Whether you are a seasoned professional or a new user, learning how to make the most out of Linkedin groups can be a sticky wicket.
Most groups have rules that group owners and managers use to help make each members experience rewarding. As with any Linkedin group, there will be those that behave badly and make it difficult and sometimes damn near impossible for serious professionals to enjoy and participate in group discussion because of shameless self promotion and spammy "marketing" tactics. Don't give up on a group because of bad behavior by a few. Learn how to flag posts as promotion or jobs and more on to contributing valuable content. Remember to reach out to group owners or managers for help or to report repeat offenders that make your experience unrewarding. A group gets better when every member holds each other accountable to the group rules and behaves in a professional and considerate way.
How do I know this?
For nearly 3 years I have been a Managing Partner and Event Coordinator for a local Professional networking group that has grown from 300 members on Linkedin to over 3000 since I first came on board. Among other events, I have organized close to 20 monthly educational luncheons that brings a wide range of area professionals together to learn from community leaders both online and off. 100% of my time is donated to this cause and to helping my community.
Has it been easy? Hell no. No one likes the hall monitor, especially the kids acting up or slacking off. Have I made mistakes - you betcha! Both at a member of groups and as a manager. We are all learning and growing in the online social space. Don't be too hard on yourself. Ask questions, reach out, own your mistakes and keep contributing valuable content.
The most successful groups that I am a member of (besides the one I mentioned) are the ones where everyone of the group managers are engaged with the online community through posting regular discussions, helping flag and moderate discussions as well as participating in member discussions by leaving comments. Establishing and maintaining an enjoyable and engaging group is hard work and the greatest success comes when all managers and members are on board and involved regularly.
I have learned so much since joining Linkedin and have had my ups and downs with managing groups. Has it been worth it to help connect the community and rebuild our local economy? YES! And I am incredibly grateful to those who stand beside me, work with me and who are truly committed to helping our community.
As you read over these 5 tips I hope that they help you!
Top 5 Tips for New Members of any Linkedin Group
- Know the Group Rules
- Review Past Discussions / Follow New Ones
- Post Relevant Discussions
If you have a great topic that will drive and active discussion than you can consider Posting the Same Discussion to Multiple Groups.
At a loss on what to post? Here are Six Ways to Ignite a LinkedIn Discussion.
- Receive Weekly Email Digests of Group Activity
Set aside at least an hour a week to participate in and post relevant discussions, make new connections and reach out to those who have helped you with information or links. Here are 5 Simple Ways to make the Most of your Time on LinkedIn™
“I promise to create thought leadership content that lives up to its name, and not simply babble on about nothing. No one likes or respects social spam!"
- Don't Spam
This is a great post by Neal Schaffer that covers LinkedIn Group Etiquette and will help you understand the rules? Ultimately, when I say don't spam that means don't harvest group members emails and send them all your email newsletter. Big no no. Learn how to use LinkedIn Mail without being spammy.
Don't shamelessly self promote. Some groups have sub groups set up where members can post upcoming events, industry specific interests as well as jobs. It's important to understand where to add your voice and more important not to come off as pushy with a hard sales pitch with every single post.
Need some help? Here are 5 Best Practices to Making Quality LinkedIn Connections---
Why do you join Linkedin Groups?
When you join a group do you research the group rules before posting?
Are you a group manager? What are some tips that you can share that you use to make your group experience better?
How do you encourage members to adhere to group rules?