How to Build a Thriving LinkedIn Group

social media how toHave you considered starting your own LinkedIn Group? These groups are excellent for networking, prospecting and establishing thought leadership.

You can start your own LinkedIn Group based on any of the following categories of professionals: prospects, peers, alumni, geographical, existing organizations, interest and more. You are limited only by your creativity!

In my experience, professional people are busy and if they’re going to participate in LinkedIn Groups, they really only have enough quality time for 1 to 3 groups weekly.

What follows are best practices for becoming a top group for your target market and specialty category.

#1: Choose a narrow niche and specialty category

This is probably the most important key to success for building a group on LinkedIn. You need to have a narrowly defined group in order to attract the right members!

social media marketing group

Social Media Marketing is a popular group on LinkedIn.

For example, my target market is financial advisors, but my category is blogging and social media marketing. Just starting a LinkedIn Group based on your target market, assuming you’ve defined one, is not enough. You need to take it a step further and highlight exactly what specialty category you want your group to be known for!

Do some research on the LinkedIn Groups that already exist in your industry, and think about how you can differentiate your group from the pack. Also, think about your ideal clients. Who are they? What do they do? What do they care about? How can you help them?

A narrow niche and category are crucial for building a successful group. You can’t be all things to all people and you won’t get as high a quality of membership if you cast a wide net!

#2: Create a group description that includes the name of your target market and your specialty category

It’s very important to include relevant keywords in the title of your group and in the description of your group so that when members of your target market are searching for groups to join, they will find yours.

If you utilize keywords that describe who you are trying to attract and position the specialty category using words that your target audience uses to describe your category, you will have a much better chance of being found in LinkedIn Group search.

Also be clear what your group is about. I’ve joined groups that have ambiguous descriptions just to see what they are about, and what I’ve found is that in those groups, there is no real focus or value for the member. In many cases, those groups are filled with marketers who are trying to promote their products and services to the masses! Be selective with your descriptions and make sure they resonate with your target markets.

group search results

Wired Advisor, my LinkedIn Group for Financial Advisors, shows up first in search results for social media.

#3: Make your group an open group with member pre-approval

When you start your group on LinkedIn, make it an open group and then decide who gets in. Everyone wants to be a part of something exclusive! If you create a group where new members must be pre-approved to join, you’re creating exclusivity and it will make your group more attractive to potential members in your target markets!

linkedin open group

An open group gives your discussions more visibility.

I’m very clear with regard to who can be accepted into my LinkedIn Group and it is well-defined in my description and “Group Rules.” Unfortunately, not everyone will read these rules. When you set up your group to pre-approve members, it does take some maintenance to go through and approve or decline new member applications, but it’s well worth it and your members will appreciate it. If you let anyone and everyone in, you’ll undoubtedly end up with significant spam in your group, and you will lose engagement and members very quickly!

When you make your LinkedIn Group an open group, discussions will be indexed by search engines and can be shared on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter as well as LinkedIn.

In addition, members will be able to share general information about the group itself on social networks. With an open group, be sure to allow only members to make contributions. Managers have the ability to set this parameter. Otherwise, it defeats the goal of exclusivity if you allow nonmembers to contribute!

Hint: Sharing information about your group and discussions from your group on social networks can increase your visibility and drive new memberships!

Making your LinkedIn Group an open group will also help you gain visibility more quickly, and you can encourage members to share the group or specific group discussions with their social networks and connections as well. Post the invite link to your LinkedIn Group on your blog, email marketing template and other social profiles where you have a presence. In addition, cross-promote your group on Twitter and Facebook frequently.

linkedin blog

When you switch to Open Group, LinkedIn will immediately let all members know about the change and future discussions will be viewable online.

#4: Closely manage and monitor your group

If you want to keep your group free from spam and marketers, you will have to not only manage memberships but also closely monitor the group’s activity.

