by Jeff Molander
Time to read: 3 Minutes. It’s best to learn how to use LinkedIn Groups by “joining the conversation.” Right? Well, it depends. Are there worthwhile conversation going on—discussions that lead to locating and qualifying new customers? Here’s a list of the best (qualitatively most productive, active) Linkedin Groups and a way to make sure your Linkedin time investment will pay off.
For Most, LinkedIn Groups Contain Known Information
“LinkedIn is still a pure (very efficient) networking tool rather than a conversational tool or collaboration tool,” concludes Mic Adam of Belgium-based Vanguard Leadership.
Mic is taking a real stand here. He says the disappointment (in LinkedIn Groups) “is big for most of us” because productive conversation is not really happening in Groups. (productive being defined as having purpose, aim, headed somewhere productive)
At first, this was my experience. How about you? Well… Mic backs up his conclusion with research—including a qualitative analysis of a list of the best LinkedIn groups based on data points (members, weekly posts, weekly comments, peaks, etc.) and a qualitative score he calls a Conversion Index.
Mic wisely looked at 50 groups ranging from a few members to 708,000 members. He says, “I find that weekly a few new discussions are started and a few comments are given. In terms of the new discussions, we all know that only a portion of the information is original and most comes from other places and simply duplicated and shared.”
Indeed, Mic. This has been my experience too yet this is where the gold lies. I’ll get to that in a moment. First, here’s a look at Mic’s list.
What This Means for You
Mic’s conclusions are bold. He says beware: most Linkedin Groups have a conversation index below 1% and not many groups get in triple digits in terms of new conversations/comments.
This does not mean you cannot generate leads and sales with LinkedIn Groups or that you should not use them.
Rather, it means making LinkedIn Groups sell for you takes something more than what most people/businesses are doing—a different approach.
It IS possible to create leads and sales using LinkedIn. I’ve documented my success and the specific, step-by-step way I’m doing it on using Linkedin for sales leads.
Leadformix also published research in support of using Linkedin for sales leads in a recent report where Groups came out on top.
According to the company, “LinkedIn groups emerged as the clear front runner by contributing majority of the total form fills. This clearly shows that companies which post webinar invites and whitepaper announcements on LinkedIn groups can expect a good response…”
Take Mic’s idea and run with it. Score any Groups you belong to (or will belong to) using his handy method.
Whether you’re selling products or services here’s one of my best LinkedIn tips for business:
Never publish (already) known information… and start provoking your target market to take action on something they already want to take action on. Make that “something” a solution (or answer) that relates not only to your customer’s need but your product or service too.
In other words, you probably already know an itch that your target market would like to have scratched (a question they need answered or problem they need solved). Use this to your advantage and start using Linkedin for sales leads today.
Photo credit: kamera.obskura
About the Author
Jeff Molander+ is the authority on making social media sell. He's a sought-after corporate trainer to small businesses and global corporations like Brazil's Petrobras. He's an accomplished entrepreneur, having co-founded the Google Affiliate Network. Jeff also serves as adjunct digital marketing faculty at Loyola University’s school of business. His new book, Off The Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You, is first to offer businesses a clear, practical way to create leads and sales with technology platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and blogs.