- Do you ever post status updates on your profile?
- Do you ever to talk to other users?
Having a completed profile is great, but if you don’t interact with others users, you’re missing a major opportunity!
LinkedIn has numerous groups where you can engage with others in your industry and share your profile. By posting discussions within groups or simply on your home page you can attract the attention of the right people.
So what steps can you take to make the most of LinkedIn groups?
- Firstly, search for groups relevant to your field of expertise and/or industry. Finding and then joining the right group is crucial! There are official groups such as professional associations and trade bodies as well as unofficial groups representing professionals who work in the same field as you.
- Once you find a group that fits your profile, you need to see how active it is. A group with thousands of members but not a lot of activity, posts or discussions will not be an effective group to join. You can easily access this information as LinkedIn provide stats for each group.
- The easiest way to find the right groups is to see which groups your top clients are members of (you’ll see this information at the bottom of their profile). Not only will these groups contain similar businesses to your clients, it will also help you stay in touch with your existing clients.
- Some groups are open and some groups are closed (you have to wait for approval to join). Closed groups are generally preferable as they have better quality control: Spammers are kept out and discussions are moderated to ensure they’re not promotions. Whilst it’s unlikely you’d want to join this many groups, LinkedIn allow you to join up to 50 groups and 50 subgroups.
- Once you’ve joined a few groups, you need to be active! Ensure you regularly monitor them to see what sort of comments or discussions are being posted. If they’re relevant to you, respond where necessary. You also need to post discussions yourself and respond to comments that people make in response to your posts. Doing this not only raises your profile but also enables you to share your expertise and thus gain credibility.
The key here is to post comments in a non-sales way, finding out information about other group members by encouraging them to share and interact in respect of their own situations etc. e.g. An IT consultancy might ask “Have you upgraded to Windows 8, what do you think?” If you can find a topic that group members feel strongly about, they are more likely to respond. If they feel you understand their need and frustration, the more they will interact, trust and respect you and your field of expertise.