Typically I have to send 1-2 personal messages per week to members who either shouldn’t be members (yes, this will happen from time to time), or to members who have posted something promotional or completely off-topic. There are people who will pose as a member of your target market just to get into your group, when in fact they may have moved on in their careers and are in another related role now.

linkedin group personal message

You can easily send personal messages to members of your LinkedIn group.

I also have a number of talent recruiters and marketers applying to join my group on a daily basis. Just watch out for those individuals who are looking at your group as a marketing opportunity for their businesses. You’ve worked hard to build your group, so you can make all the rules and manage it as you see fit!

From time to time existing members will post their own articles and newsletters. This is OK as long as they don’t auto-post into the group and accompany the message with a question, or a request for feedback to initiate discussion.

If members post jobs, I simply redirect the discussion to the “Jobs” section. If I find that a post is too self-promotional or off-topic, I will flag it and put it in the “Promotions” section of the group.

promos and jobs

Manage discussions effectively through the Promotions and Jobs tabs.

Ultimately, the rules and parameters you put in place early on will drive the success and quality of your group. It is very important to establish those boundaries with members up front, as it is difficult to go back later and change the rules!

#5: Position yourself as the leader of the group

In order to position yourself as the leader of the group, you must lead! Empower and engage your members. Challenge them, ask good questions, ask for the opinions of others, provide your unique insight and commentary on as many discussions as you can and contribute content that can spur conversations.

linkedin group update

Use your updates to start conversations.

Spend your time giving kudos to group members who start discussions and contribute to discussions by commenting, liking and sharing their posts. Also, share top discussions on social networking sites as you see fit to provide those members with greater visibility.

Each time you start a discussion, keep in mind that in LinkedIn Group digests that go out to members daily or weekly, your name and your discussion topic will appear in that email. If you’re the group leader, you need to be showing up in that email as one of the primary influencers in your group!

There are a few ways that you can safely and softly introduce your business as well as your group leadership. Make the “Manager’s Choice” something that can add value to members and is related to the theme of your group. For example, I offer a FREE “10-tips email coaching course” that members can sign up for that links to a landing page on my website.

LinkedIn also allows group managers to send one customized weekly email announcement directly to members. Be careful not to abuse this privilege. I’ve seen a few group managers blast out their own blog posts through this channel each week when they’ve already posted the article as a discussion in the group. This is redundant and not a good use of the tool.

Use this email announcement functionality for special “opt-ins” and value-added programs that you are providing to members only. They will appreciate it and probably be more likely to sign up for what you’re offering!

The point is, always be a leader in a group that you start. Leadership happens through consistency and conversations. Don’t ever forget that!

managers choice

An example of how I utilize the "Manager's Choice" section in my LinkedIn Group.

#6: Promote your group to build your membership

There are several ways to grow your group membership, but you must be proactive and consistent in order to do so. However, once you get to over 500 members, your group will begin to take on a life of its own in terms of membership growth!

Make sure when you first create your group that you tell your appropriate LinkedIn connections about it if they fit the profile. LinkedIn will allow you to send out up to 50 announcements per day to your connections. Also, you can upload emails from a .CSV file from your own email contact list and send an announcement to those contacts from your group management dashboard.

send invites

Send out invites to relevant LinkedIn connections and business contacts.

Finally, it’s acceptable to visit similar groups of which you’re a member and politely compliment that group while mentioning that you’ve got another interesting group that members may want to consider joining. I’ve had modest success with this, so it may be worth your while to try it.

If you’re successful with your LinkedIn Group, you’ll begin to see copycat groups pop up, which is exactly what I’ve experienced. If you are able to join those groups, I think it’s perfectly fine to mention that you have a similar group that members may enjoy as well, or you could even link to an interesting conversation taking place in your group. The fact is, professionals on LinkedIn can join up to 50 groups!

Spending your marketing time in relevant LinkedIn Groups can be a terrific strategy for engaging with prospects and clients, but if you truly want to be considered a thought leader, you should start your own targeted group and build your own community of members. Not only will you expand your influence, but also you will have a forum that you manage where you can cultivate successful business relationships over time.

