Building Your Community With LinkedIn
Gain a competitive edge with a larger social following
When deciding whether to leverage LinkedIn to build your community, keep in mind that this social network skews strongly towards professional development rather than lifestyle topics. People congregate on Linkedin to grow their professional networks, keep up to date on developments in their industry, explore their career prospects and, in some cases, to develop their personal brand.
If your company can offer content that would benefit such an audience, take a look at LinkedIn groups. These groups work best for communities that include seasoned practitioners who are willing and able to share their expertise. For example, a community of accountants and accounting students could thrive on this platform, whereas a branded community for people interested in health and wellness may find Facebook or Twitter better suited to their needs. Communities made up of marketing, IT and healthcare professionals may also find LinkedIn to be the best place to host discussions and engage in conversations.
As with Facebook Groups, you will need a community manager who is willing to interact in LinkedIn groups through their personal profile. In order to build a high quality group, moderate discussions to ensure your community isn’t being inundated with self-promotional posts.
You can gate access to your group to allow time for screening new members to ensure they would be a valuable addition to your community. This is especially useful when you’re growing a community around a niche topic versus one around general knowledge. For example, you can have a public group for Social Media Marketing but a private one for Social Media Marketing Directors, where you check out the profiles of new members before allowing them to join.
If you have an especially important piece of information to share, you can send it as an Announcement - this will send an email to every member of your group and will highlight the post as a featured discussion. Announcements can be sent once per week, but as always, be mindful of what you’re sharing and how often in order to respect your group members’ time. To get conversations going when questions arise, tag specific people in the comments on a particular post if you know they have relevant expertise to contribute.