What are LinkedIn Groups?
LinkedIn Groups provide a place for professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to “network” in a shared space on LinkedIn. Within groups you can share content, create discussions to ask questions or chat, post and view jobs, meet new business contacts and build relationships, and establish yourself as an industry expert (or find one).
You can find groups to join by using the search feature at the top of your homepage. LinkedIn will also recommend suggested groups that you might like to join.
I personal find LinkedIn Groups a great way to network online with like-minded people as well as boosting my offline networking and bringing an element of it online as a lot of professional organisations I am a member of have private LinkedIn groups.
How to find the right LinkedIn Groups for you?
A great starting point is to join the online LinkedIn Groups of those organisations you are already a member of offline. After this you may wish to browse groups based on LinkedIn recommendations, your own industry (or interests) and of course explore groups that colleagues and connections are members of. Find out more about the groups by looking at their “About” page.
The important thing is to find groups that are:
- fit in with your networking strategy; and
- are active; and
- are well-managed.
You can join 100 groups, but you should focus on a small number for your networking efforts. Make sure you engage with members and start and participate on relevant discussions. As with all networking – participating in LinkedIn Groups is not about the hard sell or self promotion it is about adding value.
What about starting your own LinkedIn Group?
As part of your networking strategy you might find it appropriate to start a LinkedIn Group. This is really easy. Just click “Create Group” when you are in the my groups section. You will then be able to set up a page with all the relevant information about your group before inviting your connections to join your group. Of course the administrative pain with groups is moderation of those groups, which is why you will probably want to enlist some help and share the burden.
If you create a group, you’re the group owner unless you’ve transferred ownership of the group to someone else. As the owner you can change the role of a member to be a manager or moderator to help share in the management and moderation of the group. A Group manager has control over membership, conversations, group type, settings, rules and more. Whereas a group moderator is limited to monitoring conversations and comments and managing submission and moderation queues. They can also “feature” a conversation.
Once live you can share content, create discussions to ask questions or chat, and post and view jobs.