Last week I wrote the first of three blog posts about LinkedIn Groups. If you missed it, just take 2,5 minutes to read why LinkedIn Groups don’t work. If you still want to join groups after reading this, be my guest and use the 5 steps below to find the groups that most suit your professional needs.
1) Decide on the reason for joining LinkedIn Groups
There are more reasons than I can think of for joining a group on LinkedIn. Are you joining a group to keep up to date of developments in your industry? Do you want to share your expertise? Are you looking for a new career opportunity? Do you want to find prospects or leads for your business?
2) Break down the millions of groups into categories:
Once you categorise (in your mind) LinkedIn Groups, you can search with a focus. Work out 3-5 categories that are important to you and find at least two LinkedIn Groups to join in each category. Here are same examples:
- Interest groups: WordPress , Cat Lovers
- Consumer groups Coffee Club
- Knowledge sharing groups LinkedIn Questions and Answers
- Regional groups New York Women in Communications
- Industry groups Dutch Marketing Professionals
- Alumni groups Penn State University
3) Use search commands for LinkedIn Groups
Start by searching for a keyword. If you get too many results, or results that are not specific enough, use Boolean expressions like AND, OR, NOT. You can also use (brackets) and “quotation marks”
The results appear in order of group-size Yes size matters! The largest groups are shown first. The bigger the group, the more diversity in the membership as well. And a greater change that there is active engagement in the group.
4) Look at suggestions for LinkedIn Groups
You can look at the profiles of other people, to see what groups they are a member of. Another way to find suggestions is at the bottom (right) of a group profile. Here you find suggestions by means of “similar groups’ and ‘people also explored’. Last but not least on your groups homepage there is a suggestion of ‘groups you may like’.
5) Don’t waste your time in LinkedIn Groups
Observe for a while. Join in. See what happens. Just remember, joining a group doesn’t oblige you to life time membership. If a group is not for you, or no longer for you, move on.
Stay tuned, next week you’l find out why people don’t read the discussions you start in a LinkedIn Group.