Let’s start from the beginning.
What can you do on LinkedIn Groups, and what can you not?
LI groups are a base of segmented people that share a common interest, just like any other group on Facebook or Google+.
The difference here is the nature of the social network per se. LinkedIn is a place for professionals. When somebody logs in to LI, they’re wearing their “business hat”.
How many groups can you join?
Right now, you can join up to 100 different groups. And you can own up to 30 groups.
You can ask to join any group. You’ll be able to see your “pending” request status until an admin accepts your request.
You can only have 20 pending requests. (LinkedIn recently decided to remove the option to visualize the state of your request and withdraw old ones. I don’t understand why, either.)
Anyway, I recommend that if you want to track your group requests, a simple spreadsheet will be more than enough.
Then, if you reach 20 pending requests, you can go back to the group in question and simply hit “Cancel request”.
What can I share on LinkedIn Groups?
You can share posts, external links, images, videos and documents.
Sharing documents is the latest option to be added to LI groups.
According to LinkedIn, a file should be less than 100MB and less than 300 pages. The following file types are supported: PPT, PPTX, DOC, DOCX, and PDF.
You can use this new feature to share useful documents with the other group members and start building your authority.
I’ll tell you more about document ideas you can share in a minute.
How to directly share posts from your site to LinkedIn Groups
Sharing your own content with segmented people — you will find these people in the groups— can give you an interesting source of quality traffic to your site.
You can do this in 2 different ways.
First, you can copy and paste your external link —the post’s URL— into the main box. LinkedIn will recognize automatically your link and take your featured image to create a card that directs people to your article.
Some great rich media content ideas to share on LinkedIn Groups
Sharing is caring.
And sharing great content is the best way to build your authority.
I know, it’s less catchy, but still true.
And because you want to build your authority and reputation, I’m going to tell you the best ways to share media documents on LI groups.
These ones have performed the best for me.
That said, you can share video content on LI groups, and I’ve noticed that the engagement rate for them is pretty good.
For example, you could share a video tutorial about some specific aspect of your topic, or a quick guide on how to do something – like “how to update your CV in less than 10 min”, if you’re a recruitment professional.
PRO TIP: If you have a podcast, first of all, congrats! You’re doing a great job. Second, you can repurpose your audio content into a video just in a few steps – for free – using tools like Headliner.
Let’s talk about which images and visual content you can share with your group colleagues.
Infographics are a really powerful content weapon, and LI groups are an excellent place to share relevant stuff about your topic and industry.
PRO TIP: Create some basic designs using Canva (another free tool) to encourage other members to start a discussion. That will put you in the centre of the conversation, which will make your profile more visible.
LinkedIn promotes posts with high engagement (e.g., comments, likes, shares).
Here’s an example of one of my group discussions. You can see the comments from other members.
Now I want to share some of the new features available on LinkedIn groups and how you can make the best of them.
You can share documents (I told you earlier which formats are supported). Now let’s talk about good content.
Case studies are powerful marketing tools to show to your target audience and prospects what kind of results you can deliver to your clients.
Industry reports work amazingly well to build authority for your brand, whether it’s a corporate or personal one.
Checklists and templates are useful, simple and actionable content you can create for your target audience to deliver instant value to them.
Again, if you are a recruiter, you might create a CV template; if you’re a health coach, you can create a checklist of the top 10 foods that help people lose weight.
How to join the groups where your prospects are — and avoid groups crowded with your competitors
This is by far the most common mistake that people make on LinkedIn groups.
Let’s say you’re an online marketing professional and you are searching for a small business on LinkedIn that needs help with their marketing strategy.
Your first reaction might be to join groups like: “Marketing professionals”, “Online marketing tips”, “Digital marketing Europe,” and so on.
Can you guess which profiles will you find in those groups? Right. Online marketers, just like you.
What kind of posts and content will you find? Of course, online marketing content, all over the place.
In other words, you’ll find all your competitors and a few overwhelmed potential customers.
Let’s take a different approach.
Imagine that you’ve identified a prospect. Oaky, go to your prospect’s profile and scroll down to the bottom.
You’ll see a section called “Interests”:
Next, click on “See all”, and then go to “Groups”.
Now is when things get interesting.
You can see every single group that your prospect is a member of. This allows you to find the “not so obvious” groups where you will find your prospect – and MORE PROSPECTS like them.
See the group “Inbound marketing Spanish” in the last image? That’s not what you want, because there you’ll find plenty of other online marketers. Your competitors.
You can also see “Fitness trainers and coaches”. That’s incredibly interesting. Do you know what they talk about in that group?
Something like this: “best exercise routines”, “how to improve your diet”, and things like that.
In this batch of content, your post about “Online marketing tactics to find fitness clients” will stand out from the crowd.
There is where you want to be, and that’s the kind of TARGETED content you want to share.
Please try it. It works really well.
How to be a remarkable member of your groups.
Is it enough to be in the right groups and share the right content?
No. Almost, but no.
In exactly the same way that you will relate to a new group of people, you need to follow some “rules” here LI groups if you want to take the most of them.
