Now, this may be a little self-serving, because as Online Content Manager I naturally want nothing more than to have my riveting podcasts on “Attaining the Full Performance Advantages Offered by Amorphous Spray Dried Dispersion Formulations” and “Dodd-Frank, Solvency II and the Future of Insurance Regulation & Reform” reach the nerdy citizens of the world (email requests for mp3s from the nerds among us welcomed).

Baffling as it is though, not everyone is interested in these subjects. However, those who are, really are. And what’s a good way to reach people that ARE interested in what our conferences have to offer, who are in the correct field for our targeted marketing efforts? Our LinkedIn groups!

Here is where the beauty of a LinkedIn group lies: rather than endlessly blasting an old database of people who chuck a marketing email right into the spam bin, sight unseen, LinkedIn puts our marketing content into a space where people are alive, online, and want it – discussing, sharing, collaborating, networking. Did you know that LinkedIn now has over 100 million users?

That’s a big haystack. How can we use our LinkedIn groups to find the proverbial needle (or syringe, as the case may be)? The first step to having a relevant community is people — get more members in your group. Brilliant… but how do you find the scientist interested in Nanocluster technology, or the investor who wants to bet on Life Insurance Policies?

Marissa Rubin was hired at IQPC just over a month ago as eMarketing Manager, and she has taken the IQPC HR LinkedIn groups by storm. She grew the Human Resources IQ group from 2,500 members to 5,500 in one month’s time. Since she sits right beside me (and I mean ‘right’ beside me, as anyone who has seen the NY office can attest to!), I decided to conduct a little photocopy-side chat with her to find out how she did it:

Marissa, before you can be an effective LinkedIn marketer, the first thing you need is people. How does one ‘grow’ their LinkedIn group?

We all have access to lists — utilize these to grow your LinkedIn group. The easiest way to grow a LinkedIn group is to upload the applicable lists from Sky and invite and pre-approve people to join your group. People can be lazy, and by pre-approving them in the group and putting it into their email and inbox, all they have to do is click a button to join — it’s added instant members.

Here’s how you do it:

1)  Start by putting your list into a CSV file and saving it in your documents.
2)  Login to LinkedIn, and go to the ‘Manage your Group’ tab. Select ‘Send Invitations’, under ‘Connections’ choose ‘Upload a File’.
3)  This is when you import your CSV file. It will ask you to check things over, and click invite, and bam, you’re done!

Now you can wait and relax, and watch as your group magically grows! You are limited to invitations, so take things slow at first and don’t invite your entire list at once, spread it out, and do it every few weeks.

Now, say I’ve followed your example and grown the group 2000% in a week. Now what?

Once you begin to grow the group, people will begin to message you thanking you for inviting them, as well as posting thank yous and little comments within the discussion board, which may deter people from the group since its not real content. I always respond to the thank yous, and encourage them to post content or questions on the discussion board. I also give them my work email and phone number should they have any questions. If it’s a connection I think would be a good sponsor, media partner, or blogger for my IQ, I bring that up to them. To date I’ve turned a few of these messages into blog and media partners!

What are the next steps?

One of the greatest things with social media in 2011 is that all of these platforms speak to each other. You can take your growth one step further by logging into your Twitter account and connecting your connections from LinkedIn to Twitter, helping grow your twitter presence in just minutes. To do this:

1) Login to Twitter, and select ‘Who to Follow’ on the top.
2) Click the LinkedIn button, login, and voila! You can automatically click everyone on your linkedin page who has a twitter profile and request to follow them!

I’m always happy to help if I can, message me at or give me a call 646-378-6039 if you have any questions.

Thanks Marissa! More on managing your now-huge LinkedIn group in a future post.

The world of marketing is now pulsing, alive, live, interacting, sharing and consuming. Let’s evolve beyond relying on marketing emails and use our database to connect with the real live people who are dying to know there is a conference on amorphous spray dried dispersion formulations, or who have an as-yet unrequited passion for Dodd-Frank. Do it and we’re in! LinkedIn!

Post by Amber Scorah
Online Content Manager, NYC

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