LinkedIn Networking Tip – How to Manage Your Engagement in LinkedIn Groups

Comments: 1

  • I absolutely can’t say this enough. LinkedIn is extremely powerful and can make connections you wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to make. But it’s business and keeping that in mind will reward you time and time again.

    I have so many personal examples but I’ll just sprinkle a few here as proof.

    For one, when I began using LinkedIn, I had lost my job but wasn’t using it to actively hunt for work. I also wasn’t considering starting my own business. Still, I’m always aware that communications last long after a chat so I made sure that everything I typed was perfect, and that I was helpful to others. I’d even join groups for those starting out in business and would offer tips to use technology to make their jobs easier. When those people went to work and tried what I’d laid out, they’d return to the group and give me kudos (heartily) and that grew my following.

    When I was ready to start my own group, I had only connected with a handful of people, but within weeks I had hundreds of members to my group. They all invited others. What kept them there was that the group was about engagement, and those who just posted spammy ads over and over were booted. Nothing personal. Now I had a larger following of people who dug how I *ran things*.

    Fast forward and through the simple postings of discussions on LinkedIn, I’ve been granted radio interviews, a tour of the Forbes newsroom by the Managing Editor, and more than one client from the very group I started. Yes, when I decided to start my own social media business, the people that already knew and witnessed how I’d managed an online community *and* my writing abilities came to me.

    One tip I offer with great emotion is do NOT start a LinkedIn group without a plan. It doesn’t sound serious at first, but to moderate and grow a group successfully takes time and great activity. Get some additional moderators that you trust and an occasional conference call won’t hurt. Consider it a business, because it can lead to a great number of opportunities. Our group was also selected to participate in LinkedIn’s group beta testing when the design we’re now familiar with was coming into phase. When several discussions have 30 and 40 (some over 200) comments, that’s great engagement among members and they’re likely to stay and invite others.

    So much to say, but use LinkedIn like you mean it. It’s a goldmine.

    Oh, and if you’re starting a group, check my blog post Design *Before* Sending Invitations: Don’t send out invitations on Twitter to your new group until you have content and a format already set up. You don’t invite people to a party and then decorate after they show up. If you need help or ideas, seriously, just ask me.

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