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Seaside Market

We are launching an INDOOR MARKET every Satuday morning at The Bodyclub in Devonshire West.

It will be EVERY SATURDAY 10am to 1pm.

This is for any local businesses that wish to be part of the local community and for local residents to purchase goods from local businesses.

Refreshments are also available.

 


Stalls

Stalls are available to hire at the Introduction price of £10 a week. You can book online using the booking form here. Please email seasidemarket@helenowen.me.uk if you have any queries.

 


Research

We would be interested in hearing about what you would like at the Seaside Market and ask that youfill in our quick survey here.

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New Seaside Market every Saturday

Seaside Indoor Market

Every Saturday from 10am-1pm at the Bodyclub, 125 Seaside (next to TA and opposite Buskers Bar)

A brand new Indoor Market has been launched in the Seaside area of Eastbourne.

The market will run from 10am to 1pm every Saturday and you can find a range of stalls including:

  • Toys & Games
  • Jewellery
  • Gifts
  • Household Items
  • Fresh produe

and so much more…

Refreshments are also available!

See you all of Saturday morning and don’t forget to tell your friends and family!

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4 Ways to Include your Fans on Social Media

Do you want to build a stronger community?

Looking for ways to spark engagement with your followers?

Your fans and customers can play an important part in developing a social media presence that shares authentic stories.

In this article, you’ll discover four creative ways to include fans in your social media marketing.

#1: Give Fans Their 15 Minutes of Fame

With an entire generation growing up under the lure of social media, it’s no surprise that more people are looking for ways to get their name out there. Your brand can be the ideal platform for their 15 minutes of fame.

If you give your fans the spotlight, in return they’ll give you interesting and original user-generated content (UGC) that you can use on your social pages, website, and advertising campaigns. It’s a win-win.

Ask your followers on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest to submit their content under a catchy hashtag. This way, you get instant access to their submissions and can collect an ample amount of viable content to work with.

National Geographic’s #WanderlustContest Instagram campaign is an excellent example. The magazine asked users to submit photos of the incredible people and places they’ve visited and tag their photos with the campaign hashtag. It was a great opportunity for fans to get recognition for their own photography, while National Geographic got access to a diverse collection of travel photos that they could use on social media and elsewhere.

national geographic instagram campaign

National Geographic fans got the opportunity to exhibit their own photography, as well as explore other users’ original contributions, generating widespread conversation and buzz.

#2: Run a Fan Content Contest

Everybody loves a good contest. Contests appeal to the human drive for competition and create a sense of excitement. So what better way to make your campaign go viral than through a UGC contest on social media?

Ask your fans to submit videos, articles, designs, artwork, or anything else relevant to your brand, and offer a prize for the winner (such as money, a year’s supply of product, etc.) to motivate and inspire their innovations. After you receive submissions, let people vote on which piece of content is best.

Eggo ran a creative campaign called The Great Eggo Waffle Off! on their Facebook page. They asked fans to submit their tastiest recipes with Eggo waffles. Then all participants could vote on their favorite. The winner received a $5,000 prize, plus the glory of knowing their waffle recipe reigned supreme.

great eggo waffle off contest

Luckily, contests are easy to run and you don’t need to have a food product to create an awesome one.

This campaign was great marketing for Eggo because it showed pictures of their product in an unusual and creative light. In addition, customers were able to interact with the brand on a deeper level by showing their own talents and ideas.

#3: Encourage Creativity With Your Products

People love the opportunity to think out of the box. That’s why asking fans to show their creative side is sure to have a positive outcome.

Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and even Facebook offer tons of opportunities for fans to be creative, whether it’s through video submissions, designs, or other types of creative content. Try to get users involved with your product, and see what clever and artistic output they can generate using your brand as the inspiration.

legoxbelkin instagram campaign

For the #legoxbelkin campaign, Belkin asked Instagram users to get creative with their Lego iPhone cases.

