve got the answer.

I’m going to cover what your local business should be posting on LinkedIn and how you should be posting it. Let’s catch you up on the LinkedIn strategies you’ve been missing!

Say Something Meaningful
As a local business, you don’t have the reach or the bottomless resources of a Fortune 500 company. But what you do have (hopefully) is a point of view. You’re working in your industry every day—use that knowledge to offer insight that only you can provide!

One tactic that The Go! Agency uses for our clients is to curate content then share it with something meaningful attached. So if you were a fashion boutique, you might share a post about a runway in Paris with your thoughts about the styles.

“But Christopher!” You say, “I don’t want people to care about that fashion show in Paris, I want them to care about my local business!”

Think bigger picture. Sure, the article isn’t about how great your business is, but it shows that you know what you’re talking about when it comes to fashion. It establishes you as an authority, so that when people in your area are looking at your LinkedIn page, they’re impressed and interested in your brand.

There’s more to succeeding on LinkedIn than just having a point of view, though. You need to say it before people get bored.

Make It Quick
On every social media platform, users are scrolling through their feeds, paying (at most) half attention to what they’re looking at. That means you have to spit it out!

No matter how good your insight is, I promise you that nobody wants to read an essay before they even get to the article you’re sharing. Keep your LinkedIn posts to two short sentences AT THE MOST. If you can manage it, fewer than 100 characters is ideal.

While this does limit the nuance you can give in your posts, it also makes it easier for people to see what you’re talking about. That means more engagements, more connections, and more business opportunities going forward. Save the long-form content for the blogs and make sure that your LinkedIn updates will actually get read!

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Join Relevant Groups
If you’re not joining LinkedIn groups, you’re missing a great opportunity to connect with people who would engage with your business. If you’re a salon, join some beauty groups! If you’re a restaurant, join a group for foodies! Whatever industry you’re in, there is going to be a LinkedIn group for your business.

Once you get in these groups, don’t be silent. Strike up some conversations! The key word here is “conversations,” though. You can’t just post constantly in the same group and hope that people will engage with you. Not only is that ineffective, but it’s a great way to get banned by a moderator for spamming the group.

Instead, like and comment on other people’s posts in the group. If you’re engaging with their content, they’re likely to reciprocate and send some attention your way. Just be sure to do the same when someone likes or comments on one of your posts!

Use This Advice ASAP
I’ve seen countless small businesses fail to use these best practices on LinkedIn—don’t be one of them! Starting today means you’re late, so hop on this train before you miss your chance for your small business to succeed on LinkedIn.

Could you use some more advice on how to succeed on LinkedIn? Schedule your free consultation with The Go! Agency!

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You Published A Blog! Now What?

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29Jun

We are here at the end of our blogging for business series and you should be ready to post some great content on your new blog! After you hit that publish button, thousands of fans are guaranteed to visit your site in just hours, right? Not so true. While SEO is an important tool in promoting a blog, you will need a little more help getting noticed in the overly crowded internet landscape.

Your blog is not meant to replace your social media marketing. Quite the opposite, actually. Both of these internet-based tools are meant to work symbiotically together. You should be proud of your new blog post and as such, you will want to promote it on every social media account you have! On your website, where your blog hopefully lives via a link on the menu, you should have the links to your social media pages. All of this is your material and as such it should complement itself through internal promotion.

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You can also publish your newly-crafted article on Facebook Notes and LinkedIn to share with your followers. LinkedIn is particularly effective at this as it has the ability to share your writing with fifty groups. Talk about publicity!

You will also be able to use your blog article’s copy in your newsletters and email blasts. Original material is precious so you should take advantage of the writing you now own and broadcast it through all avenues.

We hope you enjoyed our series about blogging for business. Now let’s see what kind of awesome blog posts you come up with! If you ever have any questions about blogging or social media marketing in general, please feel free to contact The Go! Agency team!

Do you have any thoughts on how to share your blog? Comment below!

