There’s a LinkedIn Group for Everything!
If you’re on LinkedIn (and you should be), it is important to use the groups facility. LinkedIn groups allow you to connect and discuss specialized topics with like-minded people. It is important to remember that these like-minded people often make ideal clients. Engaging with them in a forum where you share the same interests is a powerful way to create warm prospects.
LinkedIn allows anyone to create their own specialist group. This means that groups exist for some really niche topics. Do you want to engage with people about lenticulars? Yes, there’s a group for that!
Not All Groups Are Created Equally
Naturally, some groups are more useful than others. Sometimes you will find a forum with plenty of lively discussion. Sometimes you will join a group where nothing happens. That is why it is important to choose carefully which groups you invest your time in. The last set of LinkedIn changes has also made groups harder to find. That has, quite rightly, raised another question.
Is It Still worth Participating in LinkedIn Groups?
Some people argue that LinkedIn has downgraded the groups function in order to promote its publishing platform. This may be true, but we should remember that both have very different functions. The publishing function spreads content to a broad spread of readers who may or may not be interested in your content. A group allows a discussion with people who will be interested in your specific topic so you can post your content, as long as it is appropriate.
Finding Your Perfect Group
To find the main groups page you now have to navigate via the work button on the top right of your LinkedIn homepage. Moving the location of the groups page has undoubtedly led to less group activity. However, this also means that people who take the trouble to find groups are more likely to be truly engaged. There are still very worthwhile discussions happening in the right groups.
Groups will still attract the right people. Groups continue to appear in the general search results. However, the changes make it more important than ever to choose the right groups.
Five Groups for Channel Partners to Consider
These groups have been chosen for engagement levels and for the relevancy of content. We have included the number of members at the time of writing. Naturally the number of active members is much smaller. Remember that engagement levels will vary according to the type of post. Requests for help often suddenly stimulate discussion! Remember also that there is a big difference between the number of people who read your post compared to the number who comment.
So here are five groups it is worth joining:
- Digital Printing – 91,542 members
This is the best group for channel partners. It is well managed. It is focussed purely on people who are actively interested in digital printing. At some point, most of the members will be looking to purchase a digital press or upgrade workflow.
- Print Production Professionals – 95,054 members
This group is aimed at a wider segment of the printing industry. You will find as many buyers as printers in this group. It will potentially allow you to influence buying decisions. It is also an opportunity to encourage end users to buy their own press or invest in their own workflow.
- Print & Print Procurement – 24,878 members
This group is not dissimilar to Print Production Professionals but is rather less focussed on the buyer.
- Find Me A Printing Source – 19,073 members
The aim of this group is to help people with specific printing needs. This gives you an opportunity to recommend your clients. The group also deals with wider printing topics.
- Printing Industries of America Networking Group – 31,729 members
All the previous groups have a global reach. Naturally, this one is focused on a specific area. However, it is certainly not limited to members of the PIA.
Other Groups worth Looking At
Remember to explore specific sectors of printing. For example, there are a large number of wide format groups. In addition, some of the groups above have special interest subgroups. For instance, Digital Printing has a wide-format subgroup.
In addition, most print exhibitions have their own LinkedIn group. The quality of these varies. Consider posting nearer the date of an exhibition as traffic will increase at this point.
How Do You Engage in Groups?
Remember that these groups are generally closely managed. If you post content that is sales-focussed or too self-promoting, you risk having this content deleted. You are also likely to be banned from the group, so be sure to review the group rules before you start participating.”
The golden rule is to post what is in your customers’ interests. This is often much more productive than posting sales content anyway. I will shortly be posting an article with the best content to share.
There’s a LinkedIn Group for Everything
This can make LinkedIn groups a confusing place to spend time in. That is why it is best just to focus on a few groups. There is often no need to focus on more than the ones I have recommended.
Participating in these groups over time will help you build rapport with your potential clients. Take it one step further and create connections outside of the group. For tips on how to do that, read 6 Ways Channel Partners Can Generate More Demand by Increasing LinkedIn Connections.
6 Ways Channel Partners Can Generate More Demand by Increasing LinkedIn Connections – LinkedIn is an essential tool for partners seeking to expand their network.
Note: This article was filed by a paid contributor to Xerox Corporation.
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