How to Network Using LinkedIn Groups

social media how toAre you a member of a LinkedIn Group?

Do you spend time networking in LinkedIn Groups?

LinkedIn Groups are great way to build credibility and make new connections that can ultimately help grow your business.

With over 1.5 million LinkedIn Groups, it can be difficult to find relevant Groups and determine which ones might be the best for you to join. It’s also important to find Groups that are well-managed.

Unfortunately there are many LinkedIn Groups that are not well-managed, which makes the experience within these Groups less than optimal.

linkedin groups directory

You are sure to find a LinkedIn Group of interest to you.

Not to worry, I’m going to give you some insights on how to find the quality groups you can leverage most for your LinkedIn strategy!

How many groups should you join?

You can join up to 50 LinkedIn Groups. However, it’s difficult to gain traction in 50 Groups as well as find the time to participate in that many.

I recommend that you go ahead and join up to 50 Groups, but select 5-10 Groups to spend your time on in order to get the most benefit out of your participation.

Below are 5 tips for maximizing your LinkedIn Groups experience.

#1: Use LinkedIn Search to Find Relevant Groups to Join

In case you haven’t noticed, LinkedIn search has been significantly enhanced. This includes the ability to search for relevant Groups (based on your network) and search for discussion topics within open Groups!

search for discussion topics

Now you can search for discussion topics within “open” LinkedIn Groups.

To start, search for Groups using keywords that would be a natural fit for you, based on your geographic location, industry, prospects, education history, community/charity organizations, hobbies and interests.

Try searching LinkedIn Groups with the keywords that actually describe your natural affinities. For example, type in the name of the college you attended to find potential alumni groups that exist on LinkedIn.

You can also take advantage of Boolean search operators for smarter searches on LinkedIn. I recently discovered this Tip Sheet on Boolean Search from LinkedIn Corporate Solutions.

To locate a LinkedIn Group that was in my geographic location and my industry, I searched LinkedIn Groups using the Boolean Search Operator “AND” for the keywords social media AND Dallas.

LinkedIn showed me 25 results for Groups based in Dallas AND focused on social media!

boolean search operators

Get more specific with your Group searches using Boolean search operators.

Another interesting finding was when I typed the word “hiking” into LinkedIn Group search. I found a group with over 1000 members who share this passion. There is no better way to start relationships than connecting around a common passion or interest!

hiking group

Search for LinkedIn Groups using your passions, hobbies and interests as keywords.

For each LinkedIn Group displayed in search results, you have the option to view members in your network who belong to the Group, as well as “similar Groups.”

network group members

See which of your connections are members of Groups and find similar Groups.

You can even reach out to your LinkedIn connections and ask them what they think about the Groups that they belong to. This gives you a solid reason to reach out and connect with your network.

LinkedIn Group search is extremely powerful to discover the right Groups to join!

#2: Review the “Groups You May Like” Suggestions From LinkedIn

The easiest way to navigate to the Groups You May Like feature is through your navigation menu bar under Groups. There you will see these options. (The Groups Directory option is the primary search area for LinkedIn Groups.)

group info

The Groups You May Like feature.

When you click on the Groups You May Like feature, LinkedIn will list suggested Groups for you to check out, based on your network connections, profile information, skills and expertise and existing Group memberships. You may also notice some Groups (or subgroups) on this list that you already belong to.

#3: Evaluate the Quality of a LinkedIn Group

How do you know if the LinkedIn Groups you are interested in joining are going to be well-run and high-quality?

In some cases, you may just have to join the Group and spend some time there to make that determination. However, here are a few ways to evaluate the Group for quality:

  • Who are the Group managers, and are they engaged and visible?
  • What are the Group rules? (Hint: if the Group rules don’t exist or they are not well-written, chances are the Group is not well-managed.)
  • Do a good majority of the discussions involve questions and dialogue?
  • Are there lots of promotional links or an abundance of “self-promotional” updates?
  • Are the top influencers in the Group credible?
  • Is the Group manager among the top influencers?

In a well-managed Group, you are going to most likely see a manager who is visible throughout the discussions, and a strong set of rules.

small business group manager

The Intuit Small Business Group manager is highly visible.

The quantity of membership and the activity level of a Group aren’t always correlated to whether the group is high-quality. I’ve seen some very large Groups that are very well-managed and some very small Groups that aren’t managed at all!

