Engage in Trucking & Equipment Industry Discussions Through LinkedIn Groups
If you want to get down to business on social media, LinkedIn is the place to be. The site was created to help business people connect with one another, particularly for job-related networking. And that’s exactly what you’re doing for your dealership – attracting “job offers” in the form of new connections and referrals, by engaging in discussion via LinkedIn Groups.
The big question is which groups to join. LinkedIn lets you join up to 50, but let’s get real here. Like everything you do for your dealership, strategy is the key, so stick with three to five carefully chosen groups, to leverage the time you have to participate
LinkedIn Groups lend themselves to a more thoughtful level of conversation than you typically find on other social media. You build credibility and reputation as a thought leader by contributing to the discussion. Eventually, you could be listed as a “top influencer” in the group page sidebar.
People will look to you as a source of insightful input. They’ll feel confident referring you and your dealership to others. You’re also learning more about your customers and prospects, which helps your marketing and sales teams fine-tune their lead gathering and nurturing efforts.
How can you make the most of LinkedIn Groups?
Investigate your options.
It’s easy to use LinkedIn Search to locate groups, based on keywords that reflect your primary targets for connections and referrals. You can drill down using Boolean search (“construction equipment AND New York”). Click on a group that appears interesting, and you’ll see any of your connections that already belong. Joining can reinforce your association with them, and you can reach out to them to ask their opinion of the group.
Avoid very large groups, so you have a good chance to stand out and be remembered.
Look for quality indicators like who manages the group, the group rules, member demographics, meaty discussion topics with plenty of comments. Who are the top influencers?
You might want to consider:
- Trucking Insiders Circle– exclusively for owners and managers responsible for fleet management.
- Construction Equipment – networking group for people managing construction equipment fleets.
LinkedIn will also periodically offer “Groups You May Like.”
Join the most popular discussions.
You can tell which ones they are, because they’re at the top of the page. Greater group activity equals greater visibility for you, but you have to join in, regularly. Be timely about it, so you don’t just appear late to the game. And be relevant and useful, to build authority. Read everyone else’s comments. You can even “like” or “share” the discussion with your other connections.
Start your own discussion thread.
Wait a while, so people recognize your name and recognize that you’re a valuable contributor. Pose a question, ask for advice, post a link and ask for comments, offer useful how-to tips. Review past threads to be sure you aren’t just resurrecting a topic that was discussed at length before you joined the group. This will also give you a more in-depth idea what your colleagues are thinking about.
Become an owner-operator.
Starting your own LinkedIn Group demonstrates industry leadership. You can give your customers or fellow dealership owners a forum to connect and talk over common business issues. Target your group for your service area, or perhaps for OEM-specific conversation. But make sure the group’s purpose is clear, so everyone knows what to expect and can benefit from participating.
Engaging in trucking or equipment industry discussions through LinkedIn Groups can significantly increase your visibility and authority among your target audiences. Just remember to establish yourself within the group first, then reach out individually to connect with other group members.