LinkedIn Groups have been getting lots of attention lately and with the recent announcement from LinkedIn that there is now no limit on the number of messages you can send to other group members (the previous limit was 15 per month). I thought it would be a good time to share some information around how to get the most out of being a member of a LinkedIn Group and highlight a few of the latest features.

     

    Benefits of being a member of a LinkedIn Group

    • You can send direct messages to other group members without needing to be connected to them
    • You can network and communicate with a highly targeted group of people around a common interest and/or industry
    • Groups are typically very specific and niche meaning you can start and join relevant and targeted discussions
    • You expand your network of 2nd degree connections as LinkedIn takes this into account
    • You have the opportunity to raise your profile in your industry and become better known in your target market

    New LinkedIn Groups Features that will improve your experience as a member

    • There is no limit to how many direct messages you send to other group members (you don’t need to be connected to them to send them a message and no InMail credits are required)
    • You can set notifications up for each individual group, meaning you get more visibility with new posts and group activity
    • You can search for content in groups
    • You can see highlighted group posts in a separate tab (Recommended Posts)
    •  *Some* group posts are now starting to appear in the newsfeed

     

    My goal is to make this article positive towards LinkedIn Groups because I remain optimistic that they will continue to develop, get more new features and grow. They have received a lot of bad attention these last few years and a lot of people have used them for the wrong reasons but I do believe there are lots of great groups still out there and still huge opportunities available to us all as members.

    As with most things – the more you put in, the more you’ll get out so here are some ways you can participate and benefit from being part of a group.

    Join groups that are relevant to your industry, interests and areas of expertise

    The more relevant the groups you join the more likely you are to make high-value connections and have interesting discussions.

    Participate and Engage

    Don’t just join discussions, start them.

    The more active you are in a group the more you will be seen by others and the more you can demonstrate your skills, knowledge and expertise. Don’t just post links to blogs you think people will be interested in or links back to information on your own website – participate. if you only post links to external sites you run the risk of coming across as a spammer and this is one of the biggest reasons people started leaving and disengaging with groups in the first place.

    Set Notifications – don’t miss a thing

    It used to be quite tough to access group updates and join discussions however now you can set up notifications for each individual group and manage how many notifications you see. At the time of writing this feature isn’t always working so it’s still advised to keep checking into the groups you want to participate in every now and again and see what’s going on. You can easily access your groups from your dashboard on the left hand side – see the screenshot below.

    Understand who else is part of the group

    You can access the full list of group members from within the group and now you have the ability to send direct messages to other group members – it doesn’t matter if you are connected or not. When the person you are messaging receives your message they will see a notice at the top to let them know you are both part of the same group. It is also a great conversation starter so if you’re not a fan of sending messages to people when you don’t know them this is a great way to do it.

    Being part of a group is a great way for you to become more visible in your industry, in front of your peers and to others that share similar interests and skills. If you REALLY want to get the most out of being part of a group make sure that you have your profile photo publicly visible and a strong headline – the more curiosity you can generate with your headline the more profile visits you’ll get and the more direct conversations you’ll start.

     

    If you’d like more information around leveraging LinkedIn to help you win more business and raise your profile in your industry then I offer lots of free resources to help you get started as well as training, coaching and strategic services.

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