Be sure to evaluate the stats of the LinkedIn Group you are interested in as well. There you can learn more about member demographics, activity, how long the Group has been around and more.

group stats

Evaluate LinkedIn Group stats.

#4: Consider Joining Corporate-Sponsored Groups

There are a number of corporate-sponsored Groups popping up on LinkedIn. This is where LinkedIn has officially partnered with brands or corporations to help them build robust Groups. Within each of these Groups, the organization can drive member visits and discussion participation while also controlling the ad display space within the Group site.

Examples of these corporate LinkedIn Groups include Intuit (Small Business Group), Citi (Professional Women’s Network), Staples (Small Business Network) and Capital One (Business Traveler Network).

intuit corporate linkedin group

Intuit has a corporate-sponsored LinkedIn Group that caters to small business owners.

What I love about corporate-sponsored Groups on LinkedIn is that they are very well-managed. The discussions tend to be in-depth with rich dialogue among members. These brands/corporations have a vested interest in making their Groups successful, and in every case there are dedicated Group managers in place who facilitate the dialogue and keep the Group spam-free.

I have found as a member of several of the Groups listed above that the discussion questions submitted weekly (and delivered via email) by these Group managers are intriguing and enticing. They make you want to jump right in and give your own insights and opinions!

If you run your own LinkedIn Group or you’re thinking about starting one, you could learn some terrific strategies as a member of these corporate-sponsored Groups.

#5: Adhere to LinkedIn Group Participation Best Practices

In order to make LinkedIn Groups serve as authentic forums for discussions and dialogue, we can all do our part to maintain the integrity of the Groups we belong to. This will make the LinkedIn Group experience better for everyone.

Additionally, LinkedIn is doing its part by helping Group managers fight promotional posts. If you are thinking about posting a discussion that contains the words me, my or I, don’t count on it showing up. Most likely it will end up under the Promotions tab, where it’s highly unlikely that anyone will see it.

In order to successfully build influence in LinkedIn Groups, your best bet is to authentically engage in discussions and contribute value-added insights.

Below are some best practices to remember as you find the right Groups to join and start engaging with members:

  • Don’t just drop into Groups and promote your products or services.
  • Don’t auto-post your blog articles into LinkedIn Groups. Instead, provide links to reputable sources of information within the context of discussions that can help members. This can include your blog articles if they truly serve that purpose.
  • Ask questions and provide thoughtful answers.
  • Contribute to ongoing discussions and new discussions consistently.
  • Share meaningful, helpful, interesting and reputable content.
  • Send invites to connect with mutual Group members only after you’ve spent some time participating in the Group. The best time to send the invitation is when you’ve interacted with members in a discussion.

Closing thoughts…

I hope that these tips will help you make the most of your LinkedIn Groups experience. LinkedIn Groups provide an amazing opportunity to position yourself as a thought leader and an influencer. If you lead by example with your participation, others will follow.

What do you think? Are you spending time on LinkedIn Groups? How do you find the right Groups to join? What are your thoughts about the value of LinkedIn Groups? Leave your comments below.

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About the Author, Stephanie Sammons

Stephanie Sammons is the Founder and CEO of Wired Advisor, where she teaches financial advisors and business professionals how to build digital influence to win clients. Other posts by »




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  • http://twitter.com/philtreagus Phil Treagus

    Great article, currently experimenting with LinkedIn Groups myself, so this article was very helpful! Thank you.

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  • http://www.gabrielneuman.com/ Gabriel Neuman

    Grate info. I have a good experience sharing and connecting with peers in LinkedIn groups. Even I got my best job from there in lighting controll

  • Kashon

    This is very helpful information. Ready to get started!

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  • http://www.EntrepreneurOnFire.com/ John Lee Dumas

    Awesome post Steph! Those are great tips on how to find and network on LinkedIn groups which a lot of online marketers will find useful.Thanks for sharing!

    Stay inspired!

    ~John Lee Dumas

  • Dirk de Lange

    Spot on, I have had more or less the same experiences in the groups I participate in.

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Awesome Phil glad you enjoyed.

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Thanks for sharing Gabriel! I hadn’t thought about groups being an opportunity to land jobs!

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Howdy John you’re welcome :)

  • http://indispensablemarketing.com/ Patrick McFadden

    I like adding value to these groups with my expertise. From my experience if you leave great comments people will want to connect with you and learn more about what you do. I recently got an offer to teach a class at my local chamber of commerce and become a contributor to their weekly SMB newsletter.

