There’s a certain tribal quality to social media. Whether we’re connecting, befriending, or following, there’s a unifying element at work on these platforms that nourishes our wish to seek out like-minded people and become a part of a community. Whether we play an active or a passive role in this community (tribe) is a matter of personal preference. On LinkedIn, professionals are pulled from all sides of the globe, in all walks of business, and at all levels of social media commitment, into digital compartments that foster interaction and engagement. These LinkedIn groups are not glorified chat rooms; they have a unique dynamic, one that takes on the feel of an executive roundtable or networking event with varying degrees of participation.
Success Secret No. 6: Gain a Sense of Community via the LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn achievers build their networks organically (through their direct connections), but also externally through the LinkedIn groups. Sharing membership in groups automatically places you in proximity to scores of potential contacts. Just as you’ve defined your rules of engagement for building your LinkedIn network, so should you also for the LinkedIn groups. Which groups will you join and how many? How much time will you allocate to each of your groups? Will you communicate in the groups? What determines whether or not you will stay in a particular group? How receptive will you be to invitations from your fellow group members?
People join LinkedIn groups for various reasons. Whether aligned with business pursuits, personal interests, alumni organizations, or other affiliations, the goal is to build relationships. A world of possibility exists at your fingertips. The groups are where salespeople can qualify prospects and convert them into clients; where entrepreneurs can find their angel investors; where C-level executives can receive peer guidance and advance thought leadership; where recruiters can tap the talent pool and, reciprocally, where job seekers can connect with others who can propel them forward in their search.
To achieve on a high level in the LinkedIn groups, you should:
♦ Be Catalyzed, Not Paralyzed
The vast majority of people don’t play in the groups. They join a few, maybe check in a few times to explore, but never really dip their toes in the water. Many feel inclined to add their two cents to a discussion, but they choke up, under the impression that their input will not be well received. Thus, the group logos, nice little branding elements that they are, are just for show on their LinkedIn profiles. LinkedIn achievers do something group-related every day. It is part of their LinkedIn business plan.
Go ahead—dive in—the water’s great!
♦ Commit to the Conversation
Conversation is the lifeblood of the LinkedIn groups. Without it, the platform becomes a bulletin board—a random array of names and faces out there amidst a sea of open-ended questions and hyperlinks. The LinkedIn group dynamic is akin to a mini-blog: a discussion topic is posted and submitted for all to review. If the question or comment hits your sweet spot, you are free (and encouraged) to weigh in. When you opt to participate and gain a voice, good things happen. LinkedIn achievers lost their group anxiety a long time ago. Buoyed by their stellar LinkedIn profile content, they take control of the interactive space. They have learned how to recognize opportunities in the groups. By driving the conversation, they drive traffic to their LinkedIn profile and—when it’s right—begin the process of converting those visitors to trusted first-degree connections.
Read more from The Divine 9 Success Secrets of LinkedIn Achievers