90% of C-level executives say they never respond to cold calls or email blasts.

Want to know what they do respond to? Timely, personalized outreach and meaningful interactions on LinkedIn. 

If you want to reach these leads, LinkedIn Groups and Events are a vital way to nurture relationships and foster connections with key decision makers in your industry. Below, we’ve put together a guide to help you understand what they are, how to use them, and why they’re great for prospecting. 

Why use LinkedIn Groups and Events for lead generation? 

75% of B2B buyers and 84% of C-level executives use social media in their buying decisions. These buyers that use social media are more senior, have 84% larger budgets, and make 61% more purchasing decisions compared to those that don’t. 

Despite these members being active on LinkedIn, they’re sometimes a bit inaccessible. LinkedIn limits the amount of connection requests it’s possible to send in a day or week; decision makers are busy and inundated with requests they’ll only selectively accept; and it can be hard to find a way into an account if you’re starting out completely cold. 

Enter: LinkedIn Groups and Events. These incredibly useful social selling features do a great job of bringing like-minded users together. They’re a fantastic way to warm up contacts, interact with high-level decision makers, and niche down to focus on audiences with pain points you can actually solve. 

And the best part? LinkedIn makes it easy to connect with and message shared group members and event attendees, without using up precious connection requests.

What are LinkedIn Groups?

LinkedIn Groups are closed communities of members with similar interests. They’re similar to groups on other social platforms, such as Facebook. Once a user is a group member, they can share posts, ask questions, and reach out to each other for free. 

Example of a LinkedIn Group.

What are the benefits of LinkedIn Groups?

LinkedIn Groups can be a lead generation goldmine. They’re a great resource for finding new prospects, but can also be used alongside a social selling strategy to position yourself as an authority and establish trust among a new pool of potential leads. 

LinkedIn Groups give you the opportunity to listen to conversations between prospects, see posts and questions that are directly relevant to your expertise and offering, and contribute valuable, helpful input to warm up leads. 

By taking part in Groups, you can show prospects you’re an industry leader with actionable knowledge about their pain points and valuable insights to share. If and when you reach out to these leads, you’ll have an improved chance of getting a response. 

Alongside this extra exposure (which is great for building your personal LinkedIn brand), LinkedIn Groups can also be combined with automation software like Salesflow to run dedicated Groups campaigns. These don’t use up any message connection requests, allowing you to reach up to 1,000 extra warm leads per month. 

How to use LinkedIn Groups for Lead Generation 

The main ways to leverage LinkedIn Groups are by joining ones in your industry and creating your own. 

How to find and join LinkedIn Groups

The key is to zero in on groups that contain users who fit into your target demographics.

  1. First, think of relevant keywords. For example, someone selling a software solution for digital marketers might look for groups with the keywords ‘marketing’, ‘digital marketing’, or ‘SaaS’. 

  1. Once you have your keywords, enter them into the LinkedIn search bar to find groups related to your offering or industry. Then, filter the list of results by selecting the header ‘Groups’.

Filtering a LinkedIn search.
  1. You’ll see a list of results matching your keyword. Have a browse through each by taking a look at the description and membership number. If you see a group that looks particularly relevant, select ‘Join’. 

LinkedIn Groups results list.
  1. Once you’re accepted into a group, you’ll be able to post, reply and comment on other peoples’ questions, and message group members directly. You’ll also be able to see a list of the group’s members. 

As a group member, you can listen in on what your target customers are saying, and take note of their pain points, questions, and needs to improve your sales strategy

How to create a LinkedIn Group

Besides joining LinkedIn groups, you can also create your own. 

Creating your own group on LinkedIn can allow you to build a list of ideal, ready-to-buy prospects, directly on the platform. 

  1. From your LinkedIn homepage, select ‘Groups’ from the panel on the left side of the screen. 

The Groups menu on the LinkedIn homepage.
  1. You’ll be taken to your LinkedIn Groups homepage. Here, you can see an overview of all the groups where you’re an owner or a current member. LinkedIn will also show you a list of selected groups you might be interested in joining. 
A list of your LinkedIn Groups, with the option to Create a Group in the top right.
  1. Select the ‘Create Group’ button in the top right. 

