A successful LinkedIn Group is one that is active, engaging, and helpful. LinkedIn is widely recognized as “the professional network,” so it’s only fitting that content should be provided to help group members succeed or at least gain insight into market trends and other aspects that can help their business. However, spammers, neglect, and poorly set goals can often derail a LinkedIn group before it ever even has a chance to get rolling off the ground.
So what exactly does it take to host a successful LinkedIn group? Here’s a look at five tips.
1. Establish Administrators and Moderators
Besides being a network for professionals, LinkedIn is also the social media equivalent of the message board. Specifically, LinkedIn groups are liaisons for people to have conversations about their common interests and professions. And since LinkedIn groups are somewhat like message boards, it’s important to set rules and regulations for your group and assign administrators and moderators to monitor it. Nothing can derail a group’s activity like someone violating group policies. That’s where administrators and moderators come in—-they’re the “police.”
2. Market it
Don’t just create a LinkedIn group and expect people to join it. You need to do a little bit of legwork to ensure that people will show up. For instance, link up your LinkedIn page and group to your website, your blog, any e-newsletter lists that you deploy, and any advertising (digital or print) that you do. Marketing it will ensure that people will know about and therefore join your group.
3. “Manufacture” Participation
It takes work and time to turn your LinkedIn group into a turnkey operation—you can’t expect people to do it for you. Make sure that your administrators and moderators are encouraging and facilitating participation among the group members. Have them ask questions to members, post relevant stories and articles about the industry, and share best practices. Finally, don’t be afraid to open up controversial topics , as these can make for some of the most popular discussions.
4. Invite Members
We’ve mentioned that you can’t just sit back and expect your LinkedIn group to grow without marketing it and promoting it. Along those lines, one way to increase group members–and particularly group participation—is to invite LinkedIn members who you know would benefit from it. This is a great, easy way to increase your group membership as well as to have control over who is joining your group. It’s win-win.
5. It’s All About Content
We touched on this a bit already, but it’s worth repeating. In order to grow and make your LinkedIn group a success, you need to make it valuable. And a way to ensure this is by making sure the content that’s posted is exceptional and something that your group members can’t get anywhere else on the social networking site—or elsewhere on the web, for that matter.
Matthew Toren is an Award Winning Author, Serial Entrepreneur, and Investor. He Co-Founded YoungEntrepreneur.com along with his brother Adam. Matthew is co-author of the newly released book: Small Business, Big Vision: “Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right” and also co-author of Kidpreneurs.
Follow Matthew on Twitter: @matthewtoren