Guest blog by Curt Raffi For a long time, I've been interested in the intersection of technology and marketing. As the SaaS product marketing director at MetraTech Corp., I get a close look at how the software-as-a-service ecosystem works. In talking to our customers and stakeholders about monetizing for the consumption economy, I study technology, product development, market research, pricing models, marketing strategy, and more. In 2010, I was looking for a way to open that process up and start a conversation with others in the industry who were interested in the same trends. LinkedIn seemed like a great place to do that, but there wasn't any group on the professional networking site hosting such a conversation. So, I started a group myself. That group has led to dozens of valuable interactions every week, scores of new contacts, and a chance to lead important conversations in an emerging industry. I started the Cloud and SaaS Startups group on LinkedIn in the fall of 2010. Today, we have more than 3,000 members, most of whom identify themselves as executive or senior-level professionals. We've had consistent week-over-week growth, and in the first week of February alone, our active membership started 26 discussions about pressing matters in SaaS. If you want to lead conversations in your industry, below are three tips for curating a group on LinkedIn.
Stay involved. Presumably, the focus of your LinkedIn group is a topic about which you feel passionate. So, don't start the group and walk away. Dedicate time to fostering discussions, connecting with members, and sharing news, links and data.
Keep it real. Make sure you're creating a substantive resource for others. Share your knowledge; don't use the group to sell, advertise or spread marketing messages.
Be a gatekeeper. As group leader, you are making a commitment to members to cultivate the most useful and interesting information. Moderate discussions as often as possible and call out members who misuse the group for their own marketing purposes.
Curt Raffi is SaaS product marketing director at MetraTech Corp., a provider of agreements-based billing and compensation solutions, and a Metis client. Contact Curt.
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