There are a variety of examples of these types of campaigns, from Lego’s #legoxbelkiniPhone case design contest to Starbuck’s #WhiteCupContest.

#4: Crowdsource Customer Input

One of the easiest ways to engage with fans is crowdsourcing on Facebook and Twitter.Ask your followers their opinion on which new flavors to try, which looks they prefer, or what new ideas they have for your products/campaigns. Users love the empowerment that comes along with offering their perspective, and as a result you’ll build community and greater customer loyalty.

Express used this Facebook post to ask users to choose their favorite top. By posing simple questions, you get a better idea of what your customers are looking for, while also engaging them in conversation.

express facebook page

Ask for your fans’ input on your products or services.

Include Fan Content on Your Website

So you’ve integrated UGC on your social channels. That’s a great start! But what happens when your fans visit your website and they don’t have a way to play an active role?

If your fan content starts and stops on social media, you’re missing out on a tremendous opportunity. After all, your content should primarily be owned by you, and if the conversations and activity are transported elsewhere, you’re missing out on engagement and retention opportunities from your campaigns.

So when you have campaigns, find a way to incorporate them into your website. In addition, make sure you have a blog with a social commenting system like Spot.IM orFacebook Comments so your users can have conversations on your site as well. This way, you get all of the fantastic benefits of UGC right on your own site, allowing your users to have a full range of engagement with your business.

Final Thoughts

Social media is all about storytelling. When social first became popular, companies created their own stories, inviting users to passively watch and interact with them on their terms. But part of every business’s story is their customers. That’s why more often we’re recognizing the important role users and customers play in developing a thorough, accurate, and engaging story.

Hence the growth of user-generated content. Just as it sounds, it’s content created by the people using the products and services offered by your business. It can take the form of pictures, videos, articles, comments, and much more.

Instead of telling people what’s great about your products from your own perspective, you can show how your products make consumers’ lives better from their point of view, which is a much more sincere and uplifting storytelling technique. It’s also a great opportunity for users to get involved with your brand, making them feel significantly greater loyalty.

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Facebook promoted posts: How to calculate CPM from CTR and CPC

Want to compare the cost of Facebook promoted posts against other digital marketing options? Here’s how to calculate CPM from CTR and CPC

It’s no secret that Facebook is eating the lunch of a lot of publishers online when it comes to advertising. Its command of eyeballs and an unfathomably large social dataset enables advertising targeting on an unprecedented scale.

To advertise with one of the prominent media brands online – anything from Unilad to the Mail Online, you’re often looking at a £10-£20 CPM. Salesforce released some data covering Q4 2014 – Q1 2015, suggesting that the average CPM of Facebook ads in the UK was around £2.76 from a CPC of 24p and CTR 1.15%:
Salesforce data on Facebook trends

With Facebook promoted posts however, it’s a good idea to look at your own numbers to see how things are performing. So let’s gather up your CTR and CPC to work out your CPM to see if your online advertising strategy needs CPR.

CP… what now? CPM, CTR and CPC definitions

  • CPM stands for “cost per mille” – mille is Latin for a thousand. CPM therefore indicates your cost per thousand page impressions.
  • CTR stands for “click-through rate” – referring to the ratio of people who clicked on a specific link to total visitors to the page.
  • CPC stands for “cost per click” – the amount you spent divided by the amount of clicks you received (the Facebook model). Or it’s the amount you’ll be charged when someone clicks on your ad (the Google model).

Gather your ingredients, set budget, launch!

You need to think of a product that will work well on the platform – something easily graspable with an arresting visual that can be explaining with pithy, clear text.

As a hypothetical, take a luxury outdoor pizza oven, advertising with the image below and featuring the text: “Italian style pizza, coming to a garden near you.” The link previews text reads: “The BBQ Equivalent for Stone-Baked Pizza Lovers is Here…”

Pick a limited length of time, (e.g. five days) and choose when the campaign will run (perhaps over a school holiday or seasonal period).

