The "New" LinkedIn Group - And What It Means to You

By: Viveka Friday July 9, 2010 comments Tags: LinkedIn Expert, LinkedIn Tips, LinkedIn Groups, LinkedIn Advice, LinkedIn Training

Getting Social with Groups on LinkedIn


I’ve mentioned it before – LinkedIn is finally getting to be more social.  "Groups" are helping.

There are several aspects of the “new” Groups section on LinkedIn that will look familiar - to Facebook users.  Both the new “update” section and Groups now have the ability to “like” and “comment”.  On Groups you can also “pass” (I guess “unlike” wasn’t business-y enough)  and the "more" section allows you to report something as unsuitable.

I can only hope this will keep people from using groups as a sales letter emporium.

Groups


With Linking, the “Discussion” and “News” section have merged.  I personally like this feature because I will often pop my latest blog into news, but now with this new feature, group members can actually discuss and comment on my blog.



Groups take LinkedIn from a “Rolodex on steroids” and into a true social media forum.

Now more than ever it is important, if you want to utilize Linked in effectively, to become active in some key groups.  These are the types of groups I recommend my clients join:

    1. Your own industry groups – find out what is going on in your industry, find strategic partners and JV’s, find a job

    1. Your ideal client’s industry groups – impress potential clients with your knowledge, build relationships, generate interest in your product or service (but NOT by sending out sales messages)

    1. Big groups – you don’t know who you don’t know – it makes sense to join some big groups just to be able to access some key folks – I recommend LinkedHR

    1. Alumni group s – because we love to help each other out.



Once you join some groups (you can join up to 50) do a bit of lurking to find out what people are talking about, who is doing the talking, what the “feel” of the group is.  Once you get a feel, dive in and begin to participate in an interactive and helpful way.

You can choose the regularity at which LinkedIn informs you about group discussions: daily, weekly or not at all.  From some groups you will want to receive a daily digest.  These are the groups that you find stimulating, that seem to be a good source for relationships. These groups you will participate in daily – even if it’s just minutes a day – so you can become an “influencer”.  That will get you some recognition, authority and visibility.

    • Do share your knowledge.

    • Do help people out

    • Do express your true opinions

    • Do take time to answer and respond in a considerate manner

    • Do re-purpose content you might already have that answers and adds to a group discussion

    • Do start your own discussions



BUT

    • Don’t use groups as a place to place your sales letters

    • Don’t use groups to share a “business opportunity”

    • Don’t use groups to solicit a downline. ( No one will participate in your discussion, you are likely to get flagged, and you’ll just irritate people.)



From some groups you’ll receive a weekly digest.  These are the groups that have interesting information, but you don’t see as much a need to invest your time in creating relationships with the members.  Some groups you’ll keep on the backburner for potential future connections with members.

Here is the link to LinkedIn’s latest blog on the new Groups features.  Watch the video, it worth the time.  http://learn.linkedin.com/groups/

(Sourced from LinkedIn) Some new features and benefits are:

The ability to:

    • Quickly discover the most popular discussions in your professional groups.

    • Have an active part in determining the top discussions by liking and commenting.

    • Follow the most influential people in your groups by checking the Top Influencers board or clicking their profile image to see all their group activity.

    • See both member-generated discussions and news in one setting.

    • Easily browse previews of the last three comments in a discussion.

    • Find interesting discussions by seeing who liked a discussion and how many people commented.



The new Group Manager moderation tools allow:

    • Managers and moderators can now delete inappropriate posts right from their email box using the new option “Send me an email for each new discussion” in More > My Settings.

    • Managers and moderators can now delete inappropriate comments right from their email box by clicking “Delete” within any followed-discussion email alert.



LinkedIn is now introducing the ability for members to flag items as inappropriate (YIPEE!) This  capability will enable members to flag items into the moderation queue or, if you choose, delete the content outright after an adjustable number of flags.

    • The moderation queue will allow group managers to decide how many member flags can delete a thread or a comment.

    • Managers can now restrict the move-to-Jobs capability to themselves. Users still will be able to “Flag-as-job” to move an item into the moderation queue.

    • Very-low-connection users will now be flagged as such in groups’ request-to-join queues.

    • Very-low-connection users will no longer be admitted directly to open-access groups but routed to the groups’ request-to-join queues.



LinkedIn’s new Groups introduces the first of several changes to featured discussions:

    • "Featured Discussions” are now called “Manager’s Choice” in response to user confusion about whether group managers or LinkedIn featured the discussion.

    • Original user discussions, user-submitted articles, and RSS items can all be featured by clicking “Add to Manager’s Choice” from the top of any item’s detail page.

    • The top Manager’s Choice will be visible in a module on the right side of the most visited page within groups: the discussion detail page.

    • The top Manager’s Choice, rather than the top five, appears on the group homepage in a module on the right side of the page.

    • Managers can re-order up to 10 Manager’s Choice discussions from the “See All” link in the Manager’s Choice module.

    • Manager’s Choice discussions will soon see top billing in the group digest email.



And remember.  This is social media.  We are here to help each other out.  To attract clients and partners through relationship and service.  To be Go-Givers lending a hand and raising up each other.

Let me know how you use groups to create relationships in your business.  I want to know!

Viveka

About the Author: Viveka

Viveka is author of LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day and is known internationally as the “LinkedIn Expert”.
CEO of Linked Into Business, she also hosts the biggest LinkedIn chat on Twitter.  Forbes has listed her as a top social media influencer for three years running, and she has been cited in Ragan, CNN, Forbes, Mashable, Simple Living, Bloomberg, LinkedIn's Small Business Site and "The Sophisticated Marketer's Guide to LinkedIn, The Miami Herald, Social Media Today and The Social Media Examiner!

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