LinkedIn - Groups

What are LinkedIn Groups?

LinkedIn Groups provide professionals in the same industry or similar interests to share content, post relevant jobs and further their network of contacts relevant to their field. Here are a few types of groups that are currently on LinkedIn:

  • Corporate
  • College alumni
  • Nonprofit
  • Trade organisations
  • Conferences
  • Industry-specific

How should you leverage your groups?

Reviewing the group name and description is the initial attraction people have towards the group. It’s important for the group leader to identify keywords which can be identified in the title and the description as this is what will show up in the LinkedIn group searches.

Creation of a group policy that everyone adheres to is vital in order to maintain a group. For example a group designed to increase employee relations within an organisation would not like to have external jobs being posted. In order for group member to understand the rules, they must be repeated and found in multiple places.

Screening new members and moderating discussion posts is a big key to managing a successful group. New members will always want to join and when deciding whether or not to accept contacts consider the following.

  • Make sure they have a profile picture
  • Make sure they fit your specific group criteria
  • Make sure they have been a Linked In member for at least a month

Use the group announcement feature which allows the group leader to send one email to all members of the group weekly. This is great if you want to publicise your blog or invite them to attend a webinar that the group leader has created. Additionally great headlines make your email standout from the others.

Leading your group is vital. If you’re leading a large company choose a spokesman who represents the group and can spend time in the group. If you’re a small business owner you could be the face of the group. By being the most active group member allows you to show you’re the leader and fellow member will begin to trust and know you, as groups do not lead themselves. Example of leading the group include

  • Posting weekly discussions or questions
  • Encouragement of engagement
  • LinkedIn polls within the groups

Should you join / create groups?

If you have similar interests with other professionals you should join a group to increase your status and networks. Colleagues who have similar interests are more likely to engage with each other and by having similar interests, this enables great relationship building.

Finding a group to join

1. Move your cursor over Groups at the top of your homepage, and select Groups Directory from the dropdown menu.

  • Browse the Featured Groups on the page.
  • Search for a group using the Search Groups box on the left.

2. Move your cursor over Groups at the top of your homepage and select Groups You May Like from the drop down menu.

  • Browse through our list of suggested groups.

How to create a group

  • Click Groups at the top of your homepage.
  • Click the Create A Group link near the top of the page.
  • Complete the fields (a red asterisk means the information is required)
  • As the final step, choose whether you want to create an open group or a members-only group.

What should your presence look like in a group?

Creator of Group

If you are creating a LinkedIn Group then it is essential that you are an active manager. You will have to approve every registration and should also accompany this with a welcome email to your new member informing them on how to contact you and how to use the group. Be regular by actively providing members with helpful information.

If you identify a member of your group becoming a prominent poster it is up to you to encourage them through InMail. You should also try to contact non-LinkedIn members and ask them to connect with you. Keep track of discussions that are taking place and monitor if your users are looking for additional features and find ways to offer your assistance. If you find that discussions in your group are becoming inactive then you should start a discussion and ‘get the ball rolling’ again so to speak, stimulate open-ended discussions and encourage members to share their ideas and perspectives.

Member of Group

If you are part of any LinkedIn group or you are thinking of joining a group then there are a few things you can do to gain the optimum benefits as a member. As a member of a group you are basically part of an online forum. This means that it is the ideal place to gain advice and ask other people questions. You can also be a contributor by answering questions that other may have intelligently – this could also raise your online reputation.

Being a member of a group is also a great avenue to increase your reputation as an expert. Provide advice to others who may be seeking help and show your enthusiasm and appreciation for those reaching out to you. By offering sound advice you will increase your contacts through positive feedback and word-of-mouth.

Another good idea is to share content. Generate ideas and research different content to create a topic of discussion that may be of interest to other members of the group. By igniting a topic of discussing you will generate activity and create involvement between members in your group. Those members could share this information with others essentially resulting in content sharing.

In order to gain the most from your group it is important that you contribute as much as you can. By being an active member you will surely gain more than you would by simply observing other members of your group.

Which stage(s) of the buyers journey should this tactic be used?