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10 Ways to Choose the Perfect LinkedIn Groups to Market Your Business

19Jun

Before I have written about the power of LinkedIn and one of its most popular features: LinkedIn Groups.  I’ve discussed the power of using these groups to get your message in front of an audience of thousands, how to create your own custom group and even how to get the most out of the administration panel of your group page.  What I have never discussed is arguably one of the most important factors:

How to choose the perfect LinkedIn Groups to market your business!

As I’m asked this question again and again, I thought I would take a moment and give you  10 criteria on how to choose and join the right groups to support your online marketing efforts using LinkedIn.

One thing to keep in mind before we begin: it is extremely easy to join and leave LinkedIn groups.  So the groups that you choose you will not be saddled with to the end of days.  You are always able to leave groups that are a poor fit and try out new ones that can be more suitable.  Also, you are allowed to join a maximum of 50 groups on LinkedIn.  As many require a group manager to “OK” your request, it can delay you joining groups at a fast past.  But slow and steady wins the race – stay patient and you will receive.

Here are my 10 criteria for choosing the perfect LinkedIn Groups for your business:

  1. Choose Niche Keywords First.  It is tempting when first searching the GROUPS section of LinkedIn to go for terms like “ceo” or “hospitality”.  My suggestion is to first go uber niche with your search and get specific.  Think about who your exact target market is, and then use that as your search criteria.  For example, skip just using “hospitality” and go for “hotel managers florida”.  If you put your search between quotes, you will see the ONLY groups with this phrase in their description.  While it may turn up less results than a general search, it will be extremely targeted and you may just find a gem.
  2. Read the Group Description.  The description, which appears under the title of the group on the results page, should give you a good idea about who the group is targeted to and what types of discussions are fine to be posted.  Make sure that this matches the type of content that you would like to use to engage and the audience is suitable.
  3. Check the Group Activity Level.  It is always better to be in an active group.  Below the group description, there is a grey line of text that will tell you about the activity level of the group.  My favorites are “Very Active”, but “Active” is good as well.
  4. Check the Number of New Discussions Created.  If the activity level is not present, you need to go to the next check which would be the number of discussions posted per month (this will be found at the same place below the group description).  If in a 30 day period there were only 9 discussions and the group has 12,345 members – it would not be a group that I would join immediately as it seems pretty inactive.
  5. How Many of the Group Members Are in Your Network?  The green text at the bottom of each search result will give you the number of the group members that are also members of your LinkedIn network (in the form of connections).  If you have a very targeted LinkedIn network, this number is a good indication if the group is on target for you.
  6. Does One Person Post All the Discussions?  Once you join a group (or if an open group, when you look at the main discussions page) look to see if one or two members are monopolizing the conversations/discussions.  If this is the case, I tend to leave the group and keep a note to circle back later.  As a new member, it is hard to break through in a group where certain members are posting new discussions extremely frequently, so it is better to go with a group that has less competition.
  7. Explore “Similar”.  If you find a group that is spot on using the criteria above, make sure to click on the green link at the bottom of the description that says “Similar”.  This is a great way to discover harder-to-find groups that can be right on target for your marketing.
  8. Beware of Brand Groups.  You will see that some groups have a brand name in their title, description and/or logo.  While some are membership groups only for members of the company’s team, there are others that function as a normal group but have their members of staff marketing in it consistently.  I try to avoid these as comments and discussions can be held in moderation and never be posted, making it extremely challenging to engage and connect with other group members.
  9. Open Groups are Good, But Can Be Spammy.  There are many groups that you are immediately able to join without going through a vetting process with the group manager.  While these Open Groups allow you to quickly join the conversation, make sure to look at the first page of discussion posts to see if they are mostly self-promotional or filled with job seekers.  If you see this, I would leave the group (unless this is a market you are trying to target).
  10.  Where Does the Group Manager Belong?  This is a close second to using the “Similar” link under the group description.  You will be able to see (sometimes before and sometimes after) who the group manager is.  Click on their name, go to their profile and then scroll down to the bottom of their profile where there groups are listed.  Go through their groups to see if there are other ones there that may benefit your business.

