It seems like many people are still confused about LinkedIn and how to fully utilize it.
Today I would like to address LinkedIn Groups.
LinkedIn Groups were designed to bring together people with similar interests and give them a place to collaborate and share information with one another. When you join a group, you are letting the manager know that it is OK to communicate with you and you would like to stay informed of what’s going on. It is completely up to you how much communication you wish to receive. You can visit your ‘Settings’ area on LinkedIn and adjust your communication preferences to daily, weekly, only from group manager, or even no communication. You can choose to log in at your leisure and see what has been posted.
It pays to start your own group. As the founder of a LinkedIn Group, you are able to send a direct message to the entire membership.
As a member of a Group, you are able to share information using ‘News’ or ‘Discussion’. If you have an article or a URL to link to, you can submit it via News. If you have an event or just want to discuss a topic of interest, you can post those under Discussions. If you are sharing an invitation to an event, I would first post it as a LinkedIn Event, then post the Event URL to the LinkedIn Group.
If you are looking to expand your network on LinkedIn, it makes very good sense to choose groups with which you have some affinity. It is easier to connect with someone if you have something or someone in common. Sharing a Group with a prospective connection may allow you to contact them through LinkedIn to request a connection. Without the Group affiliation, you may have to rely on a second or third level connection.
Sharing information on LinkedIn Groups can help with your own personal branding. Your fellow business associates will see the topics and information you discuss and may develop a higher level of respect for you as a professional. People who contribute get recognized. A newer feature on LinkedIn allows people to ‘Follow’ you if they like what you have to say. What have you shared with your network lately?
Need more help with LinkedIn? Do a search for local classes to help you or visit the Learning Center on LinkedIn. They have some very useful information there. At the top of your screen click on More, then Learning Center and look the topic you would like to learn about. http://learn.linkedin.com/groups/