  1. Add a LinkedIn banner, picture, name and description for your group. (If you need inspiration, refer back to the groups you found in your LinkedIn search!) 

The pop up window where you can customize your LinkedIn group by adding a LinkedIn banner, group name, and description.
  1. Select the applicable industries, choose your primary location, and set any rules for group behavior. 
The webform where you can add your LinkedIn Group industry, location and rules.
  1. Choose whether to make your group private or public. Private groups can foster a greater sense of community, but keeping your group public might attract a wider membership. 
An image of the different group types available on LinkedIn.
  1. Finally, choose whether to let group members invite their connections, and whether posts will need to be reviewed by admins before they go live. Since you’re creating a group for lead generation, it’s sensible to allow members to invite others to broaden your reach. Removing admin reviews of posts will also save you significant amounts of time. 
An image of the different permissions levels you can set on a LinkedIn Group
  1. When you’ve finished, click ‘Create’ to launch your new group. 

Adding LinkedIn members to your group

Once you’ve created a group, you can send invites to your existing connections prompting them to join. You can also sort through any groups you have joined for potential members for your own group.

When sending group invitations, try to make them personalized. Personalized invitations are far more effective than generic invites, as recipients are more likely to feel that you genuinely think they will benefit from joining the group and that they aren’t being spammed. At the very least, you should let users know what the group is about and why they’ll get value from joining. 

LinkedIn Groups best practices

  • Keep interactions topical and helpful. You don’t want to get a reputation for spamming members! Avoid hard selling, and make sure you always provide value.

  • Try to interact with members little but often. Add thoughtful comments to posts and like and share other users’ content. 

  • Go for the soft sell – you’re better off posting about industry insights or questions than promoting your own product. That will come in time as users begin to see you as a respected member.

If your aim is social selling, try and pick a group with a few hundred to a few thousand members. It’ll be far easier to make an impression than getting lost in a group of 1 million plus users!

However, if you’re looking to connect with Group members as part of automated LinkedIn campaigns using a tool like Salesflow, these larger groups can be a great resource.

What are LinkedIn Events? 

LinkedIn Events are an easy way to advertise meetups, webinars, and workshops. You can create a LinkedIn Event for a video stream you’ll host on the platform, or simply use your LinkedIn Event to point members to a location, website or event page where the actual meetup will occur. 

Why use LinkedIn Events? 

LinkedIn Events are a key tool in any marketers’ toolbox, but they can be useful for Sales professionals, too! 

As a networking feature designed to help users and companies build communities and establish trust and authority, they’re a great way to warm up prospects and collect lists of relevant leads. Depending on the types of events you create, they can also play a pivotal role in drawing leads down your sales funnel. 

By creating an event on LinkedIn, you can: 

  • Increase your company or offering’s exposure

  • Widen your net of possible participants for events off-platform

  • Warm-up leads with value-added material such as an industry insights webinar or thought leadership Q&A. 

  • Reach new untouched LinkedIn audiences. 

You can use your events to target existing leads and connections or make your event open to any user to organically attract attendees as your company or personal brand grows.

How to create a LinkedIn Event

First, think about what valuable marketing event your company could offer. Could you run a webinar or tutorial for common issues seen in your industry? Get one of your senior leaders involved to take part in a Q&A? Partner with a guest speaker or influencer? This first step is key, as a strong concept will lead to more demand for your event, which will increase the size of your potential audience and lead list. 

Once you’re clear on your strategy, all you have to do is:

  1. Navigate to the LinkedIn homepage.

  1. Scroll down to ‘Events’ in the menu on the right.

  1. Click the plus sign. 
LinkedIn Events menu from the LinkedIn home page

This will bring up a LinkedIn Events popup window where you can customize your promotion. 

The pop-up window for creating a LinkedIn Event. Choose a cover image, event type, event format and event name.