Now you should be able to properly and effectively choose a LinkedIn Group that fits your company’s targets and needs.  It is up to you to generate good solid discussions, add to discussions and engage with other group members.  But this is much easier when you are in the right spot and in front of an audience you are familiar with.

I’d like to invite you to join my own LinkedIn Group: feel free to ask any questions that you have!  Click here to join!

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5 Ways to Effectively Manage Your LinkedIn Group

30May

In my last post I discussed how to setup your own custom LinkedIn Group in order to market your business effectively.  Hopefully by now you have used the step-by-step instructions to get your very own LinkedIn Group off the ground.

But now what?

You’ve probably started some discussions, sent out a few invitations…but isn’t there more to it?

There sure is!

Here are the top 5 things you need to know to effectively manage your LinkedIn Group to foster growth and engagement:

1.  Check in Daily.  Log into your group once a day and click on the Manage tab.  Take a look at the Submission Queue, Moderation Queue and Requests to Join.  If you have your Group settings configured in such a way that you have to approve all new members, comments, discussions, promotions, etc (which I highly recommend) it is important to check in consistently in order to keep the conversation going and your audience interested.

2.  Use Your Templates.  In the Manage section, look on the left hand side and click on the Templates link.  This page will help you create, manage and automatically send custom messages to people interested in your group when they ask to join and once they are approved!  Make sure to add your other social media links, weblinks and maybe even a special offer to your templates to increase your visibility.

3.  Set the Rules.  In the Manage page, you will also see the Group Rules link.  It is important to set the rules of your group in order to best suit your market.  For example, if you do not want people hocking their wares or posting job vacancies all the time – set this in stone by stating this in your Group Rules.

4.  Send Announcements!  One of the most under utilized tools in LinkedIn  Groups is Announcements.  As a Group Manager will have the ability to send announcements once a week (or every 7 days).  Make sure that they are group related: either a promotion, discussion or an update that you feel is important.  Remember, if you abuse this people will leave the group just as they would opt-out of an email blast that turns spammy.

5.  Keep Track of Your Statistics.  Conveniently hidden and hard to find, the LinkedIn Group statistics page is very helpful in terms of you getting more familiar with the demographics of your custom Group.  When in your Group, click on the “More…” tab and select “Group Statistics” from the drop-down menu.  You will see helpful items such as Summary, Demographics, Growth and Activity.  By monitoring these trends you can see how you can improve your group, enhance engagement and attract better quality members.

Now your homework is to login to LinkedIn and explore these items in your LinkedIn Group today.  Write some templates, send an announcement and check out your statistics.  These 5 items will help you get that extra benefit from LinkedIn Groups that many don’t take advantage of.  Let me know how you get on!

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How to Create Your Own Custom LinkedIn Group

24May

When you are marketing your business (or yourself) on LinkedIn, there are numerous outlets for you to utilize: your profile, your updates, your connections and your groups to name a few.

I’ve written before about the power of LinkedIn Groups to enhance your credibility and visibility on LinkedIn.  They truly are powerhouses for not only getting hits to your website, but also for you to directly connect with influential people and potential customers.

But you don’t have to simply join someone else’s group – you can start your own!

If you have opened and completed your LinkedIn profile, you have the ability to create your own membership group, branded to your niche with you in the driver’s seat.

Where do you start and how do you do it?

Here are some straight-forward tips on how to create the perfect LinkedIn Group for your business, quickly and efficiently:

1. Your Group and Your Purpose.  You should create your LinkedIn Group around the subject matter of your business and topics your target consumer would be interested in.  For example, we have The Go! Healthcare Marketing Insider (you can join here).  One of the sectors we service at The Go! Agency is the healthcare market.  So we created the group to interest healthcare organizations by sharing discussions related directly to using marketing to build their business online.