Ideally you’ll want to be able to check the actual purchase conversion rate over this period and have the ability to attribute sales to the Facebook ad campaign.

You’ll need to set a budget (e.g. £50 per day), decide on your demographic targeting and run the campaign.

Optional testing

Facebook ad testing and targeting is a topic for another time but you need to work out who your target audience is (it’s best not to go with your gut). If you don’t have solid demographic customer data from elsewhere across your business, you might consider running a one-shot paid test (e.g. £15) across all groups. This will identify whether you should be focusing on – in the case of our pizza oven example, men in the UK and US aged 25-44.

Facebook's post boost button

The maths

The formula for CPM from CTR and CPC is:

CPM = 1000 × CTR × CPC

Using our pizza oven example, the total reach of the Facebook post was 235,000 and clicks through to the landing page in question totalled 7,829.

CTR = 7,829 clicks / 235,000 total reach = 0.0333… = 3.33% clickthrough rate

For cost per click:

CPC = £350 total spent / 7,829 clickthroughs = £0.04 cost per click

CPM works out at:

CPM = 1000 x 0.033 (CTR) x £0.04 (CPC) = £1.32 cost per thousand impressions

Miniwebtool.com has a handy little CPC calculator.

This shows why Facebook is such a tempting tool for driving ecommerce conversions with a very efficient use of budget.

You’d have to spend £12 to reach 1,000 views on a website like Unilad, versus £1.32 on Facebook, provided you’d made savvy use of images, wording and targeting to stop people in their tracks as they scroll through their News Feed. This is almost 10 times as efficient.

 

Side benefits

With a promoted post, you also get all the potential benefits (and occasional drawbacks) of the extra social layer: Reactions (e.g. Likes), Comments, Shares and photo views (collectively known as “engagements”). The pizza oven example (which cost £350 over five days IRL) saw around 8,000 Paid Post Engagements from a total reach of 235,000, with around 900 Likes, 500 Comments and 270 Shares (combined paid and organic).

These actions, beyond someone just clicking through to the product page, help spread your brand and give you potentially valuable customer feedback about both the presentation of your product and consumer sentiment about the general product sector.

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How to Improve Your Facebook Ad Performance

Do your Facebook ads generate leads and sales?

Want to scale your success with Facebook advertising?

By working with audiences and ad set structure, you can improve the performance of your Facebook ads exponentially.

In this article, you’ll discover how to use Facebook Audience Insights to improve the performance of your Facebook ads.

audience insights to improve facebook ad performance

Discover how to improve the performance of your Facebook ads.

#1: Find More Audiences for Existing Ad Campaigns

If your existing Facebook ad campaigns aren’t generating enough sales volume, it may be that there aren’t enough audiences to scale up the sales volume in the first place.

To find additional audiences, upload the database of your existing customers to Facebook and use Audience Insights to define multiple client profiles. Then add these client profiles to your additional audiences. Here’s how to get started.

Upload Your Customer Database to Facebook

First, you’ll need to upload your customer database. In your Facebook Ads account, click on Tools and choose Audiences from the drop-down menu.

facebook upload customer database

In the Facebook Ads Manager, select Audiences from the Tools menu.

Next, click on Create Audience and choose Custom Audience from the menu.

facebook upload customer database

Click on Create Audience and select Custom Audience.

In the window that pops up, select Customer List.

facebook upload customer database

Select Customer List if you’re uploading a customer database.

Next, select one of the following options to upload your customer list to Facebook:

  • Choose Upload a File if you have a CSV spreadsheet with just email addresses or phone numbers, for instance (no header rows).
  • Select Copy and Paste Your Custom List if you have fewer than 1,000 email addresses or phone numbers that you can copy and paste.
  • Choose Import from MailChimp if you already have an email list on MailChimp. This is the quickest way to upload it to the Facebook Ads Manager.
facebook upload customer database

Select Upload a File if you’re uploading a list of email addresses or phone numbers.

