Investing time in social media can be really challenging especially when there are diverse platforms with similar features and different audiences. Coming directly to our question, why should one use forum-like features of LinkedIn groups and Google+ communities? Well, these features allow you to become a thought leader.
If your brand is driven by your personality then that’s a place for you, as market is where the buzz is and if you are being talked that means you are being noticed.
All the marketers in today’s social world will agree that pure selling no longer works. So how does one harness followers via discussions and thereby build a strong personal network?
Starting a conversation many times is easy but keeping it on and leading it to a logical conclusion is difficult. Herein comes the manager of a group or moderator of a community. You as owner have to be passionate about the subject that the group is discussing on. Also, let a group or community follow rules else you’ll get spamy content and other marketing messages that would piss people. Though sub-groups are a good way to manage continuous generation of posts on LinkedIn but the owner of the group has to time and again see if people stick to the group’s posting guidelines. Communities score more brownie points from my side when it comes to filtering spam.
Have weekly-theme buckets
No matter how tricky this is but yes as a caretaker of a digital asset you have to plan in advance. People don’t just read on groups and communities, rather they invest their time and this investment has to be justified. By this I do not mean writing 1000+ word articles or discussing case studies. Why not try to discuss issues that has touched your vertical and has not been solved as of yet! I do not doubt a brand or company’s competency here but I am trying to make an engagement meaningful by using human element.
For example, we all know how top retailers are investing in big-data but do smaller businesses also need to invest in analytics related to big-data or is it just a reserve of the big and mighty. Sensitive issues like these can really strike a chord and attain deeper connect. Issues that touch many must be a part of your the content sheet. Think people, not business. Co-ordinate with mods and set out a plan else you’ll get all kinds of posts describing job opportunities and your group or community will be nothing but an inactive entity.
Again, I have noticed that communities have younger moderators who are much active unlike C –connects present on LinkedIn, another point from my side to Google+ communities.
Let the young and restless question because many answers lie within the questions. Schedule a day only for questions and allow others to come forth, discuss and debate. But do not stop there be proactive. Many a times, a discussion ends without any output. As a caretaker you have to avoid this.
This has not happened much on LinkedIn groups. The managers of groups forbid secular content or take a lot of time to approve a post or an article. A community or a group has to be proactive. When I tried sharing an article on LinkedIn groups, it was not approved on time and when it did it was an over-shadowed by other fresh posts! In contradiction, one of the Google+ community managers gave a reason why my shared post was removed from the community. This I believe is real interaction.
To conclude, let us not underestimate the power of Google+ communities and who knows if Linkedin down the line plans to become more interactive and more social. My take… niche businesses and start-ups must definitely participate on channels like these with a good content plan. Communities are good for gyaan as many people circle engaging people on G+ and if you need general advice then LinkedIn group is a good place. If driving traffic to the website is more important then you know where to go. This was not to say that a certain post will drive more traffic to the site or get leads but definitely, sensible talking leads to sensible leads 😉
Do you find groups relevant or communities? Till then, keep exploring and keep sharing.