Social media guides: the potential of a LinkedIn group
The latest in our series of social media guides looks at the potential of creating your own industry group using LinkedIn.
The three foremost social media networks have developed their own corners of the market in terms of their use in the business world. While Facebook is seen as a B2C platform, perfect for engaging with a target customer base on a wide scale, Twitter has grown to perform a combination of B2C and B2B functions, depending on how the account is used and the content posted. LinkedIn, meanwhile, is firmly in the B2B bracket, providing the opportunity for companies to make themselves known to potential clients in other sectors, or initiate conversations within their own industry.
Many companies are still getting to grips with LinkedIn, and have not yet grasped its potential above and beyond simply being a way to publish company news and review the experience of job candidates. Some have misguidedly used the network as an opportunity to make crude sales pitches, ‘cold messaging’ potential clients, often with little success.
One way in which LinkedIn can have a profoundly positive effect on your business is with the creation of a LinkedIn group, most commonly themed according to your company’s industry. For example, a wallpaper manufacturer based in London might set up a group entitled ‘DIY in the South of England’ in order to meet their objectives.
So how will this benefit your company, the administrator of the group? Firstly, it will give you the opportunity to position your firm as thought leaders, taking a lead role in the running of the group, adding your input into topical debates, and interacting with fellow companies and firms with strategic importance, be they suppliers, customers or competitors.
You will also have the chance to feed your own company news into the mix of content, but steer well clear of flooding the group’s messageboard with this kind of content, as it will defeat the purpose of having an ‘open forum’ platform on which members of your group can interact.
It’s easy to get started, simply invite your entire contact list to join through LinkedIn. If your own LinkedIn connection list could be bigger, you can import email addresses from Outlook using a CSV file.