Tuesday October 30, 2012
Own a LinkedIn Group? Remember These Four Things...
LinkedIn groups have kinda gotten a bad rap lately because - well - they are kinda full of spammers and crap. BUT, LinkedIn groups can also be one of the best places to meet and engage with like-minded others. In fact, LinkedIn Groups are one of the few places on LinkedIn that you can easily engage with other members who are not your first level connections. SO make YOUR LinkedIn group one worth visiting and joining.
Make sure you are in your LinkedIn Group every day:
- Kicking out the spammers
- Instigating conversation
- Thanking the new members for joining. You might even ask them each a question to "introduce" them to the group and help them feel included.
This is more of a case of do as I say and not as I do - but I have seen LinkedIn managers thank new members for joining and ask them to introduce themselves to the group. This wouldn't work well with a super-group, but if you have an intimate group focused on a specific industry or company or problem, its a great way to get the conversations between members rolling.
GROUPON-IZE YOUR PROMOTION:
Most people ignore the Promotions tab on Linkedin Groups because - well - they are promotion-y and annoying. So why don't you make yours a place to visit by allowing your membership to offer 1/2 price specials to other group members? Make it a destination worth visiting! Encourage comments, testimonials and recommendations in your Promotions tab. (And of course, make sure you turn your Promotions tab ON!) Thanks to Miles Austin for this one! (also featured in my book, LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day)
INVITE AND SHARE:
Don't just depend on LinkedIn's stupid sharing buttons. Grab the URL for your LinkedIn Group. Its bulky so you might want to make a Bit.ly out of it (https://www.linkedin.com/groups/LinkChat-group-TweetChat-Participants-3904551?home=&gid=3904551&trk=anet_ug_hm becomes http://bit.ly/linkedinchat) and use your email, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to invite people to your group. But don't just say "Join my group" (that is essentially the languaging of LinkedIn's Group Invitation,) give them the WIIFM. What's in it for them? What will they get out of the group? Why should they join it?
Ok - even though LinkedIn isn't one of the social links - this is still a great example of using email to invite your audience to join you social family. Notice the WIIFM in the top right corner!
See what groups are doing well in your industry/arena and replicate!
Why recreate the wheel? If you are a member of someone else's thriving group, see which discussions (other than "My twitter handle is @LinkedInExpert, what is yours") What motivates people to chat? One of my favorite groups is Connect: Professional Women's Network. See what they are asking and commenting on
- Network in Your Neighborhood: A number of you have expressed interest in meeting up with women from Connect who live near you (I love that you're applying advice from the discussions!). Not only can this be a valuable way to expand your network, but you can practice for interviews with each other, run through the conversation you want to have about a raise and keep each other accountable to your goals. (878 Comments)
- I have been told by someone who works in unemployment that if you are a woman, over 50, and have been without work for at least 9 months, that you have no chance of being hired for any jobs at all! (654 Comments)
- Women-on-women bullying in the workplace: Thrilled this new network is up and running!! As editor of ForbesWoman,we're talking about all the issues surrounding women in the ... (323 Comments)
These four simple (but not always easy) steps should help you grow and maintain a strong group. What have you done to engage people in your groups, or what questions do you have about groups? Make sure to let us know in the comments section below! We create our #LinkedInChat (Tuesday nights at 8 PM EST) based on your questions, comments and needs!
We also created a list - please feel free to add your favorite LinkedIn groups to it!