LinkedIn groups are a great way to connect with others in your career sphere. In a LinkedIn group, members can mutually benefit by each member sharing their knowledge, experience, perspective, and guidance. LinkedIn groups can also help bolster your credibility to those who view your LinkedIn account and see the groups you’re connected to. In this article, you will learn what a LinkedIn group is, how it functions, and how to get the most out of your LinkedIn groups.
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What Is a LinkedIn Group?
A LinkedIn group is an online group consisting of professionals of similar interests and/or career goals that connect and share via LinkedIn. The members can also have an affiliation to a specific business or organization that relates to the group’s content, such as an established business review publication that has a LinkedIn group for business discussion, support, and education.
All LinkedIn groups are a means for similar professionals to come together and connect, share, and aid each other in their career goals by providing insight, education, ideas, sharing current work and accomplishments, and also posting about job opportunities in the given career field and/or within the group’s highlighted company where applicable. LinkedIn groups are thus a direct reflection of the overall professional goals of LinkedIn itself.
The design of the groups facilitates the mutual benefit of the members. Each member can share their insights and experience regarding the given field for other members in the group to gain support and knowledge from, while also being able to reap the benefits of the other members’ insights and experience. Members can also seek more direct and specific support and knowledge from the group by asking for such guidance and ideas from the other members directly.
Why Join a LinkedIn Group?
Through LinkedIn groups, members can find others with experience and expertise in their chosen field. This can be a field they are already a part of personally, professionally, or are interested in learning more about. LinkedIn groups also allow for more direct and first-hand knowledge and insight into a given field.
The design of LinkedIn accounts provides individuals with a forum to increase the exposure of their name, brand, and expertise. LinkedIn is also a means of connecting resources and contacts in career areas. A LinkedIn group serves this same purpose as one of LinkedIn’s most direct means of connecting individuals with others in their field. LinkedIn is a more interactive step-up from a posted resume. Interactions within its groups can serve to set you apart to employers and connections.
How to Join Groups on LinkedIn
Anyone who is a current member of LinkedIn can join a group themselves. To do so, simply navigate up to the search bar located at the top left of the LinkedIn homepage. From there, you can type in a keyword, the specific name of a group, or the business affiliated with a group you wish to join. You can also browse recommended groups by clicking the “Work” icon in the top right corner of your LinkedIn homepage and selecting “Groups” from the menu. From here you can click “Discover” to view groups recommended to you based upon your interests, current affiliations, and connections.
Which Groups to Join
Once you have learned how to join groups on LinkedIn, getting the most out of them includes developing and pursuing groups with the same awareness and forethought to the professional goals that brought you to LinkedIn. Base the groups you choose to join on what will help you better achieve your career goals. There are many valuable groups to consider connecting with based upon your field, and you can join up to 100 LinkedIn groups.
A great place to begin is with any previous colleges or educational institutions you have been an alumnus to or otherwise affiliated with. Many of these institutions have affiliated groups on LinkedIn, making this an easy starting place to begin building your LinkedIn network. They may also have official alumni groups to connect with as a more direct show of affiliation. There can also be more specific alumni groups to join, including departments, degree majors, and special interests. In this case, the closer the affiliation you can establish through group membership and participation, the better.
Other valuable groups to join include any industries you are a part of or industries related to your own. You can also refine your search by seeking groups in your city, area, or that have a larger group membership. These groups will keep you connected to the latest news, ideas, and more that are happening in your career field. Other types of groups to consider joining are those that are skill or interest-based. Think of your memberships as another way to show your background, interests, and experience to those you want to attract.
How to Create a LinkedIn Group
To create a new LinkedIn group, follow these three steps: first, navigate to the Group homepage on your account. You can also access this by selecting “My Network” from the icons at the top of your LinkedIn homepage and selecting “Groups” from the left-side list. From this page, you can create a new group by clicking on the “Create group” icon in the top right corner. This will prompt a new pop-up page with spaces to fill in your group’s information. Enter the chosen name of your group as well as a brief description of your group including its purpose.
Organizing Your LinkedIn Group
Other details not required for creation can further refine and specialize your group, setting it apart from other similar groups. They can also provide group members the opportunity to stand out more by affiliation. There may be several LinkedIn groups for a given interest, affiliation, or organization. For this reason, creating a more specific, detailed group will work in your favor. These options include choosing to upload a cover image and any existing logo you have for your group. These images can bolster your credibility as well as the credibility of your group and other members, providing a stronger sense of your overall brand, identity, personality, and values.
On this pop-up page, other features to refine your group include the ability to add up to three industries connected to or affiliated with your group, a location of the group, and group rules to guide internal conduct. Group rules can help set the tone and expectations of the group. This can go a long way towards keeping the group and its content civil, professional, and on topic. These small details can all help to maintain group membership and even increase it.
There are also other great features for increased exposure, group membership, and diversity. “Group discoverability” will allow you to set your group as “listed,” meaning it will appear in search results and on other members’ profiles, or you can choose to remain “unlisted.” Being “listed” can help increase membership and diversity while an “unlisted” status can help a group maintain exclusivity. You can also set permissions to allow current members to invite their connections into the group or restrict this permission to only administrative members. Other members’ invitations would still require administrative approval. You can also decide whether or not new posts require approval by administrative members or not.
The LinkedIn forums of the groups can also be aptly used to promote your brand. The content shared in your groups can serve to show the work you have done or are currently working on. You can express your education and experience in your field through discussions and posts, for example. In this way, the group forums themselves serve as an exhibitive part of your marketing strategy, showing your talent and potential. The interactive nature of the forums also increases audience engagement and participation, further increasing brand awareness. When considering the kind of content you wish your group’s forum to have, first consider your chosen audience. This can include other professionals and individuals who would be valuable assets as members as well as desired connections, potential employers, and potential fellow employees.
In your LinkedIn forums, the content you can share includes posts, images, videos, documents, and external links. Posting links to external pieces can be especially valuable as these can include links to social media posts. Connecting your social media content to your LinkedIn groups is another invaluable strategy to help you market your brand, business, work, and education to your intended audiences.
Joining LinkedIn Groups is Worthwhile
To bring and increase exposure to your skills and background, LinkedIn groups are a useful tool well worth participating in. To connect, learn, and grow your career and brand, SEO Design Chicago is here to lend our experience and guidance to what to look for and encourage in your LinkedIn groups.
- Are LinkedIn groups worth it?
- How do you create a LinkedIn group?
- Can anyone join a LinkedIn Group?
- What content can be shared in a LinkedIn group?
- Which LinkedIn Groups should I join?