In the last post we talked about how to use LinkedIn to market your business. If you’re not using it now, check out the post and get on it ASAP. It is the premier social site for business professionals on the Web.
So here’s another LinkedIn tip: LinkedIn Groups.
What are LinkedIn Groups?
These groups are like small gatherings of professionals with similar business niches or interests. The entire site is available to you, but concentrated groups help you to target those professionals with whom you need to network.
Groups help you do many things:
* Discover other professionals to meet quickly
* Actively participate in discussions relevant to your interests and needs
* Zero in on the most influential people on LinkedIn within your professional sphere
* Know which profiles to view and which people to “follow” in discussions
* Begin your own discussions to help establish yourself as a leader in your field
These are also excellent reasons to begin your own LinkedIn Group. Before you do, though, get a feel for the process by joining a group or two. You can search for relevant groups using different parameters.
Once you find one that you like, introduce yourself. Do this by posting a new discussion question and then leaving a comment. Let people get to know you.
LinkedIn Groups can also increase your visibility and popularity on the site. While you are leading discussions, don’t forget to leave meaningful comments on other discussion topics. It will look pretty suspicious if you only post questions and never join in the discussions of others.
Build up a presence and a following. When you are ready, create your own group. If you work for a large company, creating a group for your co-workers gives them a place to connect with others inside the company. Post about new job openings; get advice on job advancement and the like.
Ask your new business contacts to join your group. Don’t forget business contacts on other social sites like Facebook and Twitter. Invite LinkedIn members with similar interests as a way of connecting with new faces.
Why should you create a LinkedIn group? You can increase your visibility, ranking, popularity, network and credibility in the business world.