I hope this article gives you the inspiration to go out and create your own success! What are your thoughts? Will you start your own LinkedIn Group? Why or why not? Leave your comments in the box below.

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About the Author, Stephanie Sammons

Stephanie Sammons is the Founder and CEO of Wired Advisor, where she teaches financial advisors and business professionals how to build digital influence to win clients. Other posts by »




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  • http://www.ranashahbaz.com/ Rana Shahbaz

    Great info Stephanie on starting a LinkedIn group. This is exactly what I did to start this group couple of weeks ago and its doing good http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Google-Plus-Top-Tips-4022254?gid=4022254&trk=hb_side_g (Polite link) :)

  • http://lighthouseinsights.in/ Prasant Naidu

    LinkedIn groups are an amazing place of engagement if used properly. Great points shared that will really help group owners to own their group in a better manner :). really helpful and post to be bookmarked.

  • JMPellerin

    Thanks for the information Stephanie, I have a linked in profile but wanted to do more. This article shows me step by step.

  • http://blog.agendize.com @nanceEss

    Great post. I just started a LinkedIn group and I find the most difficult part is advertising your group and getting valuable people to join. You mentioned that LinkedIn only allows you to invite 50 connections a day to join. I thought you can invite only 50 connections at a time, unlimited number per day. No?

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Great Rana I wish you the best!

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Thanks so much Prasant!

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Not sure about that, I thought you were limited to 50 messages per day actually. The most difficult part is building the membership. There are people out there who specialize in helping your group grow…you may want to do a Google search on that. You can also run ads but that can get expensive. The best strategy I’ve found was to go into related, thriving groups and post a discussion from your group asking those members to weigh in, or just discussing your group in general and how it may benefit them.

  • http://twitter.com/CourtV Courtney

    This is a really informational post, thanks so much for sharing Stephanie! I’m going to be launching a group this week so it couldn’t have been better timing. One question – how much time would you say you devote to maintaining your LinkedIn Group?

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Thanks Courtney, and great question. It’s really a function of group size. The more the group grows, the more maintenance involved but even then it’s not that much time. Maybe 1/2 an hour a week goes to approving or declining membership requests and also content review. I spend just as much time trying to get in there and start discussions and comment on existing discussions. I need to spend even more time on that piece!

  • AD

    Except keywords in description all over pieces of article impressed me. In my opinion, Linkedin groups are for professional relationship, Brand Reputation (I am not sure about brand reputation) and a strong community of Professional people discussing  just like Quora. I am not thinking about Linkedin group yet because I need to spend much time to be eligible for Linkedin Group Manager. 

  • https://plus.google.com/+AnaHoffman/ Ana Hoffman

    This is a great reminder about something I have been neglecting. I especially like the fact that it easily integrates with other networks as I’m very active on Twitter and Facebook and now also on Google Plus. 

  • http://twitter.com/ITBusinessCoach Tanya Torst

    Wow, Stephanie, what a great and informative article! I have been looking for the right way to make a group and you have shown me. I will make one now. Thank you!

  • Ted

    Excellent Advice!  Love step 2!  Thanks for posting this and I will share!

    Ted Peterson
    http://tapPowerhouseMarketing.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/pererikolsen Per-Erik Olsen

    Stephanie, this was the best post I have found about LinkedIn groups. It gives a clear picture of what to do and why. It seems to me that the planning and creation of the niche and keywords is the key to success and also the most time consuming. But what about the strict group regulations, do you ever have to shut out members?

  • http://twitter.com/cgandtip Cinc Game n Toy Pros

    One more tip:

    I’ve had success building my industry group on linkedin by taking it into real life on a regular basis.Our group is geographically designated, and so taking the connections offline and into real life has proven to be very effective in building the relationships and bringing new members to the group.  I organize a quarterly breakfast meetup for our members.  We began meeting at local restaurants that had a private dining room and now have reached a point where members take turns hosting and underwriting pastries and coffee. We limit the number of attendees to 25 so it remains manageable.  This size also allows for quality networking opportunities, and creates another layer of exclusivity (rsvp is required and it ALWAYS sells out).