Use Audience Insights to Define Multiple Client Profiles

Next, you want to use Audience Insights to define multiple client profiles. In the Facebook Ads Manager, click on Tools and select Audience Insights.

access facebook audience insights

You can access Audience Insights from any page in the Facebook Ads Manager.

Select A Custom Audience.

choose facebook custom audience

Choose A Custom Audience.

Click in the empty Custom Audience field and choose the custom audience you just uploaded. In this example, it’s WC_Export_051915. Note that the bigger the audience, the better the results you’ll generate.

choose facebook custom audience

Select the custom audience you uploaded.

You can browse the tabs in Audience Insights to learn more about the people in the list you uploaded.

Click the Demographics tab to see the makeup of your target audience in terms of age and gender.

facebook audience insights age gender

Facebook provides information about the age and gender of the people in your custom audience.

Find out more about the lifestyle of your custom audience.

facebook audience insights lifestyle

Each lifestyle has a description and you can use this information to find additional groups to target.

Take a look at the relationship status and education level data for your custom audience.

facebook audience insights status education

Facebook also shares data about the relationship status and education level of your audience.

See the most common job titles for your audience.

facebook audience insights job titles

Facebook provides information about the most common job titles of your custom audience.

Find out which Facebook pages your audience likes.

facebook audience insights page likes

Page likes are some of the most useful insights because they help you find additional target audiences.

You can use household income and home ownership data to narrow down your target audience even more.

facebook audience insights income home ownership

Use household income and home ownership data to narrow down your target audience.

You can also use insights into household size, home market value, and spending methods for targeting.

facebook audience insights household spending

Household size, home market value, and spending methods are other useful insights that can be used as targeting methods.

#2: Restructure Your Facebook Ad Sets

Many small businesses include multiple devices and audiences in the same Facebook ad set. This can pose an issue when your campaigns need to be scaled up. Here are a few reasons why:

You don’t know which audiences are doing well and which are doing poorly. Results are displayed at the ad set level, and you can’t break them down by target audience.

If you’re targeting multiple devices and placements in the same ad set, you can break down the results for each of those, but you can’t customize bids and budgets for each of them.

You can’t customize ads to each target audience and by device if they’re all in one ad set. Ads that are customized for your target audiences are much more likely to convert and get a lower cost per click. Additionally, mobile ads and desktop ads typically should be different. For example, mobile ads tend to have less text and user behavior for mobile differs greatly compared to desktop.

To get more control over your ad budget, bids, and how well audiences are targeted by device, it’s a good idea to separate those things and have one target per ad set. Here’s an example of a typical campaign structure:

Ad Set 1:

  • Placements: Mobile News Feed, Desktop News Feed
  • Audiences: People interested in Golden Retrievers, Yorkshire, Chihuahua & Behavior: dog owners, people buying dog food and dog products, online shoppers

Here’s an example of a revised campaign structure:

Ad Set 1:

  • Placements: Mobile News Feed
  • Audiences: People interested in Golden Retrievers, Yorkshire, Chihuahua

Ad Set 2:

  • Placements: Desktop News Feed
  • Audiences: People interested in Golden Retrievers, Yorkshire, Chihuahua

Ad Set 3:

  • Placements: Mobile News Feed
  • Behavior: Dog owners

Ad Set 4:

  • Placements: Desktop News Feed
  • Behavior: Dog owners

Ad Set 5:

  • Placements: Mobile News Feed
  • Behavior: People buying dog food and dog products

Ad Set 6:

  • Placements: Desktop News Feed
  • Behavior: People buying dog food and dog products

Ad Set 7:

  • Placements: Mobile News Feed
  • Behavior: Online shoppers

Ad Set 8:

  • Placements: Desktop News Feed
  • Behavior: Online shoppers

This is what the revised structure would look like in the Facebook Ads Manager.

facebook ad sets

Examples of ad sets in a Facebook ad campaign.

