Hopefully you have already joined groups on LinkedIn that are relevant to you and your business interests. After a few weeks of receiving notices of new discussions for the different organizations, you may decide that some of the groups are more a source of SPAM than viable and valuable information, and choosing to leave a few groups is perfectly normal. But once you have found some groups that appear to have key players in your industry, prospect group or other influencers, you can begin to make your own voice heard by participating in group discussions.

Benefits to Joining in Group Discussions

There are many reasons to participate in a group discussion on LinkedIn, but the most common reasons are:

  • Learning more about the group you joined: by seeing the types of discussions that appear in the group, you can tell if there are relevant topics and compelling reasons to stay in the group.
  • Learn more about other active group members: you may discover leaders in your field or from your target prospects who start many discussions.
  • Add to your connections: everyone in a group you join isn’t necessarily part of your list of immediate connections, but now you have the ability to communicate with them. You may ask someone in the group to join your personal network, or they may even ask you after reading some of your comments.
  • Learn about topics of interest in the industry / community: because a group may have members from around the world and all types of stakeholders, you could be exposed to front-line issues for some that you may not have been aware of. Information sharing is very valuable, especially if you are learning what your prospects wish they could have.

Getting Started in an Existing Group Discussion

You may receive daily or weekly email updates on a discussion topic from LinkedIn for one of your groups, and find the topic interesting. Do you have something valuable to contribute, or an intriguing point to raise? Click on the topic in your email and you should be prompted to sign into your LinkedIn account, and then you’ll be right on the page of the selected discussion. Carefully read the topic responses entered so far, so you are not repeating something already covered well earlier. Also take note of who is commenting – are they from a variety of group members, or are there lots of SPAM comments? If the discussion still seems substantial and you have a relevant comment to add, do the following:

  1. Scroll to the bottom of the page past the last comment listed.
  2. In the “Add a comment…” box (see below) next to your profile icon, type in your comment. It’s best if your comment is succinct and professional.

  1. Check your spelling and meaning very carefully before clicking “Add Comment.”
  2. Note: you will automatically see the “Send me an email for each new comment” checked, unless you uncheck the mark in the box.

How May Your Comments Best Serve You or Your Business?

  • Become known: when you are making useful comments, providing solutions to others, bringing up potential unconsidered roadblocks, or otherwise proving yourself as a valuable contributor, others will start noticing you and may think of asking you other questions or learn more about what you and your business can do.
  • Get you actively working on your business: if you’re spending time researching and thinking about how to solve problems or getting your point across, you are improving your presentation skills and enhancing your networking
  • Get noticed by other group members not in the discussion: just because someone hasn’t commented on the discussion does not mean they aren’t reading the comments. Group members who regularly see new and updated topics may be reading and also wish to know more about you after a well-written comment.

Choose your group discussion comments carefully, as they will be sent to everyone who chooses to receive discussion comments on LinkedIn.