Outside of the timeline, your personal profile, and the Publisher tool, a very powerful tool to use on LinkedIn is Groups.
Welcome to our second entry in our #31DaysOfLinkedIn effort. Here we will be going through a journey of the (probable) most powerful and least utilized platform of social media, LinkedIn.
What are LinkedIn Groups?
LinkedIn Groups are literally subsections of LinkedIn where users can gather around any specific topic: industry, location, IRL organizations, etc. They can be set up as open groups or closed groups. In closed groups, you will have to apply for membership to be allowed in. Heck, you can even start one yourself.
Why should I care about LinkedIn Groups?
Being a member of a Group will allow you to meet your peers, neighbors, and fellow members of associations. By being an active member of a Group, you can share your knowledge, raise the awareness of your prowess (or lack thereof), and maybe even create a little profit for yourself. Just as with the rest of LinkedIn, you can share posts, interact with other members, and publish your own content. Most Groups have rules against selling products or being overly promotional so be sure to know what you can and shouldn’t post before going crazy with the salesy stuff.
Your membership in groups is also published on your own LinkedIn profile so if visitors get that far down your page they will see this extra level of authenticity. LinkedIn also is proactive in sending Group emails to members, which they can unsubscribe from or choose the frequency in which they receive them, and your activity within the group, if you are, will be shared in these messages. It’s a whole second level of branding for you!
Do LinkedIn Groups really work?
Just like any type of community, online or IRL, the success depends on the people within it. As you are aware, LinkedIn feels like homework to many of its members so much of the audience is just lurking. If you want to be active in a group, do what you can to bring other members up to your level of activity.
Here are a couple of actions to help you grow the activity of a LinkedIn Group:
- Comment on others posts so the OP sees at least someone cared.
- Share the link to the Group on your other social media channels. Perhaps some of your fans and followers will be interested in it as well.
- Invite additional LinkedIn connections to join the group.
- Reach out to the Group admin and see if they have a content strategy for the group or if it is just a free-for-all and see what they would like your help with.
- If the Group is for an IRL organization you belong to at the local, national, or international level, be sure there are calls to action at events, in publications, and in other digital communications for members to join the group.
- If all else fails to spark action, take the lead within the current Group to get it active, leave the Group as it is dormant, or create your own Group with fellow active members who want more interactivity.
Question: what LinkedIn Groups do you belong to which you really enjoy? Share in the comments below or across social media!
Thanks for taking the time to check this post out. If you have any LinkedIn questions, issues, comments, which you would like to see addressed in this #31DaysOfLinkedIn feel free to reach out anytime. I usually have an internet machine within reach!