  • Yvette

    This sounds interesting. I’m new to leveraging LInkedIn. Once I join a group, how do I track the discussions? Do I have to go into LInkedIn everyday to see what discussions are going on? Do the discussions get copied to my email?

  • http://twitter.com/dgcamara daniel gómez cámara

    I think the article is great!!
    My experience in groups, like owner of one of them, is people adhere within think in is interesting for them and later do not participate or simply read it.

    the next week ofthe post talking about the closure of the group there were 6 people who adhere to this group. how can i explain that?

  • Anna Pham

    Thanks Stephanie, your post really surprised me that Linkedin has improved so much since it began 10 years ago. Keep on sharing.

  • Anna Pham

    My friend was looking for a job for months until she got a call from a manager in the same group that she joined. He saw her profile on Linkedin and thought she might be a perfect one for his company,

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  • http://ItsDifferent4girls.com/my-links Linda Sherman

    Interesting. It is so important to regularly review your memberships because you are only permitted to belong to a certain number and several of them may have become irrelevant without your noticing. If a group is full of spam, just get out and look for an alternative. No one is going to see what you post because no one is looking. Thank you for pointing out the Corporate sponsored groups Stephanie. I had thought that groups were being marginalized by the newly robust news feed on LinkedIn but I can see where a good group can still be valuable.

    Yvette – you track discussions by email notification. If you are willing to get frequent emails from a particular group you can adjust your settings to receive email notifications for posts as they happen.

  • Dara Khajavi

    Thanks for the post! I have browsed the LinkedIn Groups and joined some. I haven’t participated yet thought. This enlightening post will really help me engage with other individuals. Thanks again! I would enjoy seeing more posts like this.

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Patrick that’s a great success story thanks for sharing. I do think engaging in discussions is the best way to go!

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    You can go into your setting and determine if you want to receive a weekly or daily digest email from each group you belong to. You can also visit the groups manually, but the email updates are quite helpful for keeping track.

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Hi Daniel, I’m not sure I completely understand your question. However, I do think that the discussion posts need to remain interesting to keep members coming back. I’ve noticed the corporate sponsored groups do a great job of posting interesting and thoughtful questions, so you might try that.

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Thanks Anna.

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Hi Linda! Thanks for your comment. When you refer to the robust news feed, can you expand on that? Do you mean on the home page all the info streaming in there?

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    You’re welcome Dara. Hopefully these tips will help you navigate better.

  • Dan Page

    Good article Stephanie – I generate a lot of leads for my funding company from Linkedin Groups.

    I’d suggest there is a balance between discussing/commenting and a self-promotional post. Most people I know are on Linkedin to help grow their business, which means meeting other like-minded professionals.

    So offering interesting insights/suggestions on how to best work together can proactively generate opportunities, that might otherwise never get actualized (as opposed to blatantly self-promoting with an advertisement).

    I don’t view Linkedin as a Social Networking platform…which is why I use it (and I think a lot of other people do too). I hope it does not go that direction…as I think it will ultimately lose value for businesspeople.

  • http://elainefogel.net/ Elaine Fogel

    Stephanie, what are your thoughts on moderators who approve every single comment? It may take them hours to get to their admin panels, and by then, the momentum has waned for me. Once members have proven that their comments are ‘clean,’ what’s the harm in letting things be?

  • Jo

    Fantastic. I was having a discussion around this with all of the Virtual Assistant’s of the North West Va Meetup in Manchester, UK on Monday evening. Just what we needed. Thanks you!

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  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    All good points Dan, thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Great question, Elaine, and I must admit I’m guilty of sitting on comments sometimes within the group that I manage. My guess is that many group managers don’t realize that you can approve individual members to post without moderation! Either that or it’s too time consuming for them to go through and take care of. If I were you I’d send a message to the group manager if this is the case for you and make the request.

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    You’re welcome glad it was helpful.

  • http://twitter.com/andriatriv AndriaTrivisonno

    Really helpful article. Thanks for going into detail with some of this now that the LinkedIn search has been enhanced. I think the biggest thing to remember for anyone joining a group and getting the most out of it is consistency. If it’s hard to be consistent and active, then you might be in the wrong group.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sheila.logandavis Sheila Logan Davis

    Great article! I’m getting ready to start a new group for a client and I’d love to see an article of how to set it up properly to prevent the spam and encourage conversation and networking instead. Thanks for the info! Perfect timing!