  • Darrell

    Thanks for taking the time Stephanie – lovely article

  • Mary Beth Smith

    Loved the article, Stephanie!  Over the last 2-1/2 years, I’ve started 3 successful LI groups by doing exactly what you described – finding a narrow interest group and developing a community around it. Besides the affirmation that comes with watching something you created grow and thrive, the warmth and goodwill that the community develops is indescribably rewarding! 

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Hi Ana thanks for the comment. It requires some work, but there is a lot of opportunity there to build and engage with your community!  You’ve got some great insights to share as well!

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Awesome good luck Tanya!

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Atul I think a group can absolutely enhance your brand visibility (and reputation), especially within LinkedIn.

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Great thanks Ted.

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Yes I do. I’ve had to shut out a number of my peers and have tried to do so as politely as possible. I’ve worked hard to build the group so I’m not too keen on letting my competitors jump in there and enhance their visibility. Many people would feel differently about this and I’ve seen other groups grow faster but the content is filled with marketers who are debating one another. I don’t think that’s value-added to my core audience. 

    Many times you can give a warning and it will be heeded. Sometimes by mistake though you may let the wrong people in so it’s important to manage posts and discussions closely if you miss it on the approval side.

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    These are FANTASTIC ideas if your group is locally based. I would highly recommend connecting people offline to strengthen group ties. Nice job!

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    So glad you’ve had success with your group. 

  • http://twitter.com/vladimiralonso Vladimir Alonso M

    Thank you Stephanie. I will create a group. Regards. 

  • Shelly

    Stephanie – first, thanks for such a great post! Secondly, I am helping a non-profit with their new group and feel like we’re struggling with getting members to participate in the discussions. Any suggestions on how to get group members more engaged and encourage participation?

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  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Shelly, how many members do you have? That is certainly a factor. More members = more discussions. Have you tried to send out an announcement to members on occasion to ask for their thoughts or feedback on a particular discussion? Also, you might create a LinkedIn poll and post it to the group to get a better idea of what they are interested in learning about. Work to start discussions around what their pain points are.

  • B Ellerin

    I have never found any LinkedIn Group to be the slightest bit helpful. They turn into link after link of someone promoting something they’ve done. I do tons of networking online and off, but clearly don’t have the hang of LinkedIn grouping

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    With many of the groups that is the case and I couldn’t agree with you more! 

  • http://heatherkrasna.com Heather

    I just taught a workshop to 70+ different university career centers around the country titled Advanced LinkedIn for College Career Centers, focused on building a useful alumni-student networking group on LinkedIn. All your tips are right on target.
    Did you know you can now have a Job Feed for target jobs in your group?

  • InfraPPP Blogs

    Hello, I manage a Linkedin group of more than 1000 members. Lately I’ve added a xls file with subscriptors of my blog but somehow invitations did not work very well. Most of them didin´t trigger a new member. 

    I wonder why…

    Something else I would like to hear of is the option of embedding Linkedin group discussions into your blog/website. I’ve seen that Linkedin released the API but I don’t know how to do it on blogger!

    See this: http://developer.linkedin.com/forum/integrate-group-discussions-website

    Could you help?

    Thanks

    Keep up the good work!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10618874 Chase Sherman

    I’ve been doing this for a client for a while now… we send off a weekly update with most recent

    – new members who’ve joined
    – discussions started
    – promotions posted
    – jobs posted

    …The group is steadily growing every week.  Consistency, like you said, is the key.

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    No but please provide more info if possible in your comments so others can learn as well!

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Did you try sending an email to your subscribers with the call to action to join your community + the invite link?

    Cool on the API. I had not seen that. I wish LinkedIn would add group participation to the Iphone app as well.

