June 13, 2013: With so many social media networks to choose from, it can be difficult to determine what’s really valuable to your business. Based on multiple user surveys and research studies, it has been determined that the “big 3” of social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Each platform poses unique opportunities for B2B marketers to create brand awareness, generate leads, interact with clients and perspectives, and gather valuable information about what’s happening in the industry.
In this post, we’ll focus on LinkedIn and identify which professional groups are the most essential for B2B marketers to join via the LinkedIn network. This compilation of 12 LinkedIn groups is based on multiple factors, including number of members, frequency of updates, and validity of content. Take a look at the following groups and determine how your B2B initiatives could benefit from becoming a member:
1. Digital Marketing – 349,268 members
Members of this group engage in daily discussions about relevant digital marketing topics such as content marketing, social media marketing, site traffic, lead generation, email marketing, and more. This is a group in which people can reach out for answers, advice, opinion, and feedback and receive responses from a wide range of professionals. The Digital Marketing group is also a space to share pieces of content (i.e., news, blog posts, research) with other members who may find the information useful.
2. Social Media Marketing – 608,345 members
For B2B marketers looking to expand their expertise in social media, this is an excellent group to help them do so. There is information about every type of social media platform along with the best techniques for fully optimizing yourself or business on a social network. Shared content and interaction within this group ranges from senior level social media professionals to “rookies” seeking guidance.
3. Inbound Marketers – For Marketing Professionals – 92,092 members
B2B marketers can engage in compelling discussions in this group by asking questions about some of the “hot button” issues in inbound marketing and receiving feedback from others. The intent is not to promote yourself or brand through this group, but the occasional “plug” does happen and is accepted if it’s relevant and helpful to the group.
4. eMarketing Association Network – 525,073 members
This group is devoted to everything related to internet marketing. Topics such as social, email, search, and mobile are discussed on a daily basis with regular updates from several internet marketing industry thought leaders. Content updates range from personal blog posts to internationally known sources. According to the group description, the intent is to provide an opportunity for members to network with others in the industry.
5. Media Professionals Worldwide – 315,889 members
For a broader look at the media industry as a whole, this is a useful group for staying up to date on the most recent news and announcements. While this group is not explicitly intended for internet marketers, it offers an opportunity for professionals across the globe to network, share information, discuss business associations, seek career advice, and explore job openings. By joining this group, B2B marketers can keep their eyes and ears open to the happenings in the media industry to be prepared for how it may affect their business.
6. B2B Technology Marketing Community – 48,186 members
This is the only LinkedIn group exclusively devoted to B2B technology marketing and serves as a place for marketing professionals to network, share ideas, promote best practices, and stay updated on current happenings in the industry. Members of this group are highly experienced professionals with expertise in analytics, inbound marketing, social media, SEO, PPC, B2B – all things internet marketing.
7. Online Lead Generation – 54,553 members
Arguably one of the most critical aspects of B2B marketing. In this group members have access to content shared from experts about customer acquisition techniques, strategies, best practices, and recommendations. Updates shared in this group consist of information about lead generation as it pertains to online marketing, CPC, social media, mobile, direct marketing, etc.
8. SEO SEM Social Media (Digital Search & Internet Marketing) – 61,435 members
This group lists 30+ job titles that would benefit from this group, all of which are related to the online and digital realm. For anyone from professional SEO and SEM experts to freelance bloggers there is an abundance of relevant information regarding Google, content development, web design, PPC campaigns, link building, keyword research, social media, and much more. Members of this group post updates daily and are actively involved in discussions with each other.
9. Official Direct Marketing Association – 22,190 members
The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is a company that focuses on data-driven marketing strategies and techniques; this group is a LinkedIn extension of the organization’s mission. Members of this group are given access to the insights that DMA has to offer along with content updates shared from fellow members. This group encourages marketers to engage in conversations and discussions with one other that will drive direct marketing efforts.
10. Google Analytics – 21,200 members
In B2B marketing, analytics data is a critical element in how campaigns are developed, executed, and monitored. For new analytics users or experienced veterans, this group is a space to share Google Analytics knowledge, advice, questions, insight, feedback, and more. Members of this group have access to the latest updates regarding Google Analytics that can come from a wide range of sources; it doesn’t necessarily have to be someone who has Google Analytic Individual Qualification.
11. B2B Lead Roundtable – 14,216 members
This LinkedIn group focuses on B2B lead generation and demand generation programs. The purpose of this group is to share ideas, best-practices, and information about lead nurturing, lead management, teleprospecting and more. Members of this group have the opportunity to ask questions related to B2B lead generation and engage in discussion with other members.
12. Marketing Automation Association – 2,716 members
Created by the Marketing Automation Association (MAA), this group aims to better connect marketing organizations with clients and prospects. Within the group forum, marketers can engage with MAA representatives and other members to discuss, enquire, and share knowledge about web analytics, lead management, social media, lead nurturing, SEO/SEM, campaign management and more.
This is by no means an exhaustive list; we are confident that there are dozens of groups that would positively impact B2B marketers. However, we’ve found the LinkedIn groups outlined above to be the most valuable in terms of engaging with experts in the industry and attaining credible information. If you have had a valuable experience with other LinkedIn groups for B2B marketers, we would love to hear your recommendations.