  • Zaidi

    Linkedin is a great portal opportunites, it carries with it great visions to materialize the standards and principles of successes in the field of internet marketin or in other areas …… congratulations for more openings and great success.

  • Dominggus Koro

    Thanks for insightful article, Stephanie. I need more time learn your tips, to better absorb the idea of yours.

    Thanks again, and warmest greetings from Flores, Indonesia

  • http://www.entrepreneuronfire.com/ Kate Erickson

    Stephanie, thank you for this great article! I never took the time to realize why corporate-sponsored groups could be so beneficial, but you’ve put it so nicely here. Learning strategies from groups like the ones you’ve noted above is great advice that I will be taking with me. Also, I really value the list of best practices you’ve included. Thanks again!

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  • http://www.socialmarketingideas.blogspot.com s4socialmedia

    Great post. LinkedIn has always been my favorite. I do spend majority of my time on LinkedIn, and I do have my own group. However, I feel we need to start thinking of engagement and sharing beyond links. It would be really interesting to see how users can really make most of this amazing platform with good and quality content (not links) to get connected with their peer. LinkedIn groups can really be useful to trigger much-needed and concentrated user-specific and industry-specific pure discussions. Thanks for giving us an opportunity to think how we can contribute to make social media experience better and bigger.

  • venkyiyer58

    One thing I have always been confused about is how to actively manage membership in 50 groups (and countles sub-groups),, and for that treason, I have joined only about 20 groups or so. Some part of that confusion is now gone – join 50, but concentrate on may 10 only. Here goes.

  • Maria Arruti

    This is one of the best
    LinkedIn Groups articles I have read lately. I have already made some
    connections through LinkedIn groups and hope to make even more. Btw, I found
    this article on a LinkedIn group ;)

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  • Bilbo

    Can you actually get leads from such LinkedIn groups? For example a Social Media group is full of social media consultants all looking for leads/clients and NOT clients looking for social media consultants.

  • sami

    Thanks for the article Stephanie, I’m just learning all of this and is seems to be time consuming.

  • sami

    it seems to be

  • http://www.garrettspecialties.com/ Arleen Harry

    I am still struggling to find groups that will take the time to comment on my posts. I have joined about 8 groups on LinkedIn. Do you have a suggestion on blogging groups that will respond to posts. I only do one a week so I am not overwhelming anyone.

  • http://www.socialbakers.com/ Michal Smetana

    Thanks for sharing this amazing article with us, @stephsammons:disqus. I have been using LinkedIn Groups for a while but only as a consumer, never being “on the other side”, using it for business purposes. Thanks for these great tips, I’m sure many people can learn from the a lot.

  • Leah Van Rooy

    Thanks for the great insight! Having those visual call-outs showing what areas you were mentioning helped me navigate through LinkedIn and find some new groups.

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com/ Nick Stamoulis

    You can set up your preferences in LinkedIn so that you receive an email from group activity. I know I personally don’t always have time (or remember to) log into LinkedIn and check my groups. However, if someone likes a post of mine or asks me a question, I get an email about it, so I can reach out to them in an appropriate time frame.

  • http://geekfree.net/ Elizabeth Fletcher

    Awesome post! Thank you, Stephanie! I really like that you emphasized the importance of joining a well-managed group. This is the best way to get the highest quality experience you’re looking for.

    Thanks again!

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  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Yes great point!

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons
  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Hi Kate! We still need to connect! Glad you found it to be helpful. I really like a few of those corporate groups. They do a great job of keeping the conversation going.

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    I totally agree. I wonder what would happen if the ability to post links in LinkedIn groups was limited to group managers! I’d love to see them utilized for what they were originally intended for…discussions.

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Give it a try and let me know how it goes! The benefit of joining more is that it may allow you to expand your network.

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Cool! Thanks Maria.

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Depends on the group but the answer is absolutely yes.

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Try starting a conversation by asking a question or asking for advice. People love to give their “2 cents”. See if that helps.

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    You’re welcome Michal.

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Thanks Elizabeth.

  • http://www.socialmarketingideas.blogspot.com s4socialmedia

    Thanks Stephanie,

    I am also agree with you on this. I would say it would really help to control and maintain the purity of LinkedIn groups. Thanks once again!

  • http://www.entrepreneuronfire.com/ Kate Erickson

    Yes, we most certainly do