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LinkedIn Groups for the Life Sciences: A Secret Weapon?

by Tony Cullen

LinkedIn Groups is likely the most under-utilized feature of the prominent B2B social media platform. Some industry professionals even go so far as to say that groups are already dead because they have not delivered on their true potential. However, given that LinkedIn recently implemented a number of changes to the feature, it appears they’re not ready to give up on it just yet, and are instead making a conscious effort to try and improve them.

If you’ve lost sight of this feature, here are some reasons to re-engage:

[pullquote]Your #1 objective should be to provide valuable and helpful information“[/pullquote]

– Self-promotion: Groups provide a great avenue for self-promotion, so long as this is not your only objective. Your #1 objective should be to provide valuable and helpful information. Following this rule will also give you some brownie points throughout your industry. Posting helpful content and answering other people’s questions with thoughtful insight gives you the following benefits:

  • Increased visibility; gets your name in front of people in the industry
  • Enhanced credibility; demonstrates that you know your stuff
  • An open door for new connections and business opportunities

– Self-education: There is a lot of great content and conversation happening in these groups. Reading through discussions and asking questions can keep you up to speed on hot industry topics, open your eyes to different viewpoints, and give you a better understanding of the challenges facing your clients.

– Company-promotion: By sharing your company’s content, you help contribute to the thought leadership efforts of your team. Moreover, more links to you company’s content means more traffic to your website and enhanced SEO.

Fun facts about LinkedIn groups

– You can belong to up to 50 groups at once

– You can subscribe to email alerts, notifying you of new discussions that are posted to that group

– You can actually be banished from a group due to lack of participation – don’t join just to join!

– You can send direct messages to anyone in your groups (this is a big one!)

How to choose your groups

When looking for groups to join, take note of the following characteristics:

Member count; a group does not need 50,000 members to be considered valuable, but make sure you’re joining groups with at least a few thousand in order to maximize your visibility

Member characteristics; if you’re in a business development role, the key is to participate in groups that are not strictly your peers, but groups where the members are likely to need your services. What companies do they belong to? What are their roles?

Activity level; you’ll want to seek out groups with at least a few new discussions each week to show that the group is active

Level of team interaction; it may not be the best idea for your entire team to be participating in the same 3 groups. Make sure your team is mixing it up in order to cover the most ground

Once you get into a routine, participating in Groups is pretty simple.

1. First, choose 1-3 groups to become active in (see suggested groups below).

2. For each group, comment on existing discussions 1-3x per week

– Answer someone’s question
– Provide your opinion or experience
– Share a helpful piece of content related to the discussion

3. Post a new discussion once a week

– Share a helpful piece of content (ebook, podcast, blog post, article), etc.

  • For some ideas, check out these resources:
  • Comment on the value of this content and how it can help people solve a problem
  • Don’t be self-promotional – no need to mention your company’s name in your comment

– Ask a question


Suggested Groups for Life Science Professionals

Professionals in the Pharmaceutical and Biotech Industry (202K)
Designed to expand the network of professionals in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry this group promotes best practice sharing and serves to inspire future industry leaders.

Pharma IQ: Pharmaceuticals Biotech & Life Science professionals, FDA Pharma Business Import NDA ANDA (17K)
Whether involved in clinical, pre-clinical, regulatory, logistics or manufacturing, Pharma-IQ.com is the premier online network for those in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. Here you can network, discuss and share ideas with your peers.

MyBio Community Biotechnology connections (39K)
This group discusses research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology technologies, business development and communications services for more than 1,200 members worldwide.

DIA (34K)
By offering access to tools, resources, and networking opportunities, DIA provides its members and international participants objective opportunities for extending debate and discussion to advance scientific and medical innovation.

Clinical Research – Patient Recruitment & Enrollment forum (5K)

Network with people that share the same challenges in recruiting patients for clinical research.

 

What other groups or tactics have worked well for you? Do you agree that LinkedIn groups are worth the effort?

 

 

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