When talking about social media marketing, the platforms that come to mind are usually Facebook and Twitter. Companies spend a lot of time and budget on promoted tweets or sponsored Facebook ads. However, if your business hasn’t paid the same kind of attention to Google+ and LinkedIn yet, then you are missing many opportunities. These two social networks are often overlooked, but they both have very useful features that can help your digital marketing – Google+ Communities and LinkedIn Groups.
Both Google+ Communities and LinkedIn Groups have forum-like features which allow you to engage, promote, and network with people who share the same interests and passion with which your company is involved in. They may be colleagues or potential customers who want to share and learn about similar topics. It’s a great way to interact with like-minded people and showcase your expertise, helping you to build valuable relationships that can help your business grow.
Find And Join Relevant Groups
User interface for both Google+ and LinkedIn are very comprehensive and easy to use. Use the search bar to type keywords suitable for your market and industry to find relevant groups. You can easily join groups that are open to the public and start showcasing your brand thought leadership.
There will be some private communities or closed groups, however, that require admin approval. Make sure your brand fits in perfectly with these groups before requesting to join or you will be labeled as a spambot. For example, if you are a Ford car dealership, don’t join a Toyota enthusiasts group just to clear your used Toyota trade-ins off the lot.
Post High Quality Content
Remember that the members of your communities share the same interests, so there’s a high chance they are very familiar with the topic. The key is to post content with unique insights and your own expertise which people can learn more from. Sharing basic 101 informational articles on your industry will be ignored. Likewise, if you are commenting on topics and saying “Great article!”, users will feel you are inauthentic and don’t know much about the industry. Contribute thoughtful discussion to the groups.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t talk about your business at all! Post articles or content that link back to your site, but use them to give information and build connections. Avoid posting direct sales messages, as these are often ignored and negatively affect your brand.
It’s also important to note that these groups have high spam-filtering conditions, especially Google+. Currently Google+ does not allow you to share one post to multiple communities, which means you would have to do this manually per community. However, you should not share similar content to more than three communities within two hours. Doing so will tag your content as spam and have a negative effect to your brand. Creating two or three versions of the same post is recommended if you want to share the same content to more than three communities. Make sure the text your post with each share is 80% different from the previous content you shared.
Encourage Feedback And Discussion
Encourage others to give feedback, answer questions or provide meaningful insights. This is a great way to showcase your expertise and establish thought leadership. Also, take the time to engage in conversations about other content apart from yours.
Strengthen connections with valuable people in your groups by connecting with them privately through other social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or even Google Hangouts. You may also opt to interview them for guest blogs which be very beneficial in widening both yours and your partner’s audience reach.
Many companies are still making the mistake of underestimating the power of Google+ and LinkedIn. Don’t be one of them! Make sure that you build your presence on these modern forums to optimize digital marketing and make your business grow.