Creating a LinkedIn Group, shown in one of our recent posts, is an easy thing to do, but managing it consistently and usefully is not always as simple. Ultimately, every group manager wants theirs to grow in its members and intrigue, but that can only be achieved by constant streams of conversation and optimal ways for members to interact. The following ideas highlight ways to take your group from zero to hero in the realm of LinkedIn.
Groups need TLC everyday if they are going to stay vital. One of the biggest reasons to manage everyday is to make sure the group stays on track – that all conversations and postings are relevant. A lot of groups experience spammers that simply join to flood discussion posts with their own advertising. By managing everyday you can make sure that everybody in your group is there for the right reasons. Another reason to manage everyday is to guarantee that the news flow is consistent. If your group members are not active posters, you may need to implement RSS feeds with related news postings to keep the stream of information going. This will also give not-so-active posters a chance to find a topic to begin discussing.
Stay Active within Your Own Group
The person who should have the highest presence in your group is you. If members never see you posting or reacting to posts, they are going to wonder why the group was started in the first place. Little things like sending automated responses to new members and commenting on member posts will show that you are interested in what people have to say. Generating discussions is also very important and will allow shy posters to start somewhere and begin commenting. Staying active also shows that you want your group to thrive and not become overrun by negativity or spam. Featuring good content from members and removing negative content that is posted shows moderation and effort to keep the group friendly and inviting. As long as you’re keeping the boards alive with positive content, people will follow and start generating news of their own.
Promote and Be Promoted
Regardless of if you want your group to be large and open, or target a smaller niche audience, you still want people to know it exists. Think of your LinkedIn group as another representation of yourself, making it important to include in your marketing materials and self-promotion. Post your LinkedIn Group on your website, Facebook, blog, and any other site where you advertise yourself or your company. Make sure you also ask your members to promote the group within their sites and social media channels for more exposure. It is also important that you directly invite friends, colleagues, and coworkers to the group to increase your network. By inviting people you know personally, you increase your chances of a second party inviting more people to join. Promote the group even further by holding networking sessions outside of LinkedIn. Inviting members to webinars or even local meetups can maintain member loyalty and attract outsiders to check out what you have to say. One last way you can promote and be promoted is to use the “Promotions” tab within your group. Here your members can promote themselves, their companies, their own groups, or anything else noteworthy. You can also feature certain members or companies within the Promotions tab. Ideally, if you allow others to promote themselves within your group, they should reciprocate and allow your group to be promoted among their channels.
Treat your LinkedIn Group like you would treat your other social channels and sites: a place to constantly interact with others and share interesting, relevant news. Your LinkedIn group can be the gateway to job opportunities, extended networking, and new relationships if you keep it active and positive for both you and your members.