How to Take Advantage of LinkedIn Groups

With more than 18 million companies currently using LinkedIn, it can be difficult to make yours stand out. Luckily, Reid Hoffman (co-founder of LinkedIn) offers a way to break down the masses by industry, interest, and intent with LinkedIn Groups.

 

LinkedIn Groups are virtual hubs on LinkedIn that provide a “place for professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to share content, find answers, post and view jobs, make business contacts, and establish themselves as industry experts.”

 

There are nearly 2.1 million groups on LinkedIn – which is still a LOT – but when broken down by industry, it’s much more manageable.

 

Unsure how to get started? I’ve rounded up the basics below to help you begin to take advantage of LinkedIn Groups.

 

Joining groups is fairly easy – as long as you have a LinkedIn account. Just visit www.linkedin.com/groups and select ‘Discover.’

 

If you’ve already filled out your profile, LinkedIn will automatically suggest a myriad of groups based on your industry, experience, and more. For those of us in public relations, you may see suggestions like: PR Professionals, Social Media Today, or your local PRSA chapter, to name a few.

 

By clicking ‘My Groups’, users can see a full list of the groups they are a member of, sort based on name or industry, and view the groups they’re waiting to be admitted access to. Once inside each group, users can view and connect with other members, solicit feedback on relevant topics or participate in existing conversations, and even view jobs available in the related field.

 

So now you know how to join, but maybe you’re still not convinced. Here are just four of the major benefits you’ll see after using the LinkedIn Groups feature:

 

Engage.

Joining LinkedIn Groups allows users to engage with other members through topical and industry-related conversations. Whether it’s liking a recently shared article or sharing your two cents on an ongoing discussion, LinkedIn Groups facilitate additional networking opportunities with fellow industry pros. They also give you a chance to show ‘em what you’re working with!

 

Share.

Another benefit to LinkedIn Groups is the ability to share relevant content and solicit feedback. Working on a new proposal or just trying to get some advice on your recent blog post? Share it in various groups to get constructive criticism. LinkedIn Groups are also a great place to find sharable content for curation!

 

Connect.

Not only do LinkedIn Groups allow you to engage with other industry pros, but they can help connect you with potential clients, employees/employers, and more. This networking platform offers a deeper dive into each industry, allowing users to familiarize themselves by reviewing expert opinions, content, and more.

 

Influence.

By regularly sharing content and participating in group discussions, users will begin to make a name for themselves as industry leaders. Other group members may privately message you for advice, and leaders in other industries might look to you for expert advice in your field. Either way, you’ll be getting your name out there in the best possible way.

 

As you can see, there’s no shortage of advantages when it comes to using LinkedIn Groups to expand and showcase your industry knowledge. Interested in getting help? Set up a consultation with us today!

Is a LinkedIn Company Page Part of your Public Relations Strategy?

To most, the term “social network” is synonymous with Twitter and Facebook. The former network’s influence has resulted in a flock of bird-themed words becoming an ingrained part of the cultural lexicon, while the latter inspired an aptly-named film that turned Mark Zuckerberg into a household name.

So, what about LinkedIn?

If Twitter and Facebook are the self-involved, ostentatious, name-dropping bros in the dining hall, LinkedIn is the strait-laced RA who stays in on weekends, has an on-campus job and three simultaneous internships.

Yes, LinkedIn may appear uptight, but its professional demeanor hasn’t stunted its popularity. During a conversation with Business Insider’s Henry Blodget  at the IGNITION conference in New York earlier this month, Deep Nishar, LinkedIn’s senior president of product development, said the social network has attracted 135 million users worldwide and adds around 10 new members every five seconds.

But it’s not just who’s using LinkedIn that impressive; it’s how people are using it. In a survey asking which social networking site people use primarily for professional networking, 61 percent say LinkedIn (Facebook registered 22% and Twitter just 4%).


So when our clients ask us which social networks they should be using as part of their public relations strategy, LinkedIn consistently makes the shortlist.

The personal networking benefits of LinkedIn are more well-known, so for this blog post, let’s focus on how to use LinkedIn’s Company Pages as part of a larger public relations strategy.  Here are my top tips on how businesses can best take advantage of LinkedIn Company Pages.

  • Remember your audience – This gets back to my point earlier: People primarily use Twitter and Facebook to socialize with friends; they use LinkedIn to engage with individuals and companies in their industry as potential clients. That said, if you’re on the fence as to whether or not something is appropriate or useful to post on your LinkedIn Company Page, just ask yourself, “Would I bring this up during a new client meeting?”
  • Consistency is key – Like any social network, you need to continually update the page and add new content if you want to increase engagement. It’s easy to fall into a habit of updating your company Facebook and Twitter pages and leaving LinkedIn static and stale. One way to avoid this is to set goals (How many updates should we post daily/weekly?) and create a plan (Who is in charge of ensuring the content gets updated?)
  • Test the waters – The ability to post Company Status Updates was just introduced in October 2011—making it a relatively new feature that people are still trying to figure out how best to use. The good news is that LinkedIn has a very intuitive analytics feature that makes it easy to see the number of impressions and percentage of engagement for each update. So when you post a company update with a link to an article related to your industry, or a bit of news about your company, you’ll be able to see what’s resonating with your audience and what is just adding to the noise.
  • Promote your page – Like that tree in the forest that fell without making a sound because nobody was around to hear it, your company page won’t garner any attention if you don’t let people know about it. Again, company status updates are a relatively new feature that many individuals don’t use or even know about. So when your company tells prospective clients or customers where they can find you on Facebook and Twitter, make sure you lead them to LinkedIn, too!
  • Plug in – LinkedIn Company Pages allow you to plug your company’s Twitter feed and RSS feed from your blog. Not only does this help promote those channels, it’s another way to ensure that your Company Page content is continuously updated.

These tips and suggestions only scratch the surface of how optimize your LinkedIn Company Page as part of your PR strategy. Have questions about using LinkedIn Company Page? Let us know in the comments or tell us what strategies you’ve been using to reach your audiences on our Dittoe PR LinkedIn page.