Her goal was to develop a community for salespeople to come together to share fresh ideas about what works in today’s selling environment.
When Moon Marketing joined forces with Jill to implement social media strategies in August of 2012, she had about 2500 group members. Not too bad! As part of our strategy development, we evaluated the return on investment in spending time developing an even stronger LinkedIn group. Here is what we discovered:
Why invest time and resources in a LinkedIn group?
- Being a group owner significantly increases credibility and trust with your target audience (as long as you run a good group).
- By "listening" to the group discussions, you can stay in tune with the needs of your target audience to make sure your products and services remain relevant (and maybe even one-step-ahead of the competition).
- You can expand your reach by having access to people who might not have otherwise "entered your world".
- As a group owner, you can email weekly "announcements" to all group members. This can be a venue to promote special offers to the group.
2 Strategies to Grow a LinkedIn Group
There are 2 main strategies we implemented in August of 2012 to strengthen Jill’s LinkedIn sales community.
1. LinkedIn group rules: At first, Jill didn’t have any group rules. Without rules, groups tend to become billboards for advertising blog posts, events, and content offers. Meaningful discussions and conversations are hard to find. That doesn’t add a lot of value to the members - we already get bombarded with that stuff every where we go on the Internet.
As part of our discussions, Jill noticed this right away about her own group and knew immediately that she wanted to use rules to help her facilitate more conversations. You can read her group rules in full here, http://moonsys.co/group-rules (click on the "i" on the right hand top of the page next to the "member" button to open up the group information window) but the main guideline we implemented is to only post discussions and questions. Posting links to anything on your website is not allowed, unless your referencing your content in answering other people’s questions.
We get many comments from people that truly enjoy being part of the group now. Recently, Pravesh Chopra posted:
"Just introducing myself. I am budding marketing person. I was told in one of the Perry Marshall courses that this is one of the best sales groups on LinkedIn. I am not disappointed!"
It’s important to remember that if you have rules, someone has to enforce them. You need to make a commitment to moderate discussions every day.
2. Increase promotion of the group: Before Moon Marketing partnered with Jill on her social strategy, she wasn’t actively promoting the group. We came up with a simple promotion strategy.
- Call-to-action: We created a graphic to add a stronger call-to-action to join the group.
- Newsletter promo: We started pulling a popular question from the goup discussions and adding it to the weekly newsletter. Here is an example of how the newsletter looks: http://moonsys.co/group-promo-example.
- We regularly promote the group through tweets and LinkedIn status updates.
By implementing rules and increasing promotion we have been able to:
- Create a very active LinkedIn group filled with valuable conversations that make people interested in joining.
- Increased group membership from 3500 to over 10,000 in 10 months!
Jill just finished her 3rd sales book and will be promoting it in the spring/summer. Now, we have 10,000 potential people that might be interested in buying it. Of course, we won’t break our own rules and directly promote it, but we can use the group discussions to spread the word.