Over to You

As you can see, there are simple ways to scale up Facebook ads by learning more about your existing customers. Additionally, having the right account structure is essential to getting more control over how well your money is being spent.

To optimize your Facebook ads further, split test as many client profiles as possible within a reasonable budget. Pause what doesn’t work, increase the budget on what does work, and keep repeating the process of finding new audiences as soon as you’ve collected additional customer data.

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11 Best Practices for Your Facebook Cover Image

1) Do abide by Facebook’s cover photo guidelines.

It seems like a no-brainer, but obeying Facebook guidelines is crucial to your Facebook Page existing in the first place. I’d highly suggest reading through the full Page Guidelines, but here are a few important things to keep in mind for your cover photo:

  • Your cover is public.
  • Covers can’t be deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone else’s copyright.
  • You can’t encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timelines.

If you get caught violating the above terms, Facebook could take action against your Page. And while Facebook doesn’t explicitly say what will happen if you violate their Page guidelines, it’s probably not smart to get your Facebook Page taken down over a cover photo infraction, so read the guidelines in full and adhere to them.

2) Do make sure your Facebook cover photo size is right: 828 px wide by 315 px on desktop, 640 px wide by 360 px tall on mobile.

You don’t want to spend all this time designing a cover photo … only to have it look weird when you upload it to Facebook.

Make sure your cover photo will look fabulous from the get-go by making sure it’s optimized for the right dimensions: 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall for desktop, 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall for mobile.

If you upload an image smaller than those dimensions, Facebook will stretch it to fit the right size, as long as it’s at least 399 pixels wide and 150 pixels tall.

If you want a no-hassle way to make sure your cover photos are the right size,download our pre-sized template for Facebook cover photos here.

3) Don’t worry about the old “20% text” rule, but still try to stay visual.

Back in 2013, Facebook removed any reference to the 20% rule on text in cover photos … but that doesn’t mean you should go wild with using text in your cover photo. The previous rule said that only 20% of your cover photo could be text. Personally, I thought that was way too restrictive for marketers, but the sentiment behind the rule was a good one.

If you’re going to use text in your cover photo, keep that text concise. Your photo will be much more informative and engaging.

visual_appealing_text

4) Keep the image simple, with a clear focal point.

Think of your cover photo as the portion of your Page that’s “above the fold.” If it’s distracting or poor quality, people will be more likely to click off the page.

Many of the best Facebook cover photos include a single subject as the focal point. They also use negative white (i.e., empty space) as an advantage to make the subject, any copy on there, and other elements unique to Facebook (like the CTA button on Facebook business Pages) stand out even more.

Here’s an example from Makr:

makr-facebook-cover-photo.png

And another from J.Crew:

jcrew-facebook-cover-photo.png

5) Don’t hide content behind your profile picture.

Because of the way profile pictures are featured on Facebook Pages, there’s a section of your cover photo that won’t appear unless you click on it. Your Page name and the buttons on the bottom right also cover portions of your photo.

Check out the example below from NikeWomen. The portions highlighted in red are the parts of the cover photo that aren’t immediately viewable to your Facebook Fans.

nike-women-facebook-cover-photo.png

According to Facebook’s Help page, on desktop computers, the profile picture is located 16 pixels from the left edge of the cover photo, and 176 pixels from the top of the cover photo.

That being said, you can also use this hidden space to your advantage — maybe even hiding an Easter egg behind the profile picture for a contest. But typically, keeping that space clear is a good best practice.

6) Don’t put important content on the bottom of your photo, either.

Your profile photo isn’t the only part of your cover photo that will be partially hidden on your main Page. You’ll also want to avoid putting important content or key parts of your image on the bottom of your photo where the name of your Page and CTA buttons are.

We recommend drawing an imaginary line about halfway up your profile picture, and keeping important content (like text or hashtags) above that.

