Using Linkedin Groups to Promote Your Business

Posted by David Chism | Tue, Nov 30, 2010

I cur­rent­ly par­tic­i­pate in sev­er­al Linkedin Groups, and I mod­er­ate a cou­ple of them myself. This has been a great expe­ri­ence in net­work­ing, and it has also shown me some exam­ples of what not to do. As a mod­er­a­tor, I am respon­si­ble to flag improp­er con­tent as pro­mo­tion­al — actu­al­ly, it’s quite fun! Here is the word of cau­tion to those who are learn­ing to use Social Media for busi­ness pur­pos­es. It should nev­er be viewed as adver­tis­ing; it is social net­work­ing, and you should treat it like a place where peo­ple get togeth­er to be peo­ple. Pic­ture this: you are sit­ting down in a café, drink­ing your espres­so, when a well-dressed busi­ness­man sits down beside you. Casu­al­ly, you ask, Hey, how ya doin’?” With­out even look­ing you in the face, he blurts out, XYZ Con­trac­tors is the King of home remod­el­ing, and can save you mon­ey in hun­dreds of ways!” Slight­ly put off, you ask how long he’s been in the remod­el­ing busi­ness (though you want to ask how long he’s been out of the asy­lum). But he ignores your ques­tion. You men­tion that you also have some con­struc­tion expe­ri­ence, and he walks away. Of course it sounds ridicu­lous, but in effect that is what I often see busi­ness­es doing with social net­work­ing. They post their email blasts or pro­mo­tion­al sales mate­r­i­al to a Linkedin Group on a week­ly basis. They do not engage in con­ver­sa­tions or respond to com­ments and ques­tions — they just post their cool” top­ics and walk out, so to speak. Instead of treat­ing Social Media like a com­mu­ni­ty mes­sage board or a side­walk soap-box, think of it as a way of meet­ing peo­ple and devel­op­ing con­tacts. Engage, share, con­nect, and help oth­ers for free. Ask ques­tions and real­ly lis­ten, always learn­ing and only offer­ing advice when it will be appre­ci­at­ed. It’s like the good ol’ days when you would take a prospec­tive client out for cof­fee. Be gen­uine, be real, be respon­sive. If you plan on post­ing to Linkedin or any Social Media as a feed,” then make sure you or some­one in your office keeps track of the post and man­ages respons­es, respond­ing quick­ly to those who show inter­est. If you are one of those who cur­rent­ly use Linkedin Groups for pro­mot­ing… find a more appro­pri­ate venue, or change to a more con­ver­sa­tion­al style.

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


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