You have become comfortable commenting in response to LinkedIn group discussions and are now poised to do more. The next logical step is to start your own discussion in one of your groups. But just trying to see your name online or get noticed is not the way to begin. You’ll want to think about why you want to start your own discussion.
Benefits to Starting a Group Discussion
In addition to reasons for participating in a group discussion, there are further benefits to starting a discussion:
- Become a thought leader in your online community.
- Get suggestions for a particular problem.
- Identify an audience interested in you or your business.
- Get data for informal surveys.
Starting Your Own Group Discussion
Once you’ve carefully chosen a topic of discussion, do the following:
- After logging in to your LinkedIn account, and going to the page of the group you wish to add a discussion to, go to the “Discussions” tab and click on the “Discussion” icon that appears after “Start a:” and you’ll see the image below.
- Type your discussion topic of 200 letters or less in the box “Start a discussion or share something with the group…” and click on “Share.”
- Another box will appear where you can write more detail about the topic. If you also wanted to add a link to a site, you would click on “Attach a link” and paste it into that box. Then click on “Share” again for the discussion to now be posted for your group members to view (there will be a 15 minute edit period before posting begins).
Acting on Discussion Responses
- Make new connections: someone makes a great comment to your discussion, or you see a name or company of a commenter you have wanted to meet – why not send them a request to connect? It’s easy – either click on their name and invite them to your network, or warm them up first by going to the bottom of their comment, and clicking on “Reply privately” to introduce yourself more completely and suggest you connect.
- Compile responses and act on them: if you asked about a problem, review any suggested solutions; acknowledge any real suggestions with a thank you, private note or some other way, and if someone actually came up with your solution, definitely acknowledge this.
- Know when to delete comments: if you see comments to your discussion topic that are inappropriate, wildly off topic, offensive or otherwise unwelcome, use your power to flag the comment as inappropriate so the group manager can handle this – you certainly don’t want your discussions to become magnets for SPAM or to stir controversy in any unintended way. Per the print screen below, go to the bottom of the unwanted comment and click on “Flag as inappropriate.”
- Know when to close (or remove) the discussion: once you feel you’ve received plenty of great responses and the conversation string is either withering into a useless direction or no one is responding, or the topic is no longer viable, just go to the top of the discussion where you put the initial discussion comment, and below it select “More” then from the dropdown select “Delete.” You will then see a notice that content has been deleted.
Pay attention to your group discussions, as they will help you become more visible on LinkedIn and you want this to be a positive interaction.