You can see what I mean in HubSpot’s cover photo below, where we’ve placed the text above the “HubSpot” name.

hubspot-cover-photo-example.png

7) Do right-align the objects in your cover photo.

Since your profile picture is on left, you want to add some balance to your Facebook cover photo design by having the focus of the image be on the right.

Take a look at these cover photos. Which one looks more aesthetically pleasing?

Right-aligned focus:

right_aligned

Left-aligned focus:

left_aligned_facebook_cover_photo

Doesn’t the right-aligned cover photo look better? The biggest design elements (the profile picture, the text, and the beer) are evenly spaced. In the Samsung cover photo, your attention goes immediately to the left side of the page, completely missing the name of the product on the upper right side.

Not only is adding balance a crucial element of design, but it also allows for your cover photos to be more visually effective on mobile. Which brings me to my next point …

8) Do keep mobile users in mind.

In April 2016, Facebook reported that over half of its user base (54.2%) access the social network exclusively from mobile devices. That’s huge — and it’s exactly why it’s so important to keep mobile users top-of-mind when designing your Facebook cover photo.

On mobile, a much larger portion of your cover photo is blocked out because the profile picture and the Page name are on top of the cover photo.

facebook-cover-template.png

Image Credit: Twelveskip

Let’s take a look at a real-life example. Below, take a look at what Adobe’s Facebook Page looks like in a desktop browser versus on Facebook’s mobile app.

Desktop:

adobe-facebook-cover-photo-desktop.png

Mobile:

adobe-facebook-cover-photo-mobile.png

Notice that the sides of the photo are cut off on mobile. Whereas your cover photo displays at 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall on desktop, it displays only the center 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall on smartphones. Take a look at this Facebook help document for more information.

Notice, by the way, how the text in Adobe’s cover photo is cut off on the right-hand side. While it looks best to right-align your visual elements, be careful not to put important content so far to the right that it gets cut off on mobile.

9) Do integrate the cover photo design with other parts of your Facebook Page.

If you really want to get creative with your cover photo, try integrating its design with other parts of your Facebook Page. You could make your profile picture and cover photo one big canvas, or use some design elements to draw attention to different functionalities of your Facebook Page.

Below are some ideas of what these cover photo integrations might look like.

Combine your profile picture and cover photo.

With a little creativity and some design tweaks, you can make your profile picture and cover photo appear as if they’re two parts of one canvas. Check out one of Paris’ cover photos for a subtle but compelling way to do that.

Note: Since cover photos display differently on mobile and on desktop, you’ll have to choose one format to design your cover photo and profile combination for. Since cover photos are much more noticeable on desktop, I’d suggest prioritizing that layout for your cover photo and profile picture combination design.

intergrated_cover_and_profile

Draw attention to the buttons on right.

Following the best practices mentioned above, WeddingWire places all of its important text to the right of their cover photo — not only achieving a good design aesthetic, but also drawing attention to the main calls-to-action on the Page: Like, Follow, and Message.

Note: While it might seem like a good idea to add directional cues like an arrow to get people to click on the CTA buttons, note that those CTA buttons don’t appear the same way on the mobile app. In other words, it might be confusing to mobile users if you integrate the cover photo design with the buttons.

wedding-wire-facebook-cover-photo.png

10) Do include a shortened link in your cover photo description that aligns with your page CTA.

If you want to use your cover photo to support your page CTA, make sure your cover photo description also includes a text CTA and link to the same offer. This way, any time people view your cover photo directly, they can access the download link.

Here’s this practice in action on HubSpot’s Facebook Page:

hubspot-cover-photo-link.png

Make sure you shorten your links and add UTM codes so you can track clicks on them. Shortening and tracking features are available in the HubSpot Marketing Platform and in tools like bitly.

(If you want to learn more about how to write effective call-to-action copy for your cover photo description, click here to download our free ebook on creating compelling CTAs.)

11) Do pin a related post right below your Facebook cover image.