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Chase that’s a great way to use the email announcement feature. Love it!

  • http://justicewordlaw.com/ Justice Wordlaw IV

    I have created a LinkedIn group and it has been running for awhile and I did the various ideas that you already suggested but after that how do you get more people to join the group? I don’t want to fall into the spam category by suggesting it so much. Have you used LinkedIn ads to promote the group or Facebook Ads?

  • http://twitter.com/arikb99 Arik Bernstein

    Thanks Stephanie!! I am going to open a group in LinkedIn and will follow your tips carefully! 

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  • http://twitter.com/mattwsi Matt Chandler

    Yeah – extremely useful article. Shame that many LinkedIn groups are started in the best of intentions but then fade away into the shadows.

  • http://twitter.com/Ladderholder Beth Ruggiero

    Thanks Stephanie.  
    As the leader of a Linkedin group for a professional organization, I also spend time educating board members on how to contribute and promote the group.
    Beth

  • Maria Talacona

    This was very  helpful information. I am working on topics for new groups as we speak thanks for itemized directions/

  • http://vanilladigital.ph/ Anthony Trollope

    LinkedIn is on our to-do-list. I think like many folks we’re concentrating the vast majority of our efforts on Twitter and Facebook, leaving very little time if any for LinkedIn. 

    I think it’s an important segment for us, especially as we are in B2B, but I haven’t quite determined how we measure the ROI of our activities. This guide is certainly a help but I think one thing missing, at least for me, is how you actually determine what sort of strategy you are going to use on LinkedIn. Are you using it for networking? Direct sales? Affiliations? Collecting leads? And so forth. 

    Another question I have pertains to how you keep folks coming back. I read somewhere, the source forgets me, that a lot of people who join your LinkedIn group very rarely then come back a second time. I realise that doesn’t apply to all organisations, this was more a reflection of LinkedIn as a marketing channel in general. 

    Honestly, I am not sure that many organisations understand how to utilise LinkedIn effectively outside of recruitment.

  • Christina Pappas

    I started and managed 2 LinkedIn groups for a previous company I worked with and one of the things that helped fuel the group was the discussions. Everyone in the company was required to start and participate in at least 2 discussions per month. Seems like a small amount (I would vary this number based upon how many people are at your company) but it was effective because I was not the only ‘voice’. Another idea I had that worked very well was to connect channels and content. What I mean is that I would promote a piece of content and point people to my group to retrieve it. This worked especially well with webinar recordings. In the follow-up email, I would tell people the recording is in the group. I got tons of members this way.

  • http://www.socialmarketingdynamics.com/ Sydney @ Social Dynamics

    Thanks for the tips! I agree about making sure that you have the right and proper keywords. It’s hard to zero in on some groups because the keywords that they chose were too broad.

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  • http://www.i95dev.com/ecommerce Ecommerce Solutions

    I am always confused when people talking about using LinkedIn as a marketing platform for business. I do not think one can market a business on LinkedIn – its highly impossible. One can build his brand & divert traffic but getting sales from LinkedIn is nearly impossible.

  • http://vanilladigital.ph/ Anthony Trollope

    Thanks for sharing your strategy, Christina. You’ve helped me answer a few of those questions I raised in an earlier reply. 

    In doing this, did it empower your followers (people outside of your company) to contribute their own discussions, or did you just have them engage with existing discussions created internally?

  • Colin Robertson.

    I raise money for charities via “I GIVE”  and there is a commission paid . We raise a geat deal of money. Can Linkedin help us grow this internationally. Is this what you do?  I still am not sure how it can help me. We are desparate to find people to join our growing membership who contribute to this cause. Prince Rainier And Princess Charlene are our internation patrons.
    Colin Robertson South Africa.   027   0833700658

  • http://twitter.com/AimSocialOnline Aim Social

    Good tips here, LinkedIn is a grower and B2B very useful.

