LinkedIn Groups: Making the Most of Them
One feature of LinkedIn is the ability to join and create groups. As with your profile, use “best practice” strategies that make using groups worthwhile. Many groups either have little activity or too much activity. So, make sure you participate in an appropriate manner.
Joining Groups and developing a presence is always good for building relationships. You can use groups to answer niche-related questions that will nurture trust and help build respect for your skill and expertise.
To find likely Groups, don’t rely solely on those suggested by LinkedIn: Instead, click on “Groups” in your menu bar and select “Groups Directory”.
Groups Dos and Don’ts
How many LinkedIn Groups have you joined? And how many do you actively participate in?
If you haven’t yet joined a Group, follow these tips:
- Don’t join Groups from whom there has been no activity for more than a day or two. Look for the status “Active” or “Very Active”, when looking through the Groups Directory
- Be selective. Don’t join the first Group suggested; only those that really appeal to you, as long as they are relevant to your target audience’s needs.
- Don’t join Groups that are too large. You may get lost in the chatter – particularly if they are too active.
- Do introduce yourself briefly, on approval.
- Do start participating in discussions and answering questions straight away, once you’ve been approved.
- Do be consistent with participation. It’s better to check and comment on three or four groups daily than ten groups sporadically.
Making the Most of LinkedIn Groups
- Share Your Content Carefully – Some group owners do not want you to share your content with the group, unless you’re a regular. Other group owners don’t want you to share it at all. Be sure to read and follow the rules of the group. If you don’t, your account could be flagged for spam. Even if sharing your content is allowed, don’t share content without also participating in other ways. You are there to make connections. This means you should do more socializing than promoting.
- Engage With Others Frequently – The best way to stand out on LinkedIn is to comment on posts in an intelligent way. Read the entire discussion and add to it only if you can add some sort of value to the discussion. When you have information to offer that is helpful people will value you for it and contact you on their own accord without you shoving it down their throats and practically begging for a job.
- Create Your Own Group – A great way to have more control over the group is to start your own. Create a mission statement and explain your vision for the group with a good key-worded description, summary, and image for the group. Create clear group guidelines, and only let people in the group if you’ve checked their profile.
Instructions to Create Your Own Group
- Move your cursor over Interests at the top of your homepage and select Groups from the dropdown.
- Click My Groups.
- Click the Create group button on the left side of the page.
- Fill in the requested information. A red asterisk means it’s required.
- Create a mission statement
- Explain your vision for the group with a good key-worded description and summary
- Add an image for the group
- Create clear group guidelines
- Only let people in the group if you’ve checked their profile.
- Click the Create Group button to create your group.
The important thing to note with any interaction in groups is to know and understand your audience, create content for them, and remember to interact and engage in an intelligent and thoughtful way with others too. Remember, it’s all about building relationships, not spamming, not selling, simply build the relationships and connections, add value where you can, and soon your inbox will be full and your phone will ring.