Have you ever “pinned” a post to your Facebook Page’s Timeline? Basically, pinning a post allows you to highlight a typical Facebook post on the top of your Timeline for seven days. It’s signified by a small yellow flag on the top right of the post, like onRefinery29’s Page below:

refinery29-pinned-facebook-post-1.png

How does this relate to optimizing your Facebook cover photo? Well, if you’re spending time aligning your Facebook Page CTA, your cover photo design, and your cover photo description copy, you should also make sure to post about the same thing directly to your page, and pin that post to the top of your Timeline.

That way, you’re giving people one very clear call-to-action when they arrive to your page (albeit in several different locations) — which should help conversions.

To pin a Facebook post: Simply publish the post to Facebook, then click the downward arrow on the top right corner of the post and choose “Pin to Top.”

facebook-pin-to-top.png

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Volunteers Week – the Big Celebration

Since it’s #volunteers week we need to say a BIG thank you to the so many amazing people that are volunteering with us at Helen Owen Marketing Enterprises – HOME CIC at the moment, the ones that have helped us be what we are today and the ones in the future that will no doubt help us! You can find out more about volunteering here! http://helenowen.org/volunteering/

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LinkedIn Group Changes: What Marketers Need to Know

By
Published November 24, 2015 

Are you active on LinkedIn?

Wondering about the recent changes to groups?

LinkedIn groups have been redesigned to make interactions more seamless and valuable for members.

In this article you’ll discover how marketers can find, join and use the new LinkedIn groups.

What the Changes Mean

LinkedIn completely overhauled its groups interface, so the desktop and app versions are the same. The Groups app is available on iOS, and the Android version is coming soon.

Discover what marketers need to know about the changes to LinkedIn Groups.

While both the website and app are user-friendly, the functionality on desktop has decreased.

One of the most noticeable changes is that there are no more open groups. The twonew group choices are limited to standard and unlisted. Standard groups arerequest to join” or a member or admin can invite you to join, and are findable by group search. Unlisted groups areinvite to join” by the group admin only, and are not findable in search.

Another big change is the loss of member search. Individuals can no longer search a group’s membership by name or keyword, so it’s probably not worth it to join a group just to get access to prospects. And because member search (at this time) no longer functions, private-messaging other members is more difficult to do in a strategic way. (This is on the heels of LinkedIn limiting private messaging in groups to 15 messages a month.)

Although it will be more difficult to use groups for prospecting and lead generation, people can still use groups for content marketing.

linkedin group member search

Due to the changes, there is no longer a way to easily search group members by name or keyword.

LinkedIn has also removed the Promotions tab on groups, which means any promotional messages will likely just go into spam.

The upside is there will be a lot fewer pitches and less spam in groups. The downside is it may be difficult to discern what is and is not promotional content, so valuable information could get lost in people’s inbox. It also could mean a lot more work for group moderators.

The LinkedIn group changes will force marketers to step up their game. They will have to be more conscientious about the content they create and share, so it’s of higher value to group members.

posting to linkedin group

In spite of the changes, if you regularly post valuable content, you can get the most out of LinkedIn groups.

Let’s take a closer look at the changes to LinkedIn groups.

#1: All Groups Are Private

All LinkedIn groups are now standard or unlisted, and are both private. This means that conversations shared in a group are no longer public.

Standard Groups

Standard groups have similar functionality and purpose to the previous version of groups, in terms of posting and sharing information with fellow members. Group content is hidden, however, unless you’re a member of the group.

One change you’ll notice is a Highlights page, which lists the most engaging posts in your groups. Go to Interests and Groups to get to your group homepage.

linkedin group highlights

LinkedIn’s Highlights page emphasizes the most engaging content in your groups.

Any member of a standard group (not just an admin) can invite people to join, and any user can request to become a member of the group. To save time, ask a friend who is already a member to add you.

adding members to linkedin group

Anyone can add members to a standard LinkedIn group.

