If you’re an active member of LinkedIn, chances are you are a member of several business groups within your niche. Most people on LinkedIn use groups to keep up to date with industry news, learn new skills, and grow their business.
The question is, why doesn’t your business have a group to take advantage of this?
Creating a LinkedIn group doesn’t just grow your business network with like-minded people, it’s a golden opportunity to improve your lead generation efforts. Imagine having a curated group of users who are your ideal customers – you’d have a direct line of communication and your own platform to showcase your value.
If you don’t yet have a group for your business, we’ll show you how to create a LinkedIn group in this post and how you can use it to boost your lead gen.
Struggling to make LinkedIn ads work for your business? Check out our post to find out how to supercharge your lead generation with LinkedIn ads.
How to Create a LinkedIn Group
Before we dive into strategies for using LinkedIn groups to boost your lead gen, let’s run through the quick process of creating your own LinkedIn group.
- On the right of the navigation bar, click “work” and select “groups” from the pop-up menu.
- You’ll be taken to a list of the groups you belong to – click “create new group” in the top-right corner.
- Here, you can fill in details about your new group.
When you’re choosing a name, think about your target audience and what the group will offer them. The more niche you can be, the more targeted an audience you’ll attract.
If you are looking for local clients, adding your geographical area to the group name will narrow down even further.
For example, if your business is a consulting firm for local contractors, rather than calling your group “Networking for Contractors”, you could call it “Supply Chain Tips for Contractors in New York”.
Using keywords will help your group appear in searches and immediately qualify LinkedIn users before they join.
Benefits of Creating Your Own LinkedIn Group
When most business owners or LinkedIn influencers start a group, it’s usually with the aim of growing their network (the same reason many users are LinkedIn LIONs).
But creating a LinkedIn group centered around your business actually comes with many more benefits than this.
Message group members
Every month, you can message up to 15 group members that you’re not connected with. This gives you an opportunity to make new connections and reach out to potential customers in a more personalized way.
When you can begin your outreach by highlighting the group a user is in, they’re much more likely to respond and have that established trust from the start.
Groups are discoverable on the LinkedIn homepage and group conversations show up on the main feed. This keeps your group (and business) front of mind with your audience and builds trust.
Easy environment to talk to potential customers
Groups are the ideal environment for interacting with potential prospects. Cold outreach and sparking conversation on your posts are both useful strategies, but within groups, people are looking for conversation, answers to questions, and expert help.
This is the ideal place to show up and spark conversation with your potential customers and highlight how you can be of service.
Position yourself as an expert
It’s also easy to establish your business as an authority on a specific topic or within a certain niche in a group.
By consistently answering questions, starting conversations, and giving free value, you’ll become the go-to person when any of your group members are in need of help – that includes when they are looking for your services.
More effective outreach campaigns
Having a group filled with potential clients is a gold mine when it comes to outreach. Using automation software like Zopto, you can scrape information about your group members and then send them personalized outreach messages using your shared group as an icebreaker.
As your group continues to grow, you can continually feed new potential clients from your group into your Zopto dashboard to connect with new warm leads every single month.
The most common mistake we see businesses make when building a group on LinkedIn is using it as a platform to broadcast company updates and offers.
This is a surefire way to lose members and make the group stagnate. Your audience doesn’t care about your company, they only care about what value you can give them.
To build an active group on LinkedIn that people keep coming back to for updates and new information, you need to make it all about your ideal target audience.
Focus on your ideal prospects
What pain points or struggles are your audiences facing that you can give answers to? What solutions are they looking for?
If you’re unsure, ask. Building an active group starts with focusing on the members and making sure you’re providing the type of content they want.
Each group will be different. Perhaps your audience will prefer how-to videos, informative blog posts, Q&As – figure out what they want and produce that content to build engagement.
Provide value (a reason for them to join the group)
Before you even start promoting your group, make sure there is relevant content already waiting for them so they have a reason to join and stick around.
Start with three or four posts that are high-value and non-promotional, all focused on the specific niche of the group.
Some ideas include:
- Address a common issue and give easy, quick solutions
- Take a stance on a current industry trend or topic
- Create valuable discussions around a question or opinion
Once you have this initial content, aim to add fresh content at least once a week. Encourage discussion and input from members and continually ask what type of content or value they would like to see next.
