Are you on LinkedIn? If you are not, you are losing out the opportunity to benefit from arguably the best social media site for business people! If you are interested in finding out more about LinkedIn and discovering which groups to join, read on…
Many social media business users have testified that LinkedIn has given their businesses better engagement than Facebook and twitter – investors agree with the users, too. It might be less fun than Facebook, Twitter or Google+, but it’s well worth your time! No fail pics or funny cat images, but there are plenty of useful insights, tips, polls and research reports.
I can’t see any reasons why you don’t want to join LinkedIn. There are some noises on the social network, but if you compare them to Facebook, LinkedIn is a true winner. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, your network will be most probably entrepreneurs, professionals and experts. So, if you are looking for talents, partners, B2B relationships, networking and business-related tips and ideas, LinkedIn is the go-to social media site.
With that being said, the true benefit of LinkedIn lies in the LinkedIn Groups. Those groups gather like-minded people who are more than willing to network with fellow business people. There are some spams here and there, but joining the right groups will give you and your small business the most benefits.
What kind of benefits? Referrals. Buyers. Advices. Buzz. Web Traffic. All you need to grow your small biz.
Which LinkedIn groups?
I join many groups. Some are open groups, meaning you are free to join anytime you want. Some others are moderated and won’t guarantee you access. Of course, the latter are generally better in quality, but open groups typically have larger user base, so you can reach out to more LinkedIn users.
From the groups I have joined, I do have some favourites. If you are looking for the right groups to join but don’t know which ones, here is my Top 10 List of LinkedIn Groups I recommend you to join the following:
1. On Startups – The Community For Entrepreneurs
You can’t go wrong with a group with more than 300,000 members. It’s a pretty large community, in where you can discuss about starting a business and entrepreneurship in general.
I have had a discussion that made it to the frontpage, and the discussion – with my link on it – send my blog almost 2,000 targeted visitors over a 5-day period.
2. International Entrepreneur Club
As the name implies, this group is a community of global entrepreneurs. There are entrepreneurs from many countries you can network with – Singapore, US, Qatar, Netherlands, Kenya, China, and many others.
If you do business internationally, this group is a must-join!
3. Entrepreneur Magazine
This is the official group of Entrepreneur Magazine, one of the most popular business publications today. There are over 17,000 members – and growing.
The group contains some of the most interesting business discussions on LinkedIn, and if you want to get the most from this group, you must post outstanding discussions – or else, yours will lost somewhere inside.
With more than 6,000 members, this is a good hangout place for webpreneurs and Internet Marketers. By nature, you will get plenty of discussions containing promotional pitches, including online business opportunities.
A bit too much noise for my taste, but if you don’t mind getting promotions and opportunities coming your way, this is actually a good place to discover opportunities, as well as getting response to your pitches.
5. Small Business Network for Startups and Entrepreneurs
Discuss small business issues with more than 27,000 small business owners, experts and enthusiasts.
Some noise inside, but many discussions are very useful, especially when you ask about how to start a small biz, raise capital or promote your products/services. Yes, you will get some quality responses from helpful members.
6. eMarketing Association Network
Yet another large group – with 500,000 members, you can be sure that the right discussion will get you more responses – and traffic to your business website.
Not only with marketing people, you can also mingle with business owners and leaders from a wide array of industry, such as Paul Segreto, President and CEO of Franchise Foundry and TJ McCue, Content Strategist and Producer.
7. Building Bridges for Business
One of my favourite groups, this small group seems to focus on members from the US – Greater Pittsburgh area, to be exact, but it is actually open for business people from any other area.
Noise is minimal – due to the small group size – and it offers some interesting discussions about small business. It is growing steadily and I think it will someday become a large group.
8. Inbound Marketers – For Marketing Professionals
As I am having a keen interest in Inbound Marketing, this is a relevant group for me. Inside, you will get some useful updates on search engine and social media marketing.
However, if you are expecting to have a good discussion with plenty of comments, I don’t think you will find it here. The discussions here are mainly sharing tips about marketing – not really discussing on things.
9. Social Media Marketing
This group has more than 500,000 members, and it’s a good place to get useful tips on social media marketing and for your business social media promotion.
It highlights one of the most popular discussions on LinkedIn – the discussion allows you to post your social media business pages and gain massive requests from members (read: like/follow exchange.) With more than 2,800 comments, the moderation team must have been bogged down with many requests, which some of them are spams…
10. Franchise Networking
If you are interested in franchising, you should join this group. Discuss and ask questions about franchising here – you will likely to get quality responses from franchise consultants and franchisors. If you are a franchise owner, this group will give you the opportunity to network with 16,000 franchise owners, experts and enthusiasts.
It’s a members-only group, meaning you will need to get approved by the moderator first.
LinkedIn can be a powerful tool for your small business growth. What you need to do is joining the relevant groups – and be an active contributing member. THEN you will benefit the most from the social media.
Not only the 10 I mentioned above, there are actually many other quality LinkedIn groups. Browse for the right groups for your business here: http://www.linkedin.com/directory/groups/
Are you on LinkedIn? Let’s network! Here’s my personal profile and here’s Biz Penguin’s business page.