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  • http://socialhospitality.com Debbie Miller

    Great post; thanks for all the tips! I’ve been trying to be more active in LinkedIn groups and am really enjoying it. There are a lot of great discussions and incite.

  • http://www.AffordableWords.com Affordable Writing Services

    Thanks for the great advice. I was thinking LinkedIn was just for people networking to find a job.  Since I have a job, I wasn’t thinking “outside the box.” I now realize I can create another persona (if you can call it that) for my writing business. 

  • http://www.AffordableWords.com Affordable Writing Services

    Thanks for the great advice. I was thinking LinkedIn was just for people networking to find a job.  Since I have a job, I wasn’t thinking “outside the box.” I now realize I can create another persona (if you can call it that) for my writing business. 

  • http://shelftalk.net/ Scott Sanders

    As someone who inherited a (sizable) LinkedIn group recently, I’m navigating the waters and these tips are helpful.  One point I didn’t understand though — you say:

    “From time to time existing members will post their own articles and
    newsletters. This is OK as long as they don’t auto-post into the group
    and accompany the message with a question, or a request for feedback to
    initiate discussion.”

    What is the issue with accompanying messages with a question or feedback request?  I have blocked a number of members who autopost and it has allowed some breathing room, which is great — but what about a question accompanying the post is particularly bad?

  • http://shelftalk.net/ Scott Sanders

    As someone who inherited a (sizable) LinkedIn group recently, I’m navigating the waters and these tips are helpful.  One point I didn’t understand though — you say:

    “From time to time existing members will post their own articles and
    newsletters. This is OK as long as they don’t auto-post into the group
    and accompany the message with a question, or a request for feedback to
    initiate discussion.”

    What is the issue with accompanying messages with a question or feedback request?  I have blocked a number of members who autopost and it has allowed some breathing room, which is great — but what about a question accompanying the post is particularly bad?

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  • madeline gutierrez

    The Guild Gutierrez

    Hi there!Great and concise information.  

    I have a question – I have been thinking about starting a group based around the last name “Gutierrez” which I don’t find much different then connecting to someone by other broad topics like colleges.  I find that when I have asked other Gutierrezes on Linkedin and Twitter about it, people have been positive about wanting to  join.  People have even said – “Tell me when you do!” But in a group that broad when the point would be to promote other people with your last name (Gutierrez) and make connections across “disciplines” – I stop when I think of how to run that group.

    How to make it interesting…  How to engage people past joining…

    And of course – some posts would have to be Spanish or bilingual…

    Any ideas?  

    There are some Amazing Gutierrezes out there and I am proud to be one.

    — Madeline Gutierrez
    http://www.Linkedin.com/in/MadelineHere

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/mdyoder Michael D. Yoder

    Great minds think alike! I just did a similar blog post about my LinkedIn group called LinkedUp Grand Rapids. We’ve grown to over 8,000 members over the past 3 1/2 years employing many of the techniques and much of the wisdom that you describe. Thanks for your post, Stephanie. It confirms what I’ve been doing, and is encouragement to keep doing it! Just in case you’re interested, here’s a link to my post: http://bit.ly/LIgroupBlog

  • Jhon

     Title:  PSM Holdings CEO Ron Hanna discusses the recent decision to acquire Brookside Mortgage
    Link: http://www.psmholdings.com/newsroom/video-interview-6-21-11/
    Content:  In a recent video on CEOLive.com, PSM Holdings CEO Ron Hanna discussed the recent decision to acquire Brookside mortgage and discussed the effect that they expect this acquisition to have.  The video can be seen here: http://www.psmholdings.com/newsroom/video-interview-6-21-11/

  • Jsjhonsmith485

     Title:  PSM Holdings CEO Ron Hanna discusses the recent decision to acquire Brookside Mortgage
    Link: http://www.psmholdings.com/newsroom/video-interview-6-21-11/
    Content:  In a recent video on CEOLive.com, PSM Holdings CEO Ron Hanna discussed the recent decision to acquire Brookside mortgage and discussed the effect that they expect this acquisition to have.  The video can be seen here: http://www.psmholdings.com/newsroom/video-interview-6-21-11/

