How To Leverage the Power of LinkedIn Groups

There are so many groups on LinkedIn that it’s hard to know how all of them can be helpful. However, there are some groups that you should consider joining because they will help to improve your business, network and brand visibility. Additionally, these particular groups may also provide an opportunity for a job or entrepreneurship meeting.

LinkedIn is a social network that allows users to connect with people in their industry. This can be done through groups and the power of LinkedIn Groups is leveraged by using them as a lead generation tool. Read more in detail here: what is linkedin used for.

LinkedIn is one of my favorite sites. Why? Because it’s free and draws roughly half of my customers invisibly. Over the years, I’ve developed a method that brings me many inbound client offers weekly, with the majority of them so tempting that I’ve had to increase my charges due to the demand. It should take me five to ten minutes a week – but in fact, I put in that much effort monthly.

LinkedIn’s ability to acquire me so many customers on the Freemium plan astounds me. LinkedIn Groups account for a significant portion of that passive power. This article explains why joining the correct LinkedIn Groups has a significant impact on your business prospects, how to join the proper Groups, and, if you have the time, how to discreetly contribute and stand out in these Groups.

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Transparent Search Results on LinkedIn

Remember Kevin Bacon’s six degrees of separation? Now you’re just two degrees away from your next customer. Before we get into choosing the ideal LinkedIn Groups to join, let’s take a look at how the LinkedIn search is organized and why the Groups you join have an impact on how you appear. Try searching for anything in LinkedIn’s search bar. You may look for a certain zip code or an industry, or anything else. (Searching for my favorite subject, cheese, yielded some interesting results.)

You’ll note right away that LinkedIn’s search results follow a far more transparent algorithm than Google’s, which means there’s no guessing or guesswork involved, unlike Google. LinkedIn is a method that you can and should use.

How Does LinkedIn Fill Its Search Results?

This is the order in which the results appear no matter what you search for. Because I have no buddies in the smelly cheese sector, my findings followed the same pattern, except that because I have no connections in the industry, the results begin with cheesy secondary ones.

Your LinkedIn Connections are the first to appear.

2. Anyone you’re in a LinkedIn Group with or any Secondary Connections, a.k.a. the connections who are linked to your connections – your so-called friends of friends (even though you’re unlikely to know them) are the next results.

3. Finally, there are the third-­level connections, or those that are linked to your secondary connections.

4. It then employs standard search logic based on the criteria you entered, as well as certain unknown variables such as whether or not those members are Premium or Freemium, and whether or not they have purchased any form of ad to appear there.

5. Add to these first four levels of search results that those who rank higher with the keyword you’re looking for or are closer to your search location geographically will appear higher in each chunking, such as my friends of friends with a lot of Cheese experience will appear first among my surprisingly many Secondary Cheese Connections.

Unless the business issue you’re looking for is unusual or ultra-niche – like Cheese – you’re unlikely to notice those that appear in search level four or even three. Consider this: when was the last time you browsed beyond the first or second page of Google search results? Whether it’s a hiring manager, recruiter, or HR professional seeking for a new colleague or a service provider, individuals searching on LinkedIn know what they’re looking for and will most likely find it in the first 10 search results.

And, as you would expect, if you’re in the same Groups as your desired customer or employer, you’ll appear prominently in his search results. Also, unless they do go ahead and click Connect, you’ll keep popping up in front of their small eyes as a suggested connection. Then, of course, you continue to appear higher in their results…indefinitely.

But which LinkedIn groups should I join?

LinkedIn is all about making the proper connections, which you can do extremely passively until you reach the Golden LinkedIn 500 Connections mark. And you want to make the appropriate connections to appear in the relevant search results. (It’s worth noting that I didn’t say more search results, but rather the correct ones.) Otherwise, you’ll be bombarded with irrelevant offers.) And when you make more of the appropriate connections and appear in more of the correct search results, it all starts to snowball into wonderful customers.

This is where LinkedIn Groups come into play.

50 LinkedIn Groups to Join

The opportunity to join more than 50 LinkedIn Groups would be enough to get me to pay for LinkedIn Premium, but no matter what plan you’re on, you can’t join more than 50. (except for those that you manage yourself). Groups are important. Seriously. If you just do one thing on LinkedIn, make it a point to create a beautiful, interesting, and keyword-­rich profile and join 50 groups. Also, keep in mind that any organizations you are planning to join will be included in that total. If your membership has been pending for more than a week, cancel it and join another organization since they are inactive and a waste of your hefty 50.

