Best Practices in Linkedin

5 LinkedIn Group Rules To Live By

LinkedIn

Photo credit: clasesdeperiodismo / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

 

We often read about the value of LinkedIn groups. Are you buying it?

Sure, groups can be a great place to improve your credibility, build your brand message, get more exposure and so forth, but the real question is “When are enough LinkedIn groups just too much?”

As you may know, LinkedIn members can join as many as 50 groups, not counting subgroups. Many members, attempting to reach this magic number, fill their group coffers with eerily similar group titles.

Let’s look at some better ways to get more out of LinkedIn groups.

 

Rule #1:
Effective Group Selection

Avoid joining too many peer groups. Instead, get yourself out there among professionals who may need you…but don’t quite know it yet.

For example, as a marketer, if I were to join only peer marketing groups, I’d be spending all my time on LinkedIn with my competitors, instead of exposing my expertise to potential new business.

To combat this, I might join a real estate group, or a technical group, or any group that fits my target markets. Why? Because it’s likely I am the only one…or one of only few…marketers in such a group. Therefore, my discussions stand out, I gain new exposure and leads are generated. (Note: not all groups are ‘open’, and each group has its own rules for accepting members. But keep trying.)

 

Rule #2:
Create Balance

It stands to reason, then, that you’ll want to create a balanced mix of peer and target market groups. Yes, it’s fun to hang out with likeminded people, but just don’t hang there exclusively. Keep in mind that others are watching and assessing you and your activities. Too many groups of one type may create a one-dimensional appearance to your marketing efforts…especially important to avoid for job seekers hoping to make a good first impression.

 

Rule #3:
Keep It Fresh

I go through my groups once or twice per season and make changes, maintaining 8-10 groups. Let’s be real…no human can be effective in 50 groups! I advise my clients to go ahead and join 50 groups during heavy networking phases (because you can connect to group members without knowing their email addresses or asking for introductions), but to cut back to a reasonable number of truly meaningful groups when it’s time to get serious about discussion participation.

 

Rule #4:
Consider Group Style

Have you noticed some groups are tightly controlled while some seem to have, well, no control? This is often due to the group monitor, who may or may not be the group’s founder. Tightly controlled groups, whether open or closed, are ones in which rules for membership, parameters for allowable discussions, and other guidelines to ensure quality and keep spam from creeping.

The monitor’s job is to stick to those rules like glue. Other groups allow any type of discussion, job postings, event postings and “buy me!” discussions. So think about what you really want out of the groups you join, and select accordingly. If things change in the group, don’t feel “bad” about leaving and joining other groups.

 

Rule #5:
Check out the Group’s Statistics

While multi-thousands of members may be initially impressive, what you really want are groups that truly appeal to you, where fresh discussions are posted, members comment frequently, and growth is steady, ensuring the best benefits for you as you network your way to the top! The Growth Stats reveal the truth…that size does not matter. Think quality over quantity.

 

Are you using other group strategies that work for you? Share them with us!

 

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Victoria Ipri teaches small businesses how to use LinkedIn for stronger networks, greater visibility and real lead generation. Her phone mentoring program is popular among solopreneurs, and small businesses across the globe enjoy Victoria’s webinars and hands-on LinkedIn training seminars. She is the author of LinkedIn For The Clueless, available on Amazon. You can reach Victoria at victoria@ipri.co or 610-616-3576. Watch for her new website, coming soon!

 

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Comments:
  • Great article..one of the few I’ve seen on effective group management.

    September 23, 2012 at 12:48 am

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