It’s a Professional Brand Thing
LinkedIn groups are a highly effective way of online networking, and good successful use of a LinkedIn group can and does open the door to great opportunities. The groups offer you a chance to demonstrate your industry knowledge, demonstrate what you bring to the industry, and build your personal brand.
If you use LinkedIn groups correctly, you will establish a reputation as an influencer and as an authority in your field. This post provides pointers on how to use LinkedIn groups effectively.
Choose Groups with Care
A common error many executives make is they get a little bit mouse happy and join too many groups, often at random. Choosing groups should factor in where you can contact your targeted network. This should include potential customers, thought leaders, referral partners, and contacts that can be useful to you. Ideally the group will be classed as active as well.
If you join too many groups you will not be able to manage them, and that often leads to wasted opportunities.
When you join a group you should be able to view the members. Make a note of the most useful and start trying to connect with them.
The last thing you want to do is to target groups at random, or recruitment groups, expecting a headhunter or recruiter to come knocking. This is not the way LinkedIn works.
Make Sure you Post with Care
In the same vein as joining the wrong groups, when you update a group make sure it is relevant to the audience. For example, you share an article about cloud computing to a cloud computing group but you don’t share it to a career management group. The audience is not relevant to the article and as such you will not forge good connections, and may possibly damage your reputation.
- Keep updates relevant
- Only post your own blogs in response to specific queries
- Keep an eye on the group rules and don’t break them
As a final word of warning, be careful if you manage LinkedIn using a tool like Hootsuite. It is tempting to target all of your groups with your updates. Instead take care to only update groups where the members will appreciate it.
Engagement is key to LinkedIn Group Success
To make LinkedIn groups work it is essential that you engage with others in the group. Liking posts and replies, making comments, all make for good networking practices. When you comment decide whether the comment is for the public domain, or if you need to reply privately.
A common mistake we see is executives who do not monitor their own contributions. This is a bit like saying something to somebody and then turning your back. It is good practice to respond to comments and likes on your posts, and take note of what they are saying. It will help you select other updates, and may offer a way in to making a contact.
Follow up your Connection
As well as making the connection on LinkedIn you should try to move the conversation offline, especially for contacts you have identified as strategically important. You should aim for phone and face to face meetings if you feel they are beneficial to you.
When you start using LinkedIn groups success will not happen overnight. By acting like a professional, you will start to see people wanting to connect with you and ask your advice. This leads to opportunities and the forging of good connections. Just having a LinkedIn profile is not enough to see success.
You must cultivate it via LinkedIn groups.Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community