LinkedIn groups serve many valuable purposes. They have the potential to bring professional people together with common goals and common passions. You can join up to 50 groups on LinkedIn. That should be a sufficient number to do what you need to do and connect with the appropriate people successfully.
The advantages of LinkedIn groups
First and foremost, LinkedIn is among the top social media channels for professional people. LinkedIn can be a major source of online traffic to your website and other parts of your web presence. If you have come to rely on LinkedIn to draw traffic to your business, doing without it is not a viable option for you. If you are managing a group or several groups, you should do your best to be as active as possible in that role. There are several aspects of your role as manager, including:
Interact with your group members directly and often: Each group member who registers for the group must be approved by you manually. If you feel that they are appropriate for your group, you should reach out and welcome the person to the group personally (through Email is fine). Subsequently, you should make it a point to interact with them on at least a semi-regular basis.
Share valuable information: Whenever you have something valuable and educational to share, you should send it to your groups. They will definitely appreciate your efforts.
Search LinkedIn for appropriate members: It is very important for you to take an active role and finding members who will benefit the group is part of that role.
Encourage your members to post valuable information in the groups: It is very important that you show your appreciation on behalf of the entire group. The more people post valuable, informative information, the better and more interesting the group will become.
Encourage discussions among the group members: There is absolutely nothing wrong with stimulating conversation and that includes controversial comments at times. Of course, you will have to be careful that your group members don’t become offensive in any way.
In addition to managing your LinkedIn groups, you will want to make every effort possible to engage your group members. It is important to keep in mind that it is not about you alone. It is about your entire community of members (in all of your groups).
Encourage participation: You should definitely encourage your group members to participate in discussions and you should do the same. After all, you are one of the members of the group in addition to being the manager of the group. In that regard, you are the same as everyone else in the group.
Be as creative as possible: It is a great idea to be as creative as you possibly can with the group whenever possible. As you take on new members, try to tailor your efforts not only to the existing members of the group but also to the new members. Hopefully, they will bring a new dimension to the group.
Stimulate new discussions: There are many ways in which you can stimulate discussions in your groups. One great way to do that is by asking thought-provoking questions. People generally love to offer their opinions what an interesting question is asked. Allow them the opportunity.
Grab inspiration from as many places as possible: There is no limit to how many places you can find inspiration for ideas and topics for your groups. Keep an open mind and realize that many different people have something valuable to contribute.
It is really important that you share whatever information you feel is valuable. Your members will benefit and you will benefit.
Take advantage of new LinkedIn tools as they are introduced: LinkedIn offers new tools on a regular basis. It is up to you to take advantage of those tools and to introduce them to your group members at every opportunity. The next step after that is to try the tools out and to encourage your group members to do the same.
Encourage your group members to share among themselves for the benefit of the groups: Your group members should be comfortable interacting with each other. They will definitely get a lot out of that.
Promoting your groups is an excellent idea and you will get a lot of mileage out of it.
Encourage promotion of your LinkedIn groups: The sad fact is that if you don’t tell anyone about your groups, people may not even be aware of their existence. You should “talk up” your LinkedIn groups to your entire list of LinkedIn connections so that they become aware of how great they are.
Share the URL for the groups on your LinkedIn profile: You definitely want people to check out your groups. You may gain valuable new members that way and they may be able to contribute a great deal to the groups.
Promote your groups on other groups: You should try to promote your groups whenever you get the opportunity to the appropriate people and the appropriate places. Of course, only do that if you think that it is at the right time and the right place.
LinkedIn groups have many advantages. Once you work your LinkedIn groups to the best of your ability, you will wonder why it took you so long. You will also see that LinkedIn will do you and your business a great deal of good and it is a great idea to include it in your online social media strategy. It gives you opportunities that you may not have had otherwise and you have the opportunity to connect with other valuable professionals. LinkedIn offers a great deal of value in the form of usability and exceptional tools. All you have to do is take advantage of everything that it has to offer.[signoff][/signoff]
Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.
Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.
Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.
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