10 tips on using LinkedIn Groups

I’m currently putting together 100 LinkedIn Tips which will be available next month (August 2013) but in meantime here are 10 tips for using LinkedIn Groups. Often neglected, LinkedIn Groups can be a powerful route into networking and obtaining leads. There are a staggering 1,515,508 LinkedIn Groups to choose from  as at 21 July 2013.

Read on to learn how to make the most of LinkedIn Groups:

1) Decide on your objectives – Decide on what you want to achieve by joining a Group. This will help you choose which are the best of the 1.5 million Groups for you. Do you want leads? Do you want to demonstrate your expertise or perhaps you want to obtain the latest news and thinking in a particular sector?

2) Find an appropriate Group – Following recent changes the Groups menu has now been removed from the main menu but you can still access Groups under Interests. Here you can see your lists of Groups and view Groups You May Like. You can also use the new ‘unified search bar’ to find a Group – just start typing the name of a Group and Groups beginning with that letter will be displayed in the search bar. Alternatively, you can select Groups under Advanced Search and display the full list of LinkedIn Groups and then use filters as required.

3) Use Groups to network – Use Groups as a means of getting to know prospects or people you wish to connect with. On the bottom of each LinkedIn profile, the Groups that the member belongs to are listed. Visit this section, join an appropriate Group then enter into a discussion.

4) Get active – The golden rule on LinkedIn is to ‘get active to get noticed’ and this also applies to Groups. So start and join conversations and ask and answer questions. Be helpful. A good tip is to answer a question in public and then follow up in private to see if you can provide more advice, that if you’re a consultant, you might get paid for.

5) Limit the number you join – You can be a member of up to 50 LinkedIn Groups but keep the focus on your objectives and limit the number you join. You’ll find it hard to contribute regularly to many more than 4 or 5 Groups.

6) Don’t join large Groups – Focus on Groups with hundreds of members rather than thousands to get yourself noticed. In a larger Group it’s easy for your voice to get lost.

7) Select frequency of Groups Digest emails – LinkedIn sends you a handy daily or weekly email with a summary of activity in the Groups you’ve joined. You can choose which is appropriate for each Group you belong to or switch off emails altogether. The default setting is daily so if you belong to 20 Groups you could be getting 140 email updates a week! To change the setting, select your photo on the top right, then Privacy and Settings (you’ll be prompted to enter your user name and password) then Communications then Set the frequency of emails then Group Digests. Be selecting the pencil icon you can choose the frequency of the Digests you receive from each Group.

8) Don’t spam the Group – Add value to discussions in a Group. If you wish to promote an event or service you can do so under the Promotions tab.

9) Schedule your updates – Use Buffer to schedule posts easily and directly into your LinkedIn Groups. Find out more about Buffer and the advantages of scheduling in this article I wrote for Muddywall – Buffer App Review- Scheduling your updates.

10) Join Most Popular Discussions – You can find the ‘Most Popular Discussions’ at the top of the group discussion page. Here you’ll find the conversations that get the greatest visibility and often have the most engagement. They’re likely to be interesting and your comments are more likely to get noticed here than elsewhere. There’ll be plenty of comments you can engage with.

For more help on LinkedIn Groups or any other aspect of LinkedIn, please get in touch for details on my in-house workshops and one-to-one consultations.

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