There are 2,110,449 LinkedIn Groups as of as of May 16, 2016 and as of April 2016 there are over 433 million profiles on the professional networking site. That’s a whole lot of groups to consider and a whole lot of people to connect with.
As for you, you can only join 50 LinkedIn Groups but an unlimited number of subgroups. Let’s just focus on the actual Groups now, which are the golden nuggets of LinkedIn.
LinkedIn Groups are packed full of power to allow individuals like you and me to get the message about our companies, products and brands in front of other individuals that we are not (yet) connected with. But there’s a bit of a science to it.
The science of being a LinkedIn Group member
According to the Chemuniy Blog, there are 5 rules for LinkedIn Group etiquette, as follows:
- Add value, add value, add value. Every discussion or comment you post should add to the knowledge of the group, and/or encourage a discussion that will.
- Encourage discussion and respond to comments. Social media is a conversational medium – think telephone rather than megaphone. As such, the same rules apply here as they would to any conversation.
- Be courteous, respectful and open-minded. All discussions on LinkedIn effectively happen ‘in public,’ so it is important to be mindful of that fact.
- Sell yourself through your knowledge, not your sales pitch. Social media is about learning and engaging in rewarding conversations. It is not about interruption marketing.
- Don’t take a lack of response personally. Many discussions don’t attract any comments. It’s not necessarily a reflection on the quality of the topic or you as a person, more on the fact that most people can only dedicate a small amount of time to networking on LinkedIn.
Where to begin your LinkedIn Group activity
I’m a big believer in the power of groups and advocate for being active in them. As an example, I decided to become more active in The Health & Wellness Networking Group as a social media marketer for a worksite wellness solutions provider.
I went in and vetted out the conversation. With over 60,000 members of the group, I was surprised with lack of conversation. And even though I haven’t been active as a listener before, I took this as a chance to jump right in.
Curating content and monitoring your posts
I posted a link to an article that promote walking meetings in white-collar work environments, making an assumption that this would fit the interests of the demographics of this group. This article is on sponsored blog site of the company I work for and wasn’t selling anything. However, it planted the seed for the blog, which happens to help the company, and drive traffic there. It also helped get my name out there with the hopes that if I were to post or engage again, other members will pay attention.
In just a couple days, I saw great response to this post in terms of likes and comments – 14 likes and 12 comments.
Update: The conversations hasn’t stopped. Two weeks in, this post has generated 59 likes and 26 comments!
I didn’t leave those comments ignored either. Some were questions and some were mere reactions. But I liked commented, thanked people, and also provided other references for those who asked questions. It also turned out that the community self-moderated this thread and helped other out! I couldn’t have asked for more.
You’ll also notice that my headline and post text are very simple. This is easy to read, leaves the viewer wanting more, and (as it seems) enticed people enough to respond.
My next steps will be to continue my attempts of connecting with others in this LinkedIn Group so that when the time comes that I have something large on the marketing agenda to share, I’ll have a lot of eyes looking at my post.
Do you have any experience in communicating and marketing in LinkedIn Groups? Any other suggestions are welcome!