Are you planning to manage a LinkedIn group?
Are you at the moment managing your LinkedIn group?
If this speaks to you, then the five ways covered in this article will make you better at managing LinkedIn groups.
Why you should start a LinkedIn group?
There are numeruous benefits that come with starting a LinkedIn group. This is true especially if you have a specific topic or niche that you want to start. You can reap business dividends from having a LinkedIn Group around a specific topic, market or niche topic.
Before starting your own LinkedIn Group it is imperative to know that there are categories of professionals that you can base your audience upon. The categories of professionals include geographical, peers, interests, alumni, behavior, Corporate, prospects, your current organizations and more. The opportunities are limitless. The sky is the limit.
Some of the business benefits you can gain from having a LinkedIn Group include:
Nurture and grow relationships in your industry.
Generate and share content that position you as a thought leader in your industry.
Create more awareness to your target market.
You can convert group members to loyal subscribers and raving fans and advocates for your business or brands.
There are tons of good reasons to start a LinkedIn Group; however, it is crucial to set forth some guidelines for managing your group successfully upon launching it.
1.Use an appropriate LinkedIn Group Name and Description
This is the core foundation of creating an effective LinkedIn Group. The name of the group must be very relevant to the group members you intend to attract, as well as consisting of keywords that are easily searchable in LinkedIn (also, easily indexed in Google).
You have to keep in mind that you have an estimated 48 character limit for your LinkedIn Group title. The title of your LinkedIn Group name will show up in your LinkedIn search results.
The description of your LinkedIn Group should be in such a way that encourages your potential group members to click-through and learn more about your group before joining. By using compelling description you stand out from your competitors in the group search results.
The image below shows how one can find this particular group either through LinkedIn or Google search. In fact, one must apply to join, which creates a perception that this group is exclusive. In the mind of a potential group member, this group is not for everyone, thus of high-quality value.
This capitalizes on the perception that people likes to feel special.
An estimated 140 characters of your group description will be viewed on your search results.
2.Screening new members and moderate member discussion posts
A critical way of creating and managing a successful LinkedIn Group is to screen, assess new members as well what they can post.
Pre-approving every individual member is critical to ensure that you only create a quality group of qualified, relevant and enthusiastic members.
Here are some of the pointers you can use to choose who join your LinkedIn Group:
All of the potential group members should have a picture at their LinkedIn profile.
Make sure that the potential group members meet specific criteria for eligibility into your group membership. These criteria can be profession, location, organization.
Make sure the potential LinkedIn members have been members for at least 30 days. Note that LinkedIn will inform you brand new members.
To aid with this process, LinkedIn has an automated email templates (see image below). You can use the automated email templates to explain to your potential LinkedIn member what you are looking for in order to join the group.
In addition, you can also express your expectation for the potential group members.
You can send a pre-written message (using LinkedIn email templates) to those who have expressed interest to join your group and are awaiting your approval. This also include those whom you have declined their membership request.
You can also use the LinkedIn email templates to welcome new members (the ones you have approved) to your group.
Apart from approving new members and disapproving potential members who do not meet your criteria. You can also moderate what is posted by members to ensure quality and order in your group. All the posts should align with your guidelines and policy. Moreover, if you don’t have the time to moderate all posts, you can at least ensure that the posts adhere to your guidelines and policy.
If a member post content that violates your guidelines or policy, you can warn them, and if the behavior persists, you can remove them from the group. This normally happens, especially with members whose agenda is posting promotional materials.
3.Capitalize on the “send an announcement” feature to communicate with your members
With LinkedIn you can send Announcement to Group Members. This feature allows you to send up to one announcement on a weekly basis. It allows you to deliver directly the announcement to your members’ inbox through their email.
This features offers a great opportunity for you share with your groups content, en courage them to download a free e-book, report or even a webinar you are planning to broadcast.
To effectively utilize this feature, you need to craft a compelling and captivating subject line. The email will be sent through LinkedIn, thus it may result in high-open rates and click-through rate for the links inside your email. The reason for a higher likelihood of both open-rates and click-through rates is because many people are fond of receiving emails from LinkedIn. However, you need a great and unique headline to make your group announcement beat the competition.
4.Create stricter guidelines and policy for LinkedIn Group
As far as guidelines and policy is concerned, LinkedIn allows people group admins to craft a policy with rules they can follow. The idea is to keep the rules firm and clear, so that all parties are able to digest and absorb and adhere to the rules.
Group owners usually operate on the assumption that everyone will read the rules created by the group owner. You should factor this when creating your rules, thus making them simple.
Here below is a snapshot for Stephanie Sammons’s LinkedIn Group Policy. You will notice that it is very firm, clear and specific. It is also gives a clear expectation of what the members should expect.
To ensure that the group members adhere to the set guidelines or rules, it’s important to momentarily repeat the rules to make the group members remember the rules.
One of the effective ways to reiterate the rules for the group members is to send a summarized message of the rules on the welcome message for the new group members.
In addition, you can send an announcement to the group members from time to time reiterating your rules to the group members. This will help members to be constantly aware that they should engage with each other within the confines of these rules.
The image below shows how firm and clear the group owner is on what is acceptable to post in the group.
According to Stephanie Sammons, group members will likely respect and adhere to set rules, as well as comment on such a message from the Group’s Manager to confirm how comfortable they are with it.
5.Be the leader of your group
Leading your group is perhaps one of the greatest ways of effectively managing your LinkedIn Group. You need to lead your group by being more involved in the affairs of your group. As a leader of your group, you are the face of the group, thus maintaining and moderating every interaction in the group.
To become a leader of your LinkedIn Group means that you are the most active member of your group. By being an active member on your group, this will draw members towards you as a result, they trust you. Just do not expect your group members to lead themselves; you are to set an example.
Some of the ways that you can lead your group include
Posting a weekly discussion and question.
Commenting on existing discussion is also effective, and usually results in encouraging interaction and activity with other group members.
Allowing feedback requests and questions plays a huge role in creating engagement in your group.
The activities of your group are usually sent to group members via email on a weekly basis. The more relevant and captivating your discussions are, the more likely your group members will open the emails and contribute to the discussions.
If you religiously follow these steps on how to create and manage your LinkedIn group, you will be able to have a high-quality group members resulting in higher level of engagements.