What Makes a LinkedIn Group Engaging and Sticky?

By: Viveka Monday August 6, 2012 comments Tags: LinkedIn Groups, LinkChat

The Anatomy of a Great Group Description


What makes a group engaging and sticky?  Certainly the discussions, posts, content and interaction within the group; but you must first build your group on a strong foundation.  And for that you need an excellent group description and a great set of group rules.  Fortunately we have Anne Thornley-Brown, Group Manager of “Event Planning and Event Management” ( founded and owned by Julius Solaris @tojulius) to show us how!

What’s the result of a great group discussion?  I took the effort to go through all 50 of my groups in order to find one I could leave so that  I could join Julius's subgroup “Social Media and Event Technology for Event Planners and Meeting Planners”  (that Anne manages). That is how enticing and engaging the description was!

Group Description


First, let’s take a look at some elements you should include in your Group description:



Invest in a branded logo


It is worth taking a little time to upload (or create and upload) a nicely branded logo.  This will lend a sense of trust and cohesiveness – especially if people already know you through other venues.

Keywords in your Group title and description fields 


You might have the most awesome group in the world, but if no one can find your group, it’s going to be a lot harder to get new members!  Make sure ALL the key search terms you think you should be found under are in your description, and your target keywords are in the title.

What’s your USP?


What makes you different from all the other groups out there?  What is your Unique Selling Proposition?  Use your group description to share it with your potential members

What’s In It For You?


Why in the world would a LinkedIn member join yet another group when there are so many other useless ones out there?  Well tell them why!  Tell they what THEY can expect to get out of the group.  What of their problems, frustrations, needs and desires will your group solve?

What can the member do for the group?


Like children, sometimes group members need to be told what to do!  So give them their boundaries, and give them ideas.  What does their participation bring to the group?

SPAM Policy


Have one!  And then direct your members to it!  (See Group Rules below)

Contact Info for Group’s Management


Make it easy for your members to get in touch with you, your managers and moderators!  Share email addresses, social links, etc.  If you have more than one manager or moderator for the group, let you members know, and let them know how they can get in touch with them.

Group Links


Create a bit.ly link for your group that is easy to remember: (Like http://linkd.in/linkedinchat) and then share it in this group.  If you use your group description in your group invitation, the group link will be hyperlinked.  Make it easy to share and find!

Hashtags


If you encourage your membership to interact on Twitter, then create and share a hashtag (and even a tweetchat) for your group.

Group Rules


It is so crucial to have a good set of group rules!  The rules from Anne’s group are the most complete I have seen of any LinkedIn group to date.

Tell your members what constitutes spam for you


I like what Anne did in her group – allowing the membership to define what spam meant to them.  You will notice a variety of answers (I did the same thing with my group).  You can also define spam for your group.  If they don’t like it, they can leave!

Tell your members how to flag what they constitute spam to be


Let your membership help you manage the spam by showing them what they can do when flagging and reporting spammy content.

Let your members know what they can and can’t share


Make it really clear what they are allowed to share and how they are allowed to share it.  Can they include contact info?  Is a free webinar spam?  What constitutes valuable information on your group?   What types of content can they share?  Give them the details!

Activate and then use the Jobs and Promotions tabs


People will always have jobs and promotions to post on your group.  Fortunately there is a place to put them!

Don’t be afraid to kick people out and let your members know that there will be consequences!

Tell people right off the bat that you have a One, Two or Three strike and you are out policy.  And then don’t be hesitant when kicking those people OUT!

Settings


Another thing you will want to do is make sure your settings are the way you want them.  Fortunately Neal Shaffer wrote a blog post on that so I don't have to!  Click here to read it.

 More about Anne


 Anne Thornley-Brown manages what has grown to become the largest LinkedIn Group for Event Planners and Event Industry professionals.  With 80,000+ members and 12 subgroups, it is a model of a spam-free group with a high level of engagement. Anne cut her teeth in on-line community management way back when the Internet was in its infancy. She received her original training and experience as a Geocities Community leader. Anne comes by her facilitation skills through her role as President of Executive Oasis International a Toronto based management consulting firm specializing in team building retreats. http://www.executiveoasis.com She has facilitated team building executive retreats and workshops for executives, managers and sales teams for clients from 14 countries including Canada, USA, Jamaica, UAE (Dubai), Oman, and Singapore.

LinkedInChat Questions for Anne:


Q1 What are the top 3 characteristics of an excellent LinkedIn Group?

Q2 What are some of the other benefits of subgroups?

Q3 What are some of the challenges in using subgroups?

Q4 Is it possible to have too many Group Rules? Do you ever flag spam?

Q5 Why are LinkedIn Group members reluctant to flag spam?

Q6 What do you look for in a LinkedIn Group Leadership team?

To continue the conversation, join our LinkedIn Group at LinkChat

 

 

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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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