  • Jsjhonsmith485

    Title:  PSM Holdings CEO Ron Hanna discusses the recent decision to acquire Brookside Mortgage
    Link: http://www.psmholdings.com/newsroom/video-interview-6-21-11/
    Content:  In a recent video on CEOLive.com, PSM Holdings CEO Ron Hanna discussed the recent decision to acquire Brookside mortgage and discussed the effect that they expect this acquisition to have.  The video can be seen here: http://www.psmholdings.com/newsroom/video-interview-6-21-11/

  • Jsjhonsmith485

    Title:  PSM Holdings CEO Ron Hanna discusses the recent decision to acquire Brookside Mortgage
    Link: http://www.psmholdings.com/newsroom/video-interview-6-21-11/
    Content:  In a recent video on CEOLive.com, PSM Holdings CEO Ron Hanna discussed the recent decision to acquire Brookside mortgage and discussed the effect that they expect this acquisition to have.  The video can be seen here: http://www.psmholdings.com/newsroom/video-interview-6-21-11/

  • Isabel_ar

    great post! I’m considering to start a linkedin group or to start my own blog, could you tell me pliss, what is the best option? maybe the two of them but i’m at that point of “i don’t know to what point to start”. Thaks.

  • http://twitter.com/MichaelEbia MichaelEbia #ASHInc

    @michaelebia Found this useful. Tks! 

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  • http://palter.ca/web/ Jay Palter

    I guess this is a point that is open to discussion. I am sympathetic to the dilemma posed by setting up a group and having self-interested parties hijack the conversation. If you are building a group for clients and prospects in your sales funnel, a case can be made for restricting competitor access.

    However, the bigger question is: how do you define a “competitor”? And, aren’t there some “competitors” out there who can evolve into partners? Restricting access to perceived competitors can be limiting in some ways.

    Social media promotes open discussion and transparency. Intelligent discussions among “competitors” do not necessarily damage your prospects; on the contrary, vibrant conversations can enrich your clients/prospects and position you well as a thought leader. 

    On the other hand, trying to restrict your audience’s access to alternative and potentially complementary ideas can also backfire. The knowledge is out there and your smartest clients will find it. Generally speaking, you want your LinkedIn group to be that channel.
     
    Great piece overall, Stephanie. I learned a lot from it. Thanks.

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  • Daniel

    Hi Stephanie,

    Here is the link to our group, http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=3269406&trk=hb_side_g 
    Please let us know what you think of it and what you think we should be doing better.

    Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/tech_news21 Science & tech news

    HI Stephanie, 

    First of all thank you for the informative post. I have an idea since a week to create a new group which gives a platform for the most recent Science (and Tech) news. I know the topic seems pretty broad but as a science student I keep myself updated with the most recent news in the field and I want to share it and be able to discuss it with people who share the same interest. What do you think of the idea. I have the same platform on twitter but since I hardly use twitter so that’s why i want to create it here on Linkedin where I spend most of the time. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003905518148 Christine Wong

    Very information and excellent guidance.  I want to start a Linkedin group – the goal would be to brainstorm solutions and
    exchange ideas for a variety industries within our community.  The objective is broad and was designed to attact others across multiple functions.  Am I doomed?  I’m already in violation of #1!Thanks!Christine

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  • Mike Lince

    I think you might be confusing the terms sales and marketing. Marketing is traffic. Sales are transactions. If LinkedIn is raising your business visibility, that’s marketing. If you are not generating sales from that traffic, either you are not marketing to the right people or you are not closing deals where perhaps you should… or both.

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  • fher012

    Some useful info. I am curious to know if you have any tips on how to create groups that engage in conversations, ask questions, and help each other out. From my experience groups seem to be just one more way for people to share their blog content.