How to customize your LinkedIn Event

  1. Make sure you use an image that is compelling and related to your event. 

  1. Choose a suitable name and make sure both the description and the name use relevant keywords, so interested users can find your promotion from a LinkedIn search. 

  1. Select the right time zone and start and end times to avoid confusion! 
Set your Event time zone and start and end times.
  1. You can also add speakers for your event ahead of time if they’re on LinkedIn. 

You will also need to choose between using a LinkedIn registration form or creating your own. If you opt for a LinkedIn registration form, you will need to add a privacy policy.

LinkedIn Event or LinkedIn Live? 

The last step in creating a LinkedIn event is to choose between doing a LinkedIn live stream or supplying a link to another platform such as Zoom. 

The best option will depend on you. If you are already planning a Zoom conference or a YouTube live stream, then you can direct event invitees to these links. 

On the other hand, if your event is solely targeted at LinkedIn users, you can also choose to do a LinkedIn live stream. 

LinkedIn live streaming has been gaining a lot of traction recently, with members scheduling 176% more LinkedIn Live events year on year.

The different options for LinkedIn Event formats are LinkedIn Audio Events, LinkedIn Live, or External event link.

How to promote an Event on LinkedIn

Once you’ve finished creating your event, it’s time to get some attendees. 

The first thing to do is to invite members of your existing network. Try to invite as many relevant contacts as possible, but keep in mind you’re limited to 1,000 Event invites per week. 

To share your Event, just access the Events menu from the LinkedIn sidebar, click the event in question, then click ‘Share’ followed by ‘Invite’. You can choose to filter potential invitees by location, company, or industry. 

Then, share the event as a LinkedIn post in your feed and in relevant groups. As other members share your post, it’ll be visible to users who aren’t connected to you directly. This will help circulate it among a wider network.

Finally, if you have the budget to support it, consider promoting your event to your target audience using LinkedIn’s Event ads

You can also include a link to the URL of your Event page in your company newsletter, emails, or outreach campaigns. Asking a prospect to join you for a marketing webinar is an excellent value-add CTA (call to action). 

LinkedIn Event best practices 

Like LinkedIn Groups, the top tip to keep in mind when creating LinkedIn events is serving your audience and target customers.

The more value you can provide in your events, the more attendees you will attract. Before you know it, you might even have invitees sharing the link to their connections, who pass it on further, which not only increases exposure for the event but also for your brand.

When creating any event, here are some top tips to keep in mind: 

  • Set up your Event with enough time to promote it. You need to allow at least 2 weeks between inviting prospects and your event start date – ideally, up to a month. 

  • Add popular speakers. If you can do the legwork upfront to create brand partnerships with LinkedIn thought leaders, and get one (or more!) of them to go ahead and run an event with you, it’ll massively increase user interest. 

  • Take the time to promote your event properly. Make sure every employee shares the event to their wider networks. Try and make your event as enticing as possible with a clear description and agenda.

Using an Automation Tool with LinkedIn Groups and Events

That’s the basics of using LinkedIn Groups and Events to generate leads. But the possibilities don’t stop there. 

Using a LinkedIn automation tool like Salesflow, you can run dedicated outreach campaigns to Group members and Event attendees, without using any of your LinkedIn connection request quota. With SalesFlow you can create and schedule multiple campaigns, hyper-personalize your messages, schedule unlimited follow-up messages, and get live insights into your campaign. 

Simply join relevant groups and events – or create your own – then head over to Salesflow to add LinkedIn members from these areas to automated cadences. Learn more with our guide to 4 Salesflow campaign types to help you generate more leads. 

Salesflow campaign types, including the LinkedIn Groups and Events campaign.
Salesflow can help you personalize interactions while optimizing efficiency and reducing manual effort.

Want to Automate Your LinkedIn Lead Generation? We Can Help

By investing time into LinkedIn Groups and Events and implementing automated outreach, you can level up your lead generation efforts on LinkedIn significantly, and win back time. 

This is a winning combination that will net you more leads, greater reach, and analytics features. 

Curious to know how it all works? Sign up for a 7-day free trial and start supercharging your LinkedIn lead generation.