How to Build a Focus Group on LinkedIn
If you want to be successful, you must complete market research. There are many ways that LinkedIn can help you with this, but in addition to the many helpful tools on the site, LinkedIn can now help you build a focus group for your new or next project.
Here are some ideas to keep in mind if you want to build your own focus group using LinkedIn:
Start by building your network. Your best participants in this group are first-degree connections of yours (or of another employee of your company) because those people are most likely to join based on your recommendation and how well they fit your group’s purpose. Try to network and invite potential candidates right away.
Build your accompanying website before building the group. Your focus group participants will want to see something before deciding to join and participate, so make sure you’ve spent some time building an informational web page, e-mail, FAQ, or other system that is available for viewing before you start to build your group.
Use your first-degree connections to expand your network. After you’ve rustled up some involvement there, expand your group by asking for referrals or introductions to potential second- and third-degree network members or general LinkedIn members who might get some value and add some insight to your process.
Continually send out updates. You should always be sending out some form of update, whether you do so by filling out the status update option, using LinkedIn Messages, or going through your own e-mail system. Don’t deluge people with messages — but also don’t ask them to sign up and then be silent for weeks at a time. Keep your group members informed and ask for input when needed.
Ask for recommendations. As group members get introduced to your product, ask them for a recommendation on your profile if they liked or approve of the product. Getting their feedback or recommendations helps build future involvement when your product is live and ready for the mass market.