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!

How to Choose the Right Social Networks For Your Brand

Even though many companies use social media to promote their brand, there is still some doubt surrounding its viability. Am I seeing results from social media? Are we actually engaging with prospects? Why are we spending so much time on these networks?

These concerns are common, and some people will always be wary of social media. However, Forbes recently reported that the rising fad is here to stay and “the longer you wait, the more you have to lose.” Here’s a list of potential benefits your business could realize by using social media marketing:

  • Social MediaIncreased brand recognition
  • Improved brand loyalty
  • More opportunities to convert
  • Higher conversion rates
  • Higher brand authority
  • Increased inbound traffic
  • Decreased marketing costs
  • Better search engine rankings
  • Richer customer experiences
  • Improved customer insights

However, to use social media successfully, your brand must first understand how to use it, when to use it, and what platforms to use.

Companies should first align with their target market and choose networks accordingly. According to Buffer, a social media sharing software, it’s okay to be picky about which social networks your brand monitors. Some companies benefit from sharing more visuals while others may be better off sharing more textual or auditory updates. It all depends on the brand and its viewership.

Following are the most popular social networks and some tips for how to choose which ones will benefit your brand.

 

Facebook

With the highest amount of users and engagement, Facebook can be used to reach a very large network. However, Facebook is often used for socializing which could make it difficult to reach the desired audience. In order to target potential prospects, business pages need to be regularly updated with informational and interesting content for their target audience. If your company wants to advertise and reach a larger and more social crowd, create a Facebook page.

 

Twitter

Twitter has become a place to give and receive timely information. This network also allows businesses to carefully listen to their audience and respond when needed. For example, if a customer isn’t satisfied and they tweet the issue, it gives the business an opportunity to publicly respond and fix the problem, which provides a sense of trust and accountability. If your company likes to keep your audience educated and engaged, you should be active on Twitter.

 

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the social network for business professionals and is known for being a bit more serious. A LinkedIn account is ideal if your business is looking to provide industry-specific information, build relationships, and find new connections. It’s also a great place to find useful resources. To connect with other businesses or individuals, set up a LinkedIn company page.

 

Instagram

Instagram is a photo-sharing network, primarily used on mobile devices. This network currently has a much younger crowd, but it’s continuing to gain popularity in business world. If your business would benefit from sharing photos and images, Instagram is an easy and entertaining way to communicate to your target audience.

 

Google+

On Google+, you can upload and share pictures, videos, links, and even host video conferences. It also provides some search engine benefits. Your business can engage niche groups on this platform, providing unique, specialized value to your target market.

 

Bonus option: Blogging

While blogging isn’t exactly a social network, it is still a social platform. A social network is where people strictly go to socialize, like the options listed above. However, conversations are started on blogs and can create social benefits for your business as well. Consider encouraging comments on your blog posts or integrating Disqus so your blog can become a social hub as well.

 

Here at Dittoe Public Relations, we believe it’s not enough to just have a presence on social media—it’s about making that presence count. Contact us if you have any further questions or need assistance with managing  your company’s social sites.

Everything you Need to Know About LinkedIn’s New Company Pages

For those who missed it, LinkedIn quietly launched a complete redesign of its Company Pages that features a dramatically cleaner, easier-to-navigate interface. I say “quietly” because unlike Facebook, when LinkedIn launches a redesign, it’s not accompanied by the collective wail of users who, when confronted with change, demonstrate the same lack of emotional stability we’ve come to expect from The Incredible Hulk.

Superhero comparison aside, LinkedIn’s changes do reflect many of the functional design changes that Facebook Pages employed following the launch of Timeline. In other words, if you’ve been using Facebook Pages, you should feel right at home using LinkedIn’s updated Company Pages. The ability to add a banner image, feature updates, and display a longer news stream should all be familiar territory.

Why should you care? A recent LinkedIn study found that 67 percent of its members follow a company to gain industry insights, 61 percent for company news, while 49 percent are attracted by the peer community. So, the more you engage with LinkedIn users using LinkedIn’s updated Company Pages, the more they will engage with you.

Here’s how you can take advantage of the redesign of LinkedIn Company Pages:

 

A picture’s worth a thousand words.
LinkedIn Company Pages now allow companies or brands to welcome visitors to their page with a banner image akin to Facebook’s Cover Photo and Twitter’s new profile header image.

Company Page administrators can add a banner image by taking the following steps.
• Click the blue “Edit” button located at the top right corner of the page.
• Scroll down to the “Image” section, hover your mouse over the “Edit” button and click “Add Image.”
• You will then be able to upload a PNG, JPEG, or GIF image from your computer. LinkedIn Company Page banner images must be 646 pixels wide by 220 pixels high (LinkedIn lets you crop larger images to fit) and no larger than 2 MB.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Showcase what you have to offer.
Although the most noticeable enhancements LinkedIn introduced in the updated version of Company Pages are aesthetic, a number of interesting updates took place under the hood.

Not only is the Updates/Newsfeed section of the new Company Pages longer, allowing visitors to see more of your updates without having to scroll to the bottom of your page in search of the See All Activity button, but it has also been revamped to offer more relevant news. Previously, LinkedIn presented Company Page Updates using nothing more than a reverse-chronological stream. Now, LinkedIn will algorithmically sort updates based on how likely they are to be relevant to each Company Page visitor.

LinkedIn also removed its oft-ignored Blog section, and made it easier for visitors to Comment on Company Page updates by embedding a comments box directly under each update.

 

Highlight what’s important and keep followers engaged.
LinkedIn now allows page administrators to Feature and Target their Company Page updates. To Feature an update, simply click the “Feature this Update” button located in the footer of your update. Targeting Updates, which takes a little more effort, enables page administrators to target specific audiences before posting an update.

To target your content to a specific audience prior to posting, any Company Page administrator can click the “Share with” dropdown menu and select “Targeted Audience.” In the box that appears, you can choose to exclude employees of your company by selecting non-employees only, or keep them included for greater reach. You can then target your updates by Company Size, Industry, Function, Seniority or Geography. Followers who match your targeting criteria will see your Company Update on their homepage, and the update will be visible to anyone who visits your Company Page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twenty-four hours after your content is published, you will have access to impression and engagement metrics for your post. You can also review the targeting criteria by clicking “Targeted Audience.” You’ll also want to check out your “Follower Statistics” to discover insights about your follower demographics, updates and engagement levels that you can then use to hone your messages. Take a look at your dashboard to see what your followers find engaging and how to make the conversation more relevant and valuable.

 

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