5 Tactics for a More Engaging LinkedIn Group

By on August 31, 2011

The funny thing about being on LinkedIn and running your own group – is that you’ll often find it’s more difficult getting responses from people there, than on other social media platforms. But a lively LinkedIn group can be enormously beneficial to a business looking to find new revenue streams. That’s because on LinkedIn, people already have business on the brain. Here’s how to make your group more engaging.

#1: Ask For Likes

You might have 100 or 10,000 group members on LinkedIn, but it doesn’t mean they’re always ready to engage. Why would they? They just chatted with their friends on Facebook, and fired off a few tweets and Google+ updates moments ago. The trick to gaining some ground, and getting people to connect – begins with likes. Make a statement, and ask your community to like it. Then below, ask them why they like it.

#2: Less Selling, More One-on-One Engagement

Group owners are driven to sell. After all, you didn’t just spend six months building a group to chat to random strangers. Though your ultimate goal is sales, don’t forget to take it step by step. Skipping ahead and always publishing sales content in your group is a sure way to lose readers. Instead start chatting – for no other reason than you want to help someone, or show off your knowledge on a subject.

#3: Make Friends, Turn Them into Advocates

Set out on a mission to make 5 really good friends in your group. Once you have established a great relationship with each of these people, invite them to help you run your group, or brainstorm on how you can make it better. You’ll be surprised how many of them will want to help, just because they can. It helps that they’ll be getting free exposure as well of course.

#4: Give Your Members a Reason To Engage

Run a special LinkedIn group promotion, or contest – inviting your group members to enter for free. The prize? An ebook or another desirable digital product. If you figure this out correctly, you’ll be able to get free reviews for your new digital product, and score some happy group members. The key is to use this free giveaway as incentive to spark conversation about your topic and in your group area.

#5: Buy Some Conversation

Horrid as this sounds, it’s a practice that is fairly common in LinkedIn groups these days. The site owner hires one or more writers to contribute thoughtful, insightful and interesting comments to the group – which in turn encourages interaction from other group members. No-one has to know that you’ve paid for the conversation, and most of the time it generates some excellent discussion that the owner could not have produced on their own.

Remember to stay in contact with your group members, but try not to send them a lot of direct messages – it can scare them off. Once a week is more than enough, and you should be creating anticipation for your group newsletter that is released every month. Keep people coming back, or checking in – and engagement will happen!

How do you keep your LinkedIn group engaged? Share some of your secrets with the social media magic team!

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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