Networking often leads to serendipitous outcomes, but meeting people who share interests can make networking more effective.
That’s why people join groups in LinkedIn. By joining groups, you can do things like:
- learn about others with similar interests.
- find out what they’re talking about in group forums.
- join group discussions.
- engage specific people in one-on-one networking.
- send direct connection requests to people in the same group you belong to.
Join LinkedIn groups
Consider the types of groups you would join for professional reasons. You may already have a list of such groups if you created a LinkedIn game plan.
Once you know what groups you want to join, follow these steps.
- Use the search tool in the top right corner of the LinkedIn window to find groups based on your list. Join three groups in which you would like to participate.
I explained this search tool here.
Also search for groups that mirror real-life groups you belong to. If a group exists, join it and check it out. If not, consider creating a LinkedIn group yourself.
- Once you’re admitted to a group, write a post or reply to an ongoing discussion in that group.
- Scan group member lists or lists of discussions for people you’d like to network with, and contact them.
Set up blog feeds in LinkedIn groups
If you have a blog that would appeal to members of select groups, ask group owners if they would include your blog’s RSS feed on the group’s home page.
The group discussion page, which serve as the group’s home page, lists discussions that people start from within LinkedIn. Group administrators may also choose to add up to 30 RSS feeds to the group. Posts from selected blogs automatically appear in the discussion “carousel” on the group home page.
You can contact the group owner from:
- the “Manager’s Choice” box on the Discussions page
- the “About this Group” box on the Group Profile page (found using the More menu link)
Create a promotion in a LinkedIn group
Do you or your company have new products or services to promote? Try promoting them in LinkedIn groups.
LinkedIn offers a specific spot in groups, separate from the general discussion stream, where group members can promote their businesses. (LinkedIn group update emails include promotion notices too.) This section allows interested group members to browse promotions from other members while keeping the main discussion feed relatively promotion-free.
Please don’t take this point likely. People have griped in main group discussions that groups have become overrun by promotions, and that promotions have crowded out actual discussion. Savvy group owners can remove “spammy” members from their groups if need be to prevent disgruntled members from leaving.
To promote yourself or your company in a group, follow these steps.
- Once signed in to LinkedIn, navigate to the group where you want to post a promotion.
- Click the Promotions tab.
- At the top right of the screen, click the Post a promotion link.
- Follow the instructions that appear on screen.