For a time, social media and content marketing may have seemed interchangeable, but they are actually quite different. Though there can be quite a bit of overlap, the easiest way to think about their relationship is that content is needed to drive social media, while social media is most essential during two key content marketing processes:
- Listening to your audience to understand what they care about, so you can create content that they will find engaging and relevant
- Distributing content (from your business, as well as from others — i.e., Andrew Davis’s 4-1-1 approach)
In short, you really can’t have one without the other.
One of the best social media site you can find out there is LinkedIn.
Find the LinkedIn groups that attract your customers and share each of your new blog posts with them. On the surface, it seems like a sound strategy, doesn’t it?
LinkedIn groups frequently send notifications about new posts, meaning you’re not only sharing your blog post with people who immediately see it; you’re effectively using the group’s email list to share it with its full audience.
The right way to post in LinkedIn Groups
Joining LinkedIn groups to share your content must therefore be done very strategically. Here’s how to do it effectively:
- Start by making a spreadsheet of all your content creation team members and the groups that are most relevant to your content marketing strategy. I’ve included a sample Excel sheet I created, which you can use as a template. (As you can see, I’ve also included content for other social networks, such as YouTube, Reddit, and Facebook).
- For each new piece of content you publish on your blog, your website, or anywhere else, mark down the LinkedIn groups that the article could be beneficial for.
- In your posting, always try to ask a question or share a valid opinion on the content you post or comment on. Encourage your team members to get involved in the existing discussions on the group page as well to generate buzz around your post, specifically. By becoming active members of the community, your team will not only help your own content remain at the top of the group for much longer, their rankings as top influencers in the group will also be raised.
- Make it a part of your strategy to respond to feedback. Save the marketing pitches for offline or private discussions with interested parties who you come across as a result of your conversations. But on the group discussions themselves, make sure you focus on creating a dialogue — not on promoting your products/services.
- Then, if you see certain people consistently posting relevant discussions in your groups or offering very helpful responses, consider the following to expand on your inbound marketing efforts:
- Connect with them privately on LinkedIn and build a personal relationship.
- Interview them for a guest blog post on your website.
- Ask them to become a beta user or tester for your product or service.
By following a few simple rules of give and take, you’ll give your content creation a leg up among relevant communities of potential customers — without contributing to the demise of LinkedIn groups as an engagement powerhouse.
Have you ever used Linkedin groups for inbound marketing? What tricks do you have for using groups effectively without being overly spammy? Please share your thoughts in the comments.