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Building Better Networks With LinkedIn Groups

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Building Better Networks With LinkedIn Groups

  1. 1. Building Better Networks With LinkedIn Groups
  2. 2. EI’s Social Media Vision and Goals <ul><li>Paper presented to Senior Management Jan ‘10 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Help grow our clients’ exports </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a more transparent organisation for clients </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Build increased credibility with clients and the wider community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make existing industry networks more effective using social tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>by encouraging clients to contribute content, in line with their own and our objectives. Promote a dialogue with clients and community on EI managed sites and foster the development of online groups around niche industry and sector issues where it is appropriate to do so </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>In essence, better management of offline networks, and make it easier to do business with EI </li></ul>
  3. 3. Why LinkedIn? <ul><li>Close to 500K Irish profiles, 2nd highest penetration globally </li></ul><ul><li>Strong chance that our target audience (clients/partners/academia) are active on the site </li></ul><ul><li>We don’t have to do the heavy lifting to build a community </li></ul><ul><li>145M+ users globally, marketing benefit to clients by being active on the platform </li></ul><ul><li>Jan 2010 we had c. 600+ EI staff profiles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>plenty of enthusiasm & awareness of capability - pushing an open door </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. As things stand… <ul><li>14 Groups > c. 5,500 members (definitely duplication between Groups, both clients and EI staff) </li></ul><ul><li>2 distinct types of group </li></ul><ul><ul><li>industry/sector cluster (e.g. Space Industry Ireland) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>region (e.g. Irish Professionals Nordic Network) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Using Groups for </li></ul><ul><ul><li>disseminating EI information (manual and automated) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>client self-service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>peer-to-peer support </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Varying degrees of success <ul><li>“ It would have been great if we got a buyer who browsed the [MedInIreland] group, found an interesting [client] company and then contacted them and bought a pallet of stents or catheters from them - but I don't think that was ever a realistic goal” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>for events, opportunity for pre-networking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>certainly easier than maintaining an email list! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>IPNN: crowd-sourcing market validation from targeted community members </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reaching out and gaining support from diaspora, has led to deals! (IBN) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Anecdotal story of the two companies who identified a potential collaboration on a LinkedIn Group to discover that they were next door to each other </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When tracking success, important to remember that members aren’t obliged to inform you through the community itself – you may never know! </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Lessons learned <ul><li>Groups are great for building new relationships </li></ul><ul><ul><li>crystalising “informal” networks, gives them an identity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>platform for promoting successes (both EI and clients’) and (hopefully) inspiring other companies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The hard part is actually making a community work </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Too easy to join (and create!) a Group… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Group can't be all things to all people: will not replace your CRM, email, phone and offline events </li></ul><ul><li>Think about resources… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Members slow to share content (content mix also important, IPNN/IBN) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Managing the membership to maintain the original focus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>need moderator(s) who actually finds the Group useful themselves! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>otherwise, they won't really invest...don't leave it to an admin! </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Lessons learned (cont.) <ul><li>Segment membership using subgroups to refine conversations, reduces irrelevant content </li></ul><ul><li>May be an education piece to get members involved, some sectors may be not be among early adopters... </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of monitoring/alerting feature </li></ul>
  8. 8. @TheCR
  9. 9. Irish People in the Public Sector Group http:// www.linkedin.com/groups?gid =717317
  10. 10. Thank You <ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.linkedin.com/in/davescanlon </li></ul><ul><li>@ei_dscanlon </li></ul><ul><li>Groups mentioned during presentation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Space Industry Ireland </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=2455720 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Irish Professionals Nordic Network </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=2002118 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Irish Business Network in Germany, Switzerland and Austria </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>http:// www.linkedin.com/groups?gid =1689007 </li></ul></ul></ul>

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