2.  Create a Name and Logo.  All LinkedIn Groups have a name and logo, so you will need to create one.  There are many free logo services available, just Google them.  Make sure your logo has the same look and feel as your company logo and the Group name reflects both your company and the Group itself.  Make sure not to use your own company name as the name of the Group  as it will confuse people.  They may think this a company related membership Group?

3.  Register Your Group.  Go into LinkedIn and click on the Groups tab.  On the next screen you will see a link to “Create a Group”.  Click on this and fill out the form supplied.   Make sure to fill it in completely and use as many keywords as you can.  This will enable you to be found when someone is searching for a group with your subject matter.

4.  Post Discussions.  To get the ball rolling, post three or four discussions.  Get your other co-workers to start a few as well.  The more content that you add to your Group   initially will enhance the amount of conversion once you begin to invite people to join.

5.  Start Inviting!  When you click on your Group, click next on the “Manage” tab.  On the left hand side you will see “Send Invitations”.  This will enable you to send invitations in batches to your LinkedIn connections.  Want to promote via Facebook, Twitter or the main LinkedIn feed?  Click the “Share” button on the top right of your group at any time.

And you are off!  Now you have your own LinkedIn membership Group which will enable you to market in many new ways.  In the next post I’ll explain how you can effectively market and manage your group for the best results possible!

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Are LinkedIn Groups the Missing Piece of Your LinkedIn Marketing Strategy?

15May

With over 225 million users, my guess is that if you are reading this right now, you are probably have a registered profile on LinkedIn.  You have already filled in your details and maybe even registered your company. You have been building your connections and networking, but still haven’t found the key to open the door of opportunity for your business on LinkedIn.

But with between 1 and 800,000 members – are us using LinkedIn Groups?

As I say with social media marketing campaigns, the key is to have a blog on your website.  The key with LinkedIn success is being actively involved in LinkedIn groups.  Simple as that.

If you have seen LinkedIn groups, joined a few and still not sure what the fuss is about, here are my 5 tips to making a lasting impression, building hits to your website and increasing your visibility with one of the most active markets on LinkedIn.

1.  Use Keywords to Find the Right Group.  Once again, I’m bringing up the power of keywords.  Take your keyword list that you use online to target your consumers and do a “Group Search” on LinkedIn.  Take a look at the results and choose the “Very Active” groups with higher group member numbers.  This will ensure that you are in a fast moving group that is influential and, well, active.  There is nothing worse than being in a group of 1,000 members where no one is talking or engaging.

2.  Start Discussions that Link to Your Blogs.  If you have a blog on your website, share a sample of the blog as a discussion and link to your blog to read the rest of the article.  Make sure that the article is relevant to the group, is not overtly promotional and has value.  If you are starting a discussion in a highly active group that is about your latest sale or product promotion, get ready for some backlash.

3.  Comment, Like and Share.  This is “social” media after all.  Make sure that you find articles where you can express YOUR expertise and comment.  By commenting, liking or sharing a discussion with your LinkedIn connections you will be getting in front of more people than you can imagine.

4. Use the Group Email Updates.  When you join a group, the default setting is to get a Daily Group Digest.  When you post a new discussion or comment on an existing discussion, you have the option to click “Send me an email for each new comment”.  The wonderful aspect of LinkedIn is that you can follow and respond via your email inbox.  This will save time when you don’t want to constant login and logout and then search for the discussion when it gets active or a new topic pops up you want to jump into.

5. Follow Influential Group Members.  By clicking on the “Members” tabs within a group you are a member of, you will be able to see “This Week’s Top Influencers”.  See who they are and click “Follow” to receive their updates.  Watch which topics they post, comment on them, message them privately.  Getting in front of influencers will help you gain support while also increasing your visibility.

The capabilities of LinkedIn groups don’t stop there, but it is where we will stop today.  By using the above, you can take your LinkedIn marketing to the next level and generate more interest in your company, visibility for your profile and hits to your website.  Join our LinkedIn group, The Go! Healthcare Marketing Insider by clicking here!

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