5 Reasons to Quit a LinkedIn Group

You may join a Group for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you enjoy interacting with colleagues, bouncing off ideas for feedback, or doing industry research. All valid reasons.

But if you’re using Groups to catch the attention of your target audience and generate new business, then you should periodically inspect the value of your Groups and decide whether to continue as a member.

I’m now in the habit of reviewing my LinkedIn Groups every few months. Last week I went on a pruning spree and dropped out of 20.

Here are 5 reasons why you might withdraw from a LinkedIn Group:

1) Too many vendors and not enough decision makers — Sadly, this is a problem with any networking, whether online or offline. You’ve got a high seller to buyer ratio. If you’re looking to connect with your target audience, how many of the members fit the profile of your ideal prospect?  Click on the Members tab, enter the job title of your typical customer, and review the results.

2) The Group is a ghost town —  Some LinkedIn groups start with the best of intentions but never get rolling. Like a bad headline, the Group fails to grab the attention of LinkedIn users. And even popular Groups can go bust for a number of reasons, such as competition from similar Groups, loss of interest by the Group manager, or an abundant supply of poor-quality posts. If the last post in the Group was a month ago, pack up your posts and move on.

3) The Group is overpopulated — Bigger is not necessarily better. Sure, there’s a heck of a lot more eyeballs scanning the posts, but they’re a lot more posts to scan.  For example, I belonged to a Group that had nearly 1,000,000 members, but it also routinely published over a 100 posts in a single day. The lifecycle of your post is short in this kind of environment. If your posts are getting lost in the crowd, consider concentrating your efforts in smaller active Groups.

4) You never visit the Group —When I first joined LinkedIn, I was told by the “experts” that you should always max out your Group membership. (You can join up to 50.) However, I found it unwieldy and difficult to visit this many Groups on a regular basis.

5) Your posts never get posted — With some groups, your post is published immediately. In others, the Group manager reviews each post before approving.  I joined a manufacturer’s Group because I had previously worked at a dealership that sold the manufacturer’s equipment. Even though I posted useful information related to the industry, my posts were never published. It could be the manager is not quick at approving posts, he or she is overwhelmed by the number of posts to review or has a bias against the topic of your post.  If your posts consistently never see the light of day, you should concentrate your post activity elsewhere.

What about you? Have you withdrawn from a LinkedIn Group for a reason not listed? Please share why below.

David Coyne

David Coyne

David Coyne is a B2B copywriter and marketing consultant with 25 years experience in the business-to-business sector.

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Where Sharing Valuable Content May Not Be Valuable for B2B Lead Generation

“Sharing valuable content on LinkedIn Groups is a sure-fire way to generate leads,” advise so many social media marketing experts. 

I’m not convinced, especially for B2B. Oh, it may generate some leads.  But after being on LinkedIn for five years or so, I can count on one hand the number of leads I’ve produced from sharing content in Groups. It does have marketing value, but I wouldn’t advise sharing content this way as your primary lead generation strategy.

Here’s why I think B2B sellers have trouble with this technique for developing leads:

Vendors outnumber decision makers in most LinkedIn Groups – This is as true in social media networking as it is with in-person networking.

Buyers don’t want to generally hang out with vendors, unless they have an imminent need for a service or product — which is rarely the case. Even within industry-specific networking events, you can find it a challenge to meet your ideal customer.

For several years, I was a member of the American Marketing Association, and I attended their events and volunteered for some of their activities. Yet, in the several years of doing these endeavors, I only ever met one member of my target market. Almost all of the AMA’s committees and members were from the vendor side of the marketing world, such as ad agencies, SEO specialists, graphic designers, and  copywriters. Decision makers from the corporate side of the world, such as managers   and CMOs, were almost never present.  

Decision makers belong to groups that block vendors from joining. You may find a LinkedIn Group where your prospects are members. If you can join, that’s great! But some Groups gate their membership, sometimes even requiring you to complete an online application so they can weed out vendors. 

Competition – Your competitors are likely using the same “post and share” technique, so the chances of your target customer seeing your post is relatively slight, especially if the Group has lots of postings on an hourly basis. You’re often at the mercy of being “at the right place and the right time.”

What I do instead…

Since joining as a premium LinkedIn member, I’ve been using my copywriting skills to carefully craft messages that I send directly via LinkedIn Mail to members of my target audience.  I get a much better response from this lead generation tactic than I do from sharing content the usual way. 

As mentioned earlier, it’s unlikely that the prospect has an immediate need for a vendor’s service. But that’s okay. If I get a response to my first contact message, at least I have introduced myself and started the engagement process rolling. Then I send an occasional touch base note — and this is the time and place where I share with them valuable content and resources.

Spend some time creating personalized LinkedIn messages for your prospects and see how it compares to just posting content in Groups.

 

David Coyne

David Coyne

David Coyne is a B2B copywriter and marketing consultant with 25 years experience in the business-to-business sector.

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Google+ –  Will It’s Growing Circle Cast A Shadow Over Facebook?

gplus-logo-300x213“It’s not the ghost town it once was,” said a colleague of mine, who was an early adopter of Google+. Times they are changin’ for this social media channel as it’s seeing dramatic growth. At first, Google+ seemed to be nothing more than Google trying to play catch up to Facebook’s phenomenal expansion.

 Like many in the marketing biz, I sat on the fence when it came to Google+. I was already juggling enough social media with my Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn activities. The additional time drain did not equal much in the way of benefits from keeping my Google+ profile up to date.  Why bother with Google’s vanity project?

However, a couple of things happened recently that have me focusing more on my Google+ presence.

Facebook’s organic reach has dropped.  I don’t really blame Facebook for trying to monetize its service by spurring Facebook user’s to pay for promotion. There’s no free lunch in social media, even if the mirage of “no cost” seemed compellingly real in the early days.  But as a B2B person, I just wasn’t seeing much in the way of benefits for my Facebook efforts.

I checked into some Facebook Groups related to B2B marketing, and I wasn’t impressed by the level of activity, engagement or content. I find Google+ does at better job with its equivalent Communities. The engagement appears more active than similar B2B Facebook Groups and its layout and design visually pops. Google+ also provides basic text formatting functions like bold and italic to make your posts stand out.

 If you’re connected with B2B marketing, then join my Google+ circle at… google.com/+DavidCoyneCommunications

David Coyne

David Coyne

David Coyne is a B2B copywriter and marketing consultant with 25 years experience in the business-to-business sector.

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