LinkedIn has invested a lot of effort into improving its groups function. There’s even a mobile app designed to make it easier to access and post discussions in groups. This is another communication opportunity that you should be using strategically.
It all starts with finding the right groups. LinkedIn limits you to joining 50 groups, which isn’t a lot when you think about the types of groups you may want to join: organizations you are affiliated with, professional development groups, groups to monitor your employer or client’s industry, and groups where targeted constituencies are active.
To make the most of LinkedIn groups, you must be selective. Making the right choice starts with knowing your goal.
Industry Expertise and Learning – If you want to learn about an industry, focus on industry groups.
- Search with relevant keywords
- Visit the profiles of industry thought leaders and look at which groups they belong to
- Use LinkedIn Pulse to review posts in a related category to find thought leaders and determine the groups that they frequent
Lead Generation and Prospecting – If you want to generate leads, search for groups that are filled with prospects rather than with peers.
- Again, start with industry keywords approach
- Looks at the profiles of one or two dozen of your current customers to determine which groups they are members of.
As you review the groups, look for a decent number of members, interesting posts, and helpful comments on posts. Even if the group has a great name, if the discussions are not helpful or what you would want to comment on, move on. You want to connect with real people, and a bunch of spammy posts won’t be helpful.
- Based on the group description, is this group targeted to the right people and topics?
- Number of members and who they are
- Number and relevance of discussions posted to the group each week
- Number of discussions you are interested in commenting on
As a final thought, help others to find the right groups. Helping more people find the right groups benefits everyone and builds even stronger LinkedIn communities.