LinkedIn Groups– A place for professionals to share content, find answers, post and view jobs, make business contacts, and establish themselves as industry experts. Where to look? The Groups Directory or view your suggested groups.

The How and Why

A study by Hubspot showed that LinkedIn business groups is 277% more effective for lead generation than Facebook or Twitter. There tends to be more action for B2B businesses, but don’t let that stifle your opinion just yet.  LinkedIn may not be as popular as the other two, but when it comes to connecting and leads, it just can’t be beat.

To Start: First things first, join some groups in your industry and target audience. FYI, LinkedIn will allow you to join up to 50 groups.

The Stake-out! If you spend a quick 5 minutes before you joining groups you will save hours of frustration later.

  • Keep your eyes peeled for discussions that have many comments, this indicates an active group.
  • Make sure you are allowed to post links. Sharing links to your latest content in the group will help enhance your own website traffic.
  • Be sure to follow the rules! The owner of each profile has the privilege of setting the rules for the conversations.
  • Spend a little time scoping out which topics do the best; this will quickly and easily give you some much needed direction when you post in the future.

Traffic and Exposure

As mentioned above, a slick way of increasing website traffic is to post links to relevant content from your site. Groups can substantially increase your exposure to target demographics, if done right. When you gain more visibility by commenting or obtaining title (below), you will receive more requests to connect from members whose questions you’ve answered.

  • “Top Influencer” (TI)

Promoting and connecting others will earn you this title.

*Fastest way to gain more visibility. This should be in your sights if you are one of the many in a giant industry.

Steps For Success

After you’ve joined, use your RSS feeder and subscribe to your target audience, this will keep you up to date with where their interests lie, with little to no effort. When reading comments and questions; be on the lookout for the concerns, goals and objectives of your target demographic. This is the secret to having the most effective content and getting those well sought after titles.

How do I generate leads? Build. Influential. Relationships.

Be the networker that embodies the following: Networking = providing value, sharing, informing, and partaking in engaging conversations. NOT spamming, self promotion, and selling.

Do yourself a favor and provide some relevant and valuable content. The best groups for lead generation are ones that have zero tolerance for overly self-promotion.

Mind your Do’s and Don’ts:

  • Don’t let too much time pass.
  • Don’t leave a conversation open ended.
  • Do your prep work.
  • Do promote and connect others to build social influence.
  • Do strive for titles and recognition.

Class dismissed!