Making meaningful professional connections on LinkedIn can be daunting.
If your inbox looks anything like mine – inundated with messages, spam and education advertisements insisting it’s time for you to get another degree – you may not want to take the time to sift through everything. Managing socials for an executive or organization creates the same problem, frequently to a much greater extent, considering that LinkedIn is quietly approaching 1 billion members worldwide.
How can you cut through the noise?
The answer (seriously) lies in LinkedIn groups.
Go where the active users are.
Though there’s no harm in building your network, a connection isn’t really a connection if the engagement is only going one way. As with most things, quality is better than quantity. One person who answers your questions and engages with your posts is much more helpful than 20 people who hardly ever log in to their accounts (no matter how prestigious their profiles may be). It’s unclear what percentage of your existing network is active, and engagement rates can often fluctuate. Finding a group that regularly generates new conversations is a surefire way to get in front of people looking to make the most of the platform.
● In groups, you’re much more likely to find active and responsive users who will be receptive to your posts, whether for yourself or on behalf of an organization.
Work your niche.
Posting to your main feed isn’t always the most effective way to get engagements. Most people scrolling through their homepage aren’t looking to engage actively; they’re just catching up on what’s new. Narrowing the scope of your focus to a group on LinkedIn provides an opportunity for a more meaningful conversation. Anyone seeking out a group has questions you can answer and answers to your questions. This consistent engagement is a better way to make a strong connection (compared to trying to reel in the big fish by posting on your homepage).
● No matter what topic you want to engage with, chances are a group already exists. If not, you can always start one yourself!
Understand that you get what you give!
Popping into a group to lurk (or just to promote) is unlikely to yield the results you want, and for a good reason. Many groups have rules against doing so. Getting involved in the conversation is paramount.
● The same principle applies: if you can’t find a conversation to get involved with, you can start one yourself.
Joining a group is also the perfect springboard to make a memorable connection.
How many times a week do you get a generic email that says: “Hi X, I’d like to invite you to my LinkedIn network”? By referencing a shared group, you have a much more engaging opening on a subject in which you know the person is already interested. Asking to follow up on a conversation you had within a group is an icebreaker that stands out from the pack. Plus, most people are waiting to discuss what they’re knowledgeable and passionate about.