    I have a bit of experience with enterprise social media and have been trying to find groups where I can offer my opinion on calls for help, but as mentioned all I find are groups that are used to cross post content.

  • fher012

    Some useful info. I am curious to know if you have any tips on how to create groups that engage in conversations, ask questions, and help each other out. From my experience groups seem to be just one more way for people to share their blog content.

    I have a bit of experience with enterprise social media and have been trying to find groups where I can offer my opinion on calls for help, but as mentioned all I find are groups that are used to cross post content.

  • ReganGeorge

    @fher012:disqus A couple of key things. 

    Firstly it’s imperative that your LinkedIn Group is well positioned, in other words it’s of a deep enough interest to your target audience. Create a  group around what your target market really care about.  I think this is one of the main problems with the majority of LinkedIn Groups. 

    Secondly and probably what you are looking for is outreach — go into LinkedIn Group management and under participants to can message individual group members. From here message members and ask them to vote on polls, comment on topics, start discussions etc. This function should be the backbone to getting engagement. 

    The science behind this  — by proactively asking for participation you are creating a habit and eventually members will come into the group without prompting. Then is when the group starts moving organically. 

    When a member comments, drop them a line thanking them for doing so. As the group comes to life you are looking out for members that are becoming more regular in their involvement. Get to know these people, connect with them, get them on skype, try and build a relationship with them. These people will become core to your groups success. 

    Our Community Managers are sending out 2000 out reach messages per month — so a lot of heavy lifting, but when you see ratio’s like 10 new discussions and 100 comments per week you know that you have a success group. 

  • ReganGeorge

    @fher012:disqus A couple of key things. 

    Firstly it’s imperative that your LinkedIn Group is well positioned, in other words it’s of a deep enough interest to your target audience. Create a  group around what your target market really care about.  I think this is one of the main problems with the majority of LinkedIn Groups. 

    Secondly and probably what you are looking for is outreach — go into LinkedIn Group management and under participants to can message individual group members. From here message members and ask them to vote on polls, comment on topics, start discussions etc. This function should be the backbone to getting engagement. 

    The science behind this  — by proactively asking for participation you are creating a habit and eventually members will come into the group without prompting. Then is when the group starts moving organically. 

    When a member comments, drop them a line thanking them for doing so. As the group comes to life you are looking out for members that are becoming more regular in their involvement. Get to know these people, connect with them, get them on skype, try and build a relationship with them. These people will become core to your groups success. 

    Our Community Managers are sending out 2000 out reach messages per month — so a lot of heavy lifting, but when you see ratio’s like 10 new discussions and 100 comments per week you know that you have a success group. 

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  • Paul

    Great article.

    I have created and managed a number of over the past few years and it has taken me a while to learn all the points you cover. I should have read this first!

    The only negatives are that having changed to an open group the content seemed to disappear from view in one of my groups.

    Also, their app for Android is really very poor, full of bugs and includes very little functionality for group managers.

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  • http://twitter.com/whalemarkorgza Ken Botes

    Want to start something in the line of Whaling.Do you know if this topic has been discussed?

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  • http://www.wisestep.com/ WiseStep

    Great stuff Lewis! I have always been more focused on facebook fan pages then linkedin groups but you make some good points for getting a group going!!

  • Theresa Carlson Martinez

    Hi Stephani, Great to meet you!. I just started my own group and this is definitely what I needed. I am eager to get members to my group to show and teach them that they can run their direct sales business online successfully and hopefully start recruiting people to my direct sales business.

  • Career Sidekick

    Great tips. I was about to make a LinkedIn group but realized my idea isn’t niche enough (thanks to this article!). Back to the drawing board for me =) Well not quite.. my idea just needs more refining.

  • Justin Standfield

    Thanks for these tips, reallu useful for starting my first group on LinkedIn. I am now going ahead!

  • Anupam

    Great post Stephanie.
    As a member of the group, how often should I really post content on the group, so as to strike the right balance between overdoing it and leaving the group inactive ?









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