How to network using LinkedIn Groups

Are you a member of a LinkedIn Group?

Do you spend time networking in LinkedIn Groups?

LinkedIn Groups are great way to build credibility and make new connections that can ultimately help grow your business.

With over 1.5 million LinkedIn Groups, it can be difficult to find relevant Groups and determine which ones might be the best for you to join. It’s also important to find Groups that are well-managed.

Unfortunately there are many LinkedIn Groups that are not well-managed, which makes the experience within these Groups less than optimal.

How many groups should you join?

You can join up to 50 LinkedIn Groups. However, it’s difficult to gain traction in 50 Groups as well as find the time to participate in that many.

Below are tips for maximizing your LinkedIn Groups experience.

Use LinkedIn Search to find relevant groups to Join

In case you haven’t noticed, LinkedIn search has been significantly enhanced. This includes the ability to search for relevant Groups (based on your network) and search for discussion topics within open Groups!

To start, search for Groups using keywords that would be a natural fit for you, based on your geographic location, industry, prospects, education history, community/charity organizations, hobbies and interests.

Try searching LinkedIn Groups with the keywords that actually describe your natural affinities. For example, type in the name of the college you attended to find potential alumni groups that exist on LinkedIn.

Review the “Groups You May Like” suggestions from LinkedIn

The easiest way to navigate to the Groups You May Like feature is through your navigation menu bar under Groups. There you will see these options. (The Groups Directory option is the primary search area for LinkedIn Groups.)

When you click on the Groups You May Like feature, LinkedIn will list suggested Groups for you to check out, based on your network connections, profile information, skills and expertise and existing Group memberships. You may also notice some Groups (or subgroups) on this list that you already belong to.

Evaluate the quality of a LinkedIn group

How do you know if the LinkedIn Groups you are interested in joining are going to be well-run and high-quality?

In some cases, you may just have to join the Group and spend some time there to make that determination.

In a well-managed Group, you are going to most likely see a manager who is visible throughout the discussions, and a strong set of rules.

The quantity of membership and the activity level of a Group aren’t always correlated to whether the group is high-quality. I’ve seen some very large Groups that are very well-managed and some very small Groups that aren’t managed at all!

Be sure to evaluate the stats of the LinkedIn Group you are interested in as well. There you can learn more about member demographics, activity, how long the Group has been around and more.

Consider joining corporate-sponsored groups

There are a number of corporate-sponsored Groups popping up on LinkedIn. This is where LinkedIn has officially partnered with brands or corporations to help them build robust Groups. Within each of these Groups, the organization can drive member visits and discussion participation while also controlling the ad display space within the Group site.

If you run your own LinkedIn Group or you’re thinking about starting one, you could learn some terrific strategies as a member of these corporate-sponsored Groups.

Adhere to LinkedIn Group participation best practices

In order to make LinkedIn Groups serve as authentic forums for discussions and dialogue, we can all do our part to maintain the integrity of the Groups we belong to. This will make the LinkedIn Group experience better for everyone.

Additionally, LinkedIn is doing its part by helping Group managers fight promotional posts. If you are thinking about posting a discussion that contains the words me, my or I, don’t count on it showing up. Most likely it will end up under the Promotions tab, where it’s highly unlikely that anyone will see it.

  –socialmediaexaminer.com

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