But which of the 50 should I join?

There’s one thing to ask yourself while selecting whether or not to make a LinkedIn Group one of your coveted 50 spots: Are individuals you want to meet members? We’ll explain how to go further into that subject further down, but ultimately, it comes down to who you want to meet.

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Pursue your ideal clientele! LinkedIn is a site that facilitates delightfully transparent stalking, thanks to the “Who’s Looked at Your Profile” feature. First, if you look at their profiles, there’s a strong possibility they’ll be familiar with and interested in yours. However, when it comes to Groups, you want to be a part of at least one that includes your ideal prospect.

Avoid going where your competitors are! Sadly, “Looking for a job in Spain” is one of the most popular Facebook groups in Spain. What a waste of one or more of your groups’ time! Recruiters may be there, but your future hiring manager and possible coworkers are unlikely to be. What are the advantages of joining a community of 150,000 job searchers in your area if you’re seeking for work? Instead, you’d be better off networking in a smaller, industry-­specific group with your target coworkers.

Take your business where your clients are! Okay, my clients may be located anywhere on the planet. While I am fluent in Spanish, I prefer to write, promote, and SEO in English, therefore English-speaking nations are my sole geographical constraint. If you operate a local firm, however, you should only join LinkedIn Groups in your target geographic area until you’re ready to expand.

Is there anybody who knows someone you’d want to meet? You won’t be able to contact specific individuals without the Premium since they aren’t linked to your connections or your connections’ connections. However, you may join the Group of one of their links and then contact them directly.

It’s OK to learn new things. Okay, I’ll say it: I’m a jerk. This piece doesn’t really get to the “essence” of how LinkedIn can help you advance in your profession; instead, it provides you one lazy gal’s hacks to get around the system. Joining relevant and active LinkedIn Groups for that issue will not only connect you to the proper people, but you can also profit from reading and engaging in what those Groups have to say if you are wanting to learn about or become an expert in that area.

Concentrate on a large or hyper specialty. Specialty is great if you’re part of a new niche or have a very localized firm. Otherwise, if you can, go for organizations with 100,000 or more members. Alternatively, if you want to be active in a couple, restrict the number of people in each group to roughly 10,000 to avoid being lost in the shuffle.

How to Use LinkedIn Groups for Social Networking

Of course, you couldn’t be active in 50 organizations unless you were jobless full-time (which is precisely what you should be doing). Try to strike a balance between smaller groups where you want to be engaged and larger ones where you can make more of the necessary connections. Being engaged in a few LinkedIn Groups is a great way to stand out and perhaps learn something.

Here are some pointers on how to get the most out of becoming active in a few LinkedIn Groups:

Is the Group Still Active? To measure this, you may scan a group for 10 seconds. Yes, there are social media vomiters in every group who just auto­share their content. Are there any dialogues going on? Debate? Is this a discussion that would be beneficial to me?

Are there any persons you’d want to meet on there? This relates to the previous point about not following the competition. If you have a dream customer who is active, don’t let them go. Go ahead and join the debate instead of collecting $200! This does not imply being a social media vomiter; rather, it entails asking smart questions and responding to your targets’ postings in particular.

Don’t be selfish and get yourself blacklisted. LinkedIn isn’t the best place to promote your stuff. Why? It’s the equivalent of coming to a networking event and blabbering on about yourself. If you share too much of your content without participating in the conversation, you’ll not only be kicked out of one Group, but you’ll also be marked by LinkedIn and prevented from publishing in your other 49 Groups. And believe me when I say this is a genuine pain to reverse.

Share your industry’s other thought leadership. And don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek guidance. Make yourself intriguing and establish yourself as a thinking leader.

Don’t mention that you’re seeking for work or clients. You’ll come out as desperate and depressed. The entire point of LinkedIn is that if you’re outstanding, people will seek you out. Participating in LinkedIn Groups isn’t only about social networking; it’s also for business networking. That is to say, you get out of it exactly what you put in. But, before you start putting in the effort, be sure that Group and its members are worth your time.

How have you used LinkedIn Groups to your advantage? Share your experience about how a Group connection or friendship lead to a prospect, customer, or employment here. Do you have any more suggestions?

Jennifer Riggins is an eBranding ninja, a stealth marketing and SEO guru, and a writer who is obsessed with selling the advantages of the newest tech companies, the Internet of Things, and APIs. You may find her on Twitter and Google+.

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