Be helpful and build a reputation
Businesses are often too quick to give sales pitches in groups they run and it stops users from engaging. Remember, no one wants to be sold to. Plus, if someone has joined your group, they’ve probably checked out your page and know the services or products you offer B2Bs.
Instead, focus on being genuinely helpful. When someone has a question or struggle, give them free advice based on your expertise. Of course, you can point them in the direction of your services if it’s the right solution, but this shouldn’t be your aim in the group.
When users can see you are willing to give value without the sales pitch, they are much more likely to interact and help build an active group.
Promote your new group
To keep your group growing, you should be consistent in your promotion efforts. Here are some quick ways you can promote your group, gain new members, and keep it active:
- Once a month, encourage your members to invite connections they think would benefit from the group.
- Post a link to your group with a summary in your profile so people notice it whenever they check out your page.
- Include a group link in your email signature.
- Share your group with some engaging content about a recent group discussion to your email list (helps encourage FOMO).
- Post about your group to other social media platforms.
Bonus: when your group is still new, welcome new members by tagging their @username and asking them to share some information about themselves and what they hope to gain from the group.
This not only encourages immediate interaction but will also give you valuable insight into the type of content you should share to meet their expectations.
What to Post in LinkedIn Groups to Engage Members and Generate Leads
It goes without saying but when you create a LinkedIn group, everything that you post should be linked to the specific purpose of the group.
For example, if your group is for marketing agencies looking to get new clients, they’re probably not going to be interested in updates on the stock market.
But whatever quality content you decide to post, there are some guidelines to follow to keep members engaged.
When planning your content calendar for your group, aim for 80% educational content. That includes:
- Longform blog posts
- How-to guides
- Explainer videos
- Tutorials and infographics
LinkedIn users use groups to gain insight into topics they can’t find elsewhere. By posting high-value educational content, you’ll become a hub of information that more and more people want to be part of.
The other 20% can be company updates, offers, promotional content, etc. – but these should be sparing and non-spammy content.
Show you have your finger on the pulse of your industry by sharing relevant industry updates and news. This might include:
- Current news headlines
- Future predictions
- Trending software or products
- Influencer news
By becoming a hub of industry news, people will start using your group to stay up-to-date with current affairs and the latest trends.
No matter what type of valuable content you post, it should be compelling enough to encourage clicks, shares, and interaction.
It’s all too easy to get stuck in the trap of sounding overly corporate or professional when posting on LinkedIn. But just because it’s a professional social network doesn’t mean your content needs to be dry or overly analytical.
On the other hand, you don’t want your group to look spammy with click-bait headlines and controversial discord.
Instead, think about ways to make your content interesting and compelling:
- Ask an interesting question and encourage answers and discussion.
- Inspire curiosity with headlines that don’t give away the whole story.
- Emphasize the value of your posts by focusing on what your audience will get by reading them.
- Ask for feedback and promote honest, critical reviews.
Is it worth creating a LinkedIn group?
The short answer is, yes. LinkedIn groups are a direct line of communication with potential clients. Not only do they give you this direct link but they also allow you to establish your business as an industry leader, so you stay top of mind when your customers are ready to make a purchase.
Can a company create a LinkedIn group?
As of right now, you can only join or manage a LinkedIn group via a personal profile, not a company page. That means to create a group as a company, you’ll need to be the admin using your personal page and then link to your company within the group. Don’t let this put you off though, as long as your personal page is optimized and clearly shows your business, people will still easily find your company through their affiliation with your group.
The Bottom Line
Creating a LinkedIn group for your business might seem like a lot of work, but the pay-off makes it worth it. Having an active group filled with your ideal audience is a curated pool of warm leads.
You can then use this curated group of leads to make your outreach campaigns that much more effective. Imagine being able to cold email a LinkedIn user and let them know they are part of a group you manage – they are much more likely to respond and want to hear your pitch knowing this.
If you’ve started your own group and want to turn members into paying customers, we can help. Schedule a free demo with Zopto and we’ll show you how our software can turn your group members into new leads.