There is no doubt about the power of community when it comes to development – both on a personal and societal level. We tend to gravitate towards groups that share something in common with us, and we thrive in supportive environments. This is probably why groups on Facebook are so immensely popular, among businesses as well as individuals. And now, LinkedIn groups are climbing the same ladder! However, the important question of how to choose LinkedIn groups needs to be answered first.
Groups on LinkedIn have more significance than Facebook groups. This is mainly due to the fact that LinkedIn profiles can appear a tad impersonal, with the list of work details looking monotonous after a while. However, when you interact in a group, it gives others a better idea about you as a person.
For this very reason, you want to be sure that you’re joining the right groups! Having a list of ‘wrong’ groups in your profile can create negative impressions about your image and hurt your prospects. And when you consider that LinkedIn gives you access to over 9 million companies, you want to do it right! Here are some tips on how to choose LinkedIn groups to get the maximum benefit.
How to Choose LinkedIn Groups – Tips to Get it Right
1. Identify your Goal
With about 1.5 million groups on LinkedIn, it can be overwhelming deciding which one to join. Streamline the process by identifying your goal first. What are you actually intending by joining groups? Is it to make more connections, to know more about your industry or to increase your visibility? Whatever it may be, put together some keywords that reflect exactly what you are looking for.
2. Locate Groups in your Interest Area
Using your keywords to search for groups is the first step, but you might find that there are numerous groups for your niche, especially if it’s something like ‘social media marketing’. The key is to be as specific as you can. Read the group description carefully to see if it’ll help further your purpose. A well detailed group description in itself is a good sign. Also check the activity level so you’ll know if the group is a lively one or not.
3. Look for Existing Connections
Your connections can help you make more connections! This works two ways. Check your connections’ profiles for group recommendations – they’re more likely to work for you. Also, when searching for groups, see if they feature people you know. If they have quite a few of your connections, then the group is likely to be of value to you as well.
4. Go on a Joining Spree
Once you are able to identify the right kind of groups for yourself, go ahead and join several. Joining more groups increases your connections and your visibility, provided you are active in them. LinkedIn’s search brings up primary results from your direct connections, which go up as you join more groups. You can always leave a group if you want.
5. Don’t Overdo it
Okay, this is contrary to the earlier tip, but joining every group left, right and center doesn’t help. It isn’t humanly possible for anyone to have quality interactions in 100 groups at the same time. Joining groups for the sake of it can be counter productive, as it can look bad on your profile. After being in a group for a while, you’ll find out if it’s active enough, and has useful content.
It’s important to remember that all your research on how to choose LinkedIn groups will be of no use if you are not active in your groups! Contributing to each group at least once a week is sufficient, provided it is quality communication. Contribute to discussions, ask questions and answer other’s queries. Being concise and helpful will put you among the top contributors in your group, which will increase your visibility, helping you reach your goals faster.