Social media networks have given businesses the opportunity to cast their marketing net out far and wide, but sadly many companies are still not using the main sites – such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter – to their full potential.
For businesses with B2B business development aspirations, LinkedIn can often be a focal point for marketing activity. But how can you use the platform to give you a step up? Setting up a LinkedIn group is a tremendous way to drive potential and existing clients, as well as industry contacts, to a place where you have more visibility, and where you can feed them the right information.
It is a lot easier to do than you might think, but choosing the name and theme of the group should be done carefully. By setting up a LinkedIn group on the broad subject of your industry, or on one of its sub sectors, you immediately give your company the opportunity to act as thought leaders.
With the right mix of members, the group should encourage discussion and debate on a wide range of industry issues. As admin of the group, you will have the chance to update the group with your own company news, but this should be done sparingly, and ideally in the case of an event, product launch or other occasion that would be of interest. You should see the group as a pool of contacts, who you will now be able to get in touch with without the awkwardness attached to ‘cold messaging’.
LinkedIn groups are very easy for you to set up. You can invite all the contacts from your Outlook account simply by creating a CSV file, and then importing them into the group. Once the group is up and running, with members interacting and making regular contributions, it pretty much manages itself.
Thought leadership pieces and other articles written on industry issues work very well in a group context, often sparking debate and discussion. They are also a wonderful opportunity to communicate your ideas and present yourself as a knowledgeable potential business partner for potential clients.