How to Use LinkedIn Groups to Build Industry Authority

Barbara Siegel

Thursday, May 29, 2014

LinkedIn has evolved to become an engaged professional network that spans the globe, and provides a number of tools and activities to not only connect with other thought leaders, but to demonstrate your own expertise, innovation and leadership to an organized and segmented target audience.

If you have taken steps to polish your presence on LinkedIn by updating relevant job history, seeking new referrals and endorsements, as well as showcase your projects and portfolio, you are on your way to optimizing its potential.   You can effectively use LinkedIn to speculate on developments in your industry and profession, monitor changes in expertise or skillsets required to segue into new roles, organizations and sectors.

We understand that it is important to have a professional and polished representation on LinkedIn, however the new social network tools available within the platform offer a number of opportunities to build your reputation within your profession.  Are you using LinkedIn as a social network?  I’ve provided some tips to help you get started and to build your online niche authority through LinkedIn.

Research Quality LinkedIn Groups

Each LinkedIn user is entitled to join up to fifty (50) groups.  Once you become active on the social network you may find yourself receiving random invitations to new groups that seem on topic (or not relevant at all) with your industry or experience.

When receiving invitations, investigate the group before joining.  How many members does it have?  What kind of topic matter will they be discussing?  In order to evaluate the discussions in groups you do have to subscribe first, but remember that you can always discreetly unsubscribe from any group that doesn’t feel like a good fit.  Given the limitation to the number of groups you may belong to, you also want to eliminate your subscription to any group that is inactive.

Your first step is to connect to large groups reflective of your profession and also smaller groups including your employer, associations, and possibly former colleagues to stay in touch and share news or opportunities.   Your group memberships can be modified at any time.

Make a Notable Introduction

Just like face-to-face networking, online introductions are important.  When subscribing to a new group you may be required to wait for approval while they review your credentials and posts.  This is typical behavior for the quality professional organizations and groups on LinkedIn, and is a good indicator that the moderator for the group is committed to eliminating spam, or inappropriate link sharing or posts.

If you have to apply to become a member of the LinkedIn Group, consider that an indicant of the calibre of the professional circle.  When you receive notification that you have been added as a member, make an introduction that stands out and mention your interests and reason for joining the group.

Post Quality Content Regularly

Having a great LinkedIn profile and belonging to groups is only part of utilizing the potential of the network.  Post regularly to your LinkedIn account, adding your comments or insights to trending news articles that are relevant to your industry.  This is where you begin to build authority as an individual who is informed about your profession or niche industry.   Your comments as a professional are just as important as the quality of article you choose to share with your colleagues.

Don’t waste time on humorous or ‘fluff’ content on LinkedIn.  Share insightful, topical and trending news and tips to stimulate conversation, sharing and re-sharing to help propel your discussions to other members.  LinkedIn will give you an indication of the number of views each article you contribute receives, which helps you gauge the reach of your conversation.

Join Lake Forest Graduate School of Management on LinkedIn.  We share blog posts from our official LakeEffects Blog as well as trending topical information daily and we welcome your feedback or recommendations.

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