If your LinkedIn strategy does not include participation in LinkedIn groups, you are missing a powerful way to use the platform for your digital strategy. A complete LinkedIn profile and list of connections is great, but groups bring more opportunities.
There are groups for different subject areas, industries, professional associations, alma maters and more.
You need to be strategic to be successful with groups. Here are three important things to keep in mind.
Join Several Groups
Start by joining several groups. Select them based on your interests and because one or more of your connections or desired connections are members.
Only as a member will you be able to determine the level of activity, topic covered, and tone of the exchanges. You can maintain interest in the groups that are a good fit and drop off of ones that don’t contribute to your goals.
LinkedIn groups are communities, some of which are tight knit and lead to real-life relationships. It can take time to become a part of them.
Introduce yourself to fellow members. Start by making comments on posts that offer helpful insights.
Add posts that will be helpful to other members. Avoid direct sells of you or your services. The key is to build relationships that will lead to more connections, not direct sales.
Understand the History
Browse discussions and threads to get an idea of which questions have been already asked and answered, and which questions that haven’t been brought up yet. Before you jump in, you want to be familiar with the lay of the land.
In addition to content insight, gauge cultural norms of the group. How often do individual members post? What kinds of posts generate interest? What is the tone of the conversations? Etc.
A Strategic Approach Wins
These three tips will help you use groups to build genuine relationships that can help you to grow your position as a subject matter expert and the awareness of your brand and business. As with all relationship efforts, taking a strategic approach leads to the greatest successes.