LINKEDIN GROUPS...LOVE 'EM OR HATE 'EM
There is a lot of discussion about whether or not LinkedIn groups are fertile networking grounds. With 2.1 million groups, and 8,000 new ones being created every week, there is certainly opportunity in our midst, isn't there?
Even though posting behavior in some groups is a bit out of control, there are moderators paying attention to their groups, cleaning them up, making sure posts and comments are appropriate, and taking the time to attract and nurture communities of LinkedIn users with like interests.
I am seeing an increase in conversation in a few of the groups I am in, which is great. People are posting, commenting, following up, making their case, acknowledging feedback and sharing others' content. It's not the norm yet, but I am seeing an uptick, and I'm pleased about that. Everyone doesn't agree, and they don't have to. What's important is that discussion is taking place.
S.M.A.R.T. PROCESS FOR GROUP INVOLVEMENT
I want you to use groups on LinkedIn. They are a way to get to know clients, potential clients, media, influencers and others who have something to teach those of us who don't know everything. In order to make the best use of your time in groups, I've come up with the S.M.A.R.T. Process For Group Involvement. Remember these 5 words as you navigate Group waters.
Search: I want you to find the groups you should care about based on your practice area, your interests and where your clients hang out. Don't always join the big ones just because they're big. Look at the comment history to see if anyone's actually talking.
Membership: Request membership in these groups. Introduce yourself to the group, but don’t sell.
Active: Don't just sign up and lurk forever, but just long enough to get the tone of the group. Take part in conversations when it makes sense. Be noticed for the right reasons, which means providing valuable information and perspective. Give what you know to others.
Reciprocate: When someone likes or comments on your update, try to do the same for them. Of course, what you're sharing of theirs needs to provide some value, and be consistent with the quality information you are known for sharing, but definitely share.
Timely: Post updates others can benefit from. If there is something brewing in your practice area, or the interest area of the group, take a few minutes and alert everyone to it. If there are links to relevant information you think will help them, share them. People look for people who make their jobs simpler, them smarter, and their business safer. Be that person.
What would you add?
What makes group participation valuable to you?