5 Reasons You Should Use LinkedIn Groups for Business Social Networking
LinkedIn groups are a powerful business social networking tool. However, many people don't know how to use them to their full advantage. Here are 5 tips that will show you how to make the most out of your LinkedIn group memberships.
Today, social media networks allow business professionals to
network like they never have before. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter allow
business professionals to connect with people within their industry from all
over the world. Social networking sites not only allow professionals to expand
their contacts faster than ever before, but it also lets them share news, tips
and tools of the trade in seconds.
1. Make a commitment to a few groups that focus on your greatest professional interests. LinkedIn allows business professionals to network and collaborate with others that they may have never spoken to otherwise. If you haven't joined any groups yet, pick a couple that spark your professional interest and jump right into the conversation. According to LinkedIn, many of the most active members find that their participation in the right groups "directly enriches what they do at work."
2. Post news on group discussions. One of the easiest ways to start participating in groups is to post current news and ask an open-ended question. This will start a conversation and you will be able to see what stance your fellow professionals take on the issue. Expressing your opinion on a certain news piece will give you a chance to show others your professional expertise. This will boost your credibility and increase your chances of making useful professional connections. To find material, subscribe to industry-related newsletters, RSS feeds, Facebook feeds, company blog or Twitter.
3. Take advantage of the "Following" tool. Groups make social networking online easy by giving professionals a great way to keep track of which news stories their colleagues think are interesting and what they have on their minds. To keep up with all the current information, subscribe to the digest emails that summarize the activity of a group. Also use the "Following" tool to watch specific discussions that interest you. This will allow you to sit back and observe then jump in the conversation when you feel you have something provocative to contribute.
4. Get your coworkers involved. Why not create your own LinkedIn group and invite some of your trusted coworkers, clients and/or customers to join? You already discuss your professional interests with them which make them the perfect people to collaborate and network with on LinkedIn. Once other professionals see the intelligent discussions you are having, they'll want to join the group too and you'll be able to engage in a broader collaboration than you ever felt possible.
5. Learn more about the professionals on LinkedIn. Make sure to click through the profiles of your fellow group members to spark conversations about what they're currently working on. As your relationship and conversation grows, you can invite them to become a professional connection. The more connections you make, the more chances you have to expand your business and learn from others in your industry.
LinkedIn groups are a powerful way to reach out to others in your field, get noticed and improve and grow your professional network. Groups also allow you to discuss important issues with others and collaborate with other professionals. Best of all, they are completely free to join, which means you can start online networking with LinkedIn groups today.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Wendy Suto, President and CEO of Search Circus, which is a full service certified and ethical search engine optimization and marketing firm that offers †social media marketing, corporate blogging, PR distribution, PPC consulting, link building and other online marketing solutions with proven results.†