You’re able to use standard groups for marketing, but you have to be smarter about it. Engage more and share better content to meet fellow group members. These relationships could translate into new business down the line.

Unlisted Groups

You can’t find unlisted groups through a LinkedIn search, and only a group admin can invite new members. The good news is that extraneous groups that limit access will no longer bog down search results.

The unlisted category is ideal for internal groups within your company. Your content will be completely private, since there’s no chance for outsiders to gain access.

There are plenty of reasons to start an unlisted group. For example, you can create user groups to beta test new products and concepts, use groups as customer service support for clients or start internal groups for employees.

Remember that unlisted groups are strictly for content, not marketing, so they’re valuable for communicating with designated people.

#2: Standard Groups Show in Search

Standard groups show up in LinkedIn searches. Technically you can find them on Google, as well as by using the Groups directory. The best way to search for a group is on LinkedIn.

Search for standard groups by keyword from LinkedIn’s main or advanced search. LinkedIn will also make group suggestions, based on your interests. If you find a group you want to join, look for a group button and ask to join.

linkedin group discover

LinkedIn will make suggestions of groups you might want to join according to your group activity.

To expedite the process, see what groups your friends are in (which are listed on their LinkedIn profiles) and ask them to add you.

Another way to find groups is to post an update asking contacts, “What are your favorite groups? Will you send me an invite to join?”

#3: Groups Have a Mobile App

The LinkedIn Groups app makes it easy to engage with group members on the go. Like on the desktop version, your homepage has highlights that tell you what’s popular in all of your groups.

linkedin group highlights app

Log into the LinkedIn Groups app and see highlights from your groups.

The group search in the app is user-friendly.

linkedin group discover app

Discover new groups to join on the app.

Click on any one of your groups to access the content. Then engage with others by posting, responding and liking content. You can now mention people in updates and comments with @mentions.

linkedin groups in app

All of your groups are at a glance.

Finally, you can use the Notifications tab to see who is commenting on your content, so it’s easy to respond.

linkedin group notifications in app

Visit the Notifications tab to easily respond to content in your groups.

While LinkedIn groups may no longer be good for lead generation and prospecting, the new interface makes it easy to post, respond and develop relationships. This could lead to getting new clients in the long run.

Benefits of Creating Your Own Group

You may want to create a standard group in your niche to position yourself as a thought leader. As a group owner, you can send out private announcements once a week, save templates and keep an eye on group moderation.

linkedin group owner tools

Create your own group to position yourself as a thought leader and take control of content.

Anyone, group owners and members, can post content to standard groups.

There are plenty of LinkedIn groups out there. Before creating one of your own, decide if the benefits are worth the time you’ll have to invest to manage it.

Final Thoughts

LinkedIn clearly wants to go back to what groups were in 2007 (high-quality content and engagement), before they were spam pools. The changes are designed to encourage marketers to get back to true engagement. It’s certainly better than machine-gun posting (sharing everything to see what sticks), and could ultimately increase your customer base and bottom line.

The new LinkedIn groups should be better for building relationships, which is what social media is all about.

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Feedback Needed

If you have attended any of events, training sessions or drop-ins then we would like your feedback. This is to help us gain some more funding so we can continue to serve the local community in Eastbourne and provide free training opportunities.

 

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Volunteers Wanted!

Are you, or anyone you know of, struggling to find work, and could benefit from some free training? Then come and be part of the team at Helen Owen Marketing Enterprises.

Training is every Monday afternoon where you can learn a variety of skills including:

  • Website Design
  • Social Media
  • Marketing
  • Admin
  • Accounts

If you are interested in having a FREE website created for you (or would like to learn yourself) then phone 01323 749960 for more information.

There are also a number of drop-ins organised by Go Eastbourne where you can gain one-to-one help with computer skills.  They are:

  • Every Wednesday afternoon 2-4pm at Elim Family Church
  • Every Thursday afternoon 2-4pm at Community Wise
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