When you’re managing community and social campaigns designed to reach business users, there’s no better place to look than LinkedIn, and the network’s “groups” are one of the best ways to engage with those users.
What Are LinkedIn Groups?
LinkedIn Groups are virtual forums that LinkedIn members can join to discuss specific topics and exchange information with like-minded individuals. These groups provide a clean and simple way to create an engaged community around very specific niche topics.
Seriously, these groups have VERY niche topics. I’m in a group about using Slideshare for B2B Marketers. I’m in another group that’s specific to social analytics that are important to SaaS companies. That’s ALL they talk about, and it’s great. The exchange of information, networking opportunity, and growth available in the LinkedIn community is impressive.
Starting a LinkedIn Group
The first key to starting a successful LinkedIn group is understanding the audience you’d like to reach, and their interests. Develop a content & discussion strategy for your group based on trends you’ve seen in your industry, popular topics in groups like the one you’re considering, and analysis of the different personas you target in your other marketing efforts. This can be done by analyzing the users that you and your company are already connected with. LinkedIn Analytics are available for any profile or company page.
Once your content strategy is in place and your group created, it’s time to attract users. Your topics and discussions are only valuable with the right audience. Leverage your house lists and current audiences across your other networks. Getting them involved in these opt-in groups helps develop a captive audience that is available for outreach with targeted messaging. Send email campaigns, plan Twitter and Facebook promotion, let your customers know about it.
Measuring Success and Tweaking Strategy
The data available about your LinkedIn community is unmatched by other networks. From the get-go, you’re able to identify KPIs about your group that would be difficult to glean on other networks.
From an initial snapshot of your group’s analytics, you can identify the tactics that work best for your audience, the users you should focus on, and the topics that are helping to engage and grow your audience.
Finding Engagement Trends
Like any network your engagement trends can tell you a lot about your LinkedIn group. Where is activity spiking? What can you learn from that? How can you use this to develop new tactics and strategies?
In the above example, there’s a clear peak on August 21st. We can see from our engagement callout that one of the three highest performing posts from the group was posted that day, which could drive the group admin to ask themsevelf “what was it about The Ego vs. The Self that people were drawn to? What did we do to promote the group and interaction that day? How can we replicate this?”
Measuring Member Activity
While you may have gotten your audience to join the group, getting them involved is another story. Discover what that story is by identifying the activity happening on your site.
How are your members getting involved? Are they commenting on posts? Liking them? Posting their own content? Both? Finding out whether your members are using your platform strictly to distribute their own content and messaging or to engage actively with other members can be an important bit of information as you develop strategy to get them involved, or simply keep them doing what they’re doing.
Profiling Industries and Roles
Finally, focus on what makes LinkedIn so unique. Members supply a wealth of information about their industry, job title, background, and specific role within their company. Use your analytics to identify key trends, industries and personas of your group’s members. If you’re attracting more CEOs than you are community managers, your topics, content, and tactics will change greatly.
Simply Measured offers world class LinkedIn Group Analytics, providing data on the last 500 posts in your group, as well as user data for members, active members, and power users. This report joins Simply Measured’s full suite of analytics across all 9 major social networks to give you a complete picture of your social activity. With a free trial, you can dig into analytics on your LinkedIn group, personal profile, and company page.
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