You already know LinkedIn, the professional, polished and responsible brother of the social media sphere. Considering that the social network has 722 million + members, you almost certainly already have a profile. The statistics on its effectiveness and use are mind-boggling: for example, three people are hired every minute on LinkedIn, and the network reports a 55% increase in conversations between connections only in the last quarter. If you are like me, you read these statistics and have the feeling that you should get more out of your LinkedIn experience. But navigating a world of more than 700 million people can seem quite overwhelming and, like any social network, there is a lot of fraudulent content from publishers clogging feeds with self-promotional materials. You’ve probably seen these embarrassing posts. Things like: “I was rushing to go to a job interview, but stopped to help a woman pick up a pile of papers she had left in the lobby. It turned out to be the hiring manager. I got the job on the spot. #Karma “But, unique among social media platforms, you can be sure that people appear on LinkedIn thinking about work. This means that LinkedIn users are prepared for social selling and there are ample opportunities to find, connect, and build relationships with potential prospects online. The data backs this up: A HubSpot study of more than 5,000 companies found that LinkedIn traffic generated nearly three times the conversion rate of visitors to leads from Twitter or Facebook. This is extremely valuable in any profession, and especially if you work in the B2B space.
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So how do you target a community of people in your industry or with shared interests to get the most out of this massive network? Enter: LinkedIn Groups. Here, we’re going to explore what LinkedIn Groups are, as well as best practices for LinkedIn Groups and the most awesome Groups to join on the web. Let’s dive in.
What are LinkedIn groups?
LinkedIn Groups is a dedicated space for professionals to share experience, seek advice and establish meaningful relationships. They’ve been around for a while, but, as the trend on social media moves toward more intentional and self-selected communities, its importance continues to grow. Groups represent a specific opportunity to build your personal brand and professional community on LinkedIn. Only members of a given group can view, post, or comment on conversations within that group. Groups can set their own admission criteria and set administrators as gatekeepers. By default, your group affiliations are displayed at the bottom of your LinkedIn profile in the ‘Interests’ section. You can edit visibility for specific groups – just one of many ways to customize the way your LinkedIn profile represents your personal and professional brand.
Groups not listed They do not appear in search results, and only group members will see the group information on their profile. These more private communities require a direct link or an admin invitation to access.
LinkedIn group best practices
To get the most out of LinkedIn Groups communities, be a good member of the community. Consider that your rule of thumb in this ecosystem. Let your work and knowledge speak for themselves, avoiding blatant self-promotion or outright spam. Other better practices for becoming a valued member of the group include:
Contribute first – Add value to the group. This builds confidence and also offers you greater long-term value. Jumping in with an off-topic post or link to your own content is a great way to get banned or panned. [/ignored]. Listen and participate – Unless you are the founder and creator of the group, remember that you are joining an ongoing conversation. Take some time to listen and observe. Pay attention to the issues, the tone, and who the group recognizes as experts or authorities. Try liking and commenting on some posts before releasing opinions to the contrary. Encourage discussion: ask questions. Then listen and respond, seeking to promote the conversation. Keep it professional – people are on the platform to work, remember? If you wouldn’t tell a colleague or your boss in person, don’t say it here. Think before linking – LinkedIn is pretty clear on this. Any URLs of commercial sites that attempt to sell a product or service, as well as those that redirect to inappropriate / spam-like content, will be reported and removed. Pro Tip: Want to take advantage of the time you spend acclimating to a particular LinkedIn group and your community? Leadjet is a browser extension that helps sellers to work faster and more efficiently. Automatically add one-click LinkedIn leads to your CRM, without wasting time to enter data manually. With a tool like Leadjet, you are entering a group’s community, and at the same time significantly adding to your portfolio of high-quality prospects. Win win.
Browse LinkedIn Groups
You can navigate to LinkedIn Groups in several ways. Search for Groups directly in the search bar, just as you would search for connections, companies, or anything else on LinkedIn. You can also find them in the ‘Work’ grid on your navigation bar within LinkedIn, or on linkedin.com/groups.
How to find groups on LinkedIn
Find groups that match your industry and interests by searching for relevant titles, keywords, or phrases. For virtually any industry or job function, you will find multiple LinkedIn groups. Evaluate the descriptions of the Groups, as well as the connections in your network that are already members, to determine which Groups are the most suitable for you.
LinkedIn Groups Directory
Examine the LinkedIn Groups Directory – accessible from the right navigation, as well as from the search drop-down menu at the top left of the LinkedIn user interface. Search by name, phrase, or keyword and review the results based on the group name or a keyword in the group description.
How to join groups on LinkedIn
You can join a group on LinkedIn by clicking “Request to Join” on a group’s home page or profile. Your request goes directly to the group administrators, who evaluate your suitability for the group. Or, if another connection invites you to join a group, simply “Accept” on your inbox invitation or notification screens, as you would with a standard connection request.
Where are my groups on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn groups make an impact appearance of your LinkedIn profile in different ways. As mentioned, people looking at Groups can see which of their connections are already members. Additionally, the ‘Interests’ section at the bottom of your profile displays a selection of information, including topics and experts you follow on LinkedIn, as well as group memberships. If you’ve been on LinkedIn for a while, you might have some outdated or inactive group memberships. You can select what is displayed on your profile for others to see by leaving groups that no longer interest you. But what if you want to keep getting messages from certain groups but don’t want them to appear on your profile? On the page that lists all of your group’s affiliations, click the three dots to the right of any group list and select “Update your settings”: On the linked subpage, change “Show group in profile” to “No “, which maintains your membership, but hides it from the ‘Interests’ section of your profile. This ensures that only other members or people directly searching for that Group can potentially see your affiliation. Now, you can stay connected with that group of high school alumni or follow a competitor’s learning community without this information showing up for anyone to see on your profile. The above applies to the listed groups. Unlisted groups are not publicly searchable and will not appear on your profile, except for other people who are also members of the same group. Potential members can only view or access the group after receiving an invitation from a current member or manager.
The best groups to join on LinkedIn
Whatever your industry, role, or goal for joining LinkedIn groups, there is probably no shortage of curated recommendations for the best groups. To get started, you can check out resources like “20 LinkedIn Groups Every Marketer Should Join” or “11 LinkedIn Groups For Recruiters You Should Join. “It’s also helpful to think beyond immediate or explicit professional affiliations. Don’t limit yourself to just joining groups directly related to your industry. Alumni groups are often particularly active and helpful, especially if you’re trying to get into a new one. or establish relationships in a new region. Find groups that your ideal customers belong to and be an active and engaged member of the groups you join to maximize the potential for meaningful social selling and networking. Explore the potential of LinkedIn groups to support your own goals by joining a couple of groups today. Start with one or two groups in your industry and another depending on the school you attended or your favorite personal interest. Think of them as digital versions groups and spaces you would consider visiting offline, too. Start observing conversations, looking for ways to contribute, and evaluating how could fit into the community of the Group. Good luck!