Let’s talk first about WHAT NOT TO DO in LI groups.
Never, ever, be spammy by selling your stuff. Do not promote your services or products on LinkedIn groups. That’s awful, and makes people grumpy and sick of you.
Also, you’ll be banned from most groups for that reason.
That said, let’s take a look at some best practices you can follow if you want to become a memorable member and gain authority and credibility.
How high-quality content will make you a group leader
You probably know how much I love content marketing. This whole site is dedicated to teaching people how to build an authoritative business by creating remarkable content.
But once again, you need to share amazingly great content – this time, with your LI group-mates.
What’s high-quality content?
- It is valuable: after consuming the content, you have a clear competitive advantage over those who didn’t.
- It is actionable: it allows you to take immediate action and apply the information to get results.
- It is specific: it goes deep into the subject to bring you specialized knowledge.
- It is unique: it has a new angle, a new perspective or a new way to approach the subject.
The most powerful content you can share on LinkedIn – and anywhere else
I just told you what high-quality or valuable content is. Now I’m going to tell what kind of content will establish you as an authority.
The kind of content that will make your colleagues see you as a thought leader and your clients see you as the go-to guy.
This is, of course, YOUR OWN high-quality content.
There is no other marketing strategy out there that will bring you more credibility and authority than creating consistent, valuable and unique content to serve your target audience.
Please, notice the keywords: Consistent, valuable, unique, serve, target audience.
Whether you are creating your content on a blog post, podcast, video or any other platform, the best option is always to create your own content.
So, I strongly recommend that you create valuable content, deliver it consistently on time, and bring a unique angle that serves and helps your specific target audience.
That’s it. If I had to choose only one action for you, I’d choose this one.
RESOURCE: If you don’t have a blog or any other content platform, don’t worry. You can create, publish and promote your own content using LinkedIn Pulse, which is a native publishing platform you can use for free on LinkedIn.
Be participative: share your value and multiply your credibility.
I know it sounds a bit counterintuitive, but one of the best ways to gain visibility is by helping others to become more visible.
If you participate in discussions and add value to other people’s posts, you gain two things. (1) Helping those posts to rank better in the Group’s feed gains you more visibility. (2) You become a trusted source of information for the other members.
Build your network: The hidden power of building relationships
So far, we have talked about a few outcomes you can get from LI Groups, like building credibility and generating relevant traffic from your targeted audience to your site. And, of course, building your authority and credibility along the way.
But here’s another outcome that doesn’t sound very sexy: you can build your network.
I know, I know, networking doesn’t sound cool to most people. But if you want to build a real relationship with key people – and you should if you want to make the most of your groups – you have to build your network.
Do you know that you can access the full list of members of any of the groups you are in?
You just have to go to the top right corner of any of your groups. Then hit “See all”.
What you will see is a list containing the name of every single member of the group.
At the top of the list, you’ll always see the group’s owners and admins. Later I’ll show you a powerful strategy you can use to make the most of them.
As you see in the image below, you can search any member by name, see the degree of connection that you have with them, and send them a direct message.
This is the place where you can find, connect and contact ANY member.
Do you realize how powerful is this?
This is not just people on LinkedIn – this is a pure target audience you can reach out to for FREE and establish a direct conversation.
So here is a question: on LinkedIn, you can only send messages to your first-degree contacts, so why do you need to do this from LinkedIn Groups?
Well, are you sure about that last bit? What if I tell you that you can send a message to ANYONE from LI groups?
This is the secret weapon.
The secret weapon: How to contact ANYONE using LinkedIn Groups
Okay, let’s set things up.
In general terms, you can only make direct contact with other contacts on LinkedIn when they are connected to your profile.
In other words, if they are not in your profile, you cannot send them a direct message.
The situation looks something like this:
Well, what if I told you that you can contact virtually anyone via LinkedIn Groups?
And what if I told you that I can demonstrate that and show you how I sent a direct message to Tony Robbins?
The new scenario looks like this:
Yes, you can actually reach out to ANY member on LI groups and send a FREE direct message to them.
This is something you can use to build your network and connect with key targeted people.
Can you imagine how powerful this is?
Check my step-by-step guide on How to reach ANYONE on LinkedIn (Included Tony Robbins)
ONE MORE THING: The group admin strategy to reach out thousands of targeted people
Just, one more thing…
Remember when I told you that group member lists show you the owner and admins of the group?
Well, that’s right. If you could reach out any group member, including the group owner, what would you say to her/him?
Let me give you a clue: group owners can send a direct email to EVERY group member, and they will receive it in their inbox.
See where I’m going here?
You can contact group owners and propose a deal to promote your service, your event, your webinar or whatever you’re interested in promoting.
They can send your proposal to thousands of people who already trust that group.
Just one important thing: of course, you need to bring value to the group and to the group owner.
Resources mentioned in this post:
- Canva: A free graphic design tool.
- Headliner: Converts your podcast into beautiful videos in just a few steps, for free.
- Neil Patel’s posts about voice search.
- How to contact ANYONE from LinkedIn Groups (my full post).
- LinkedIn Pulse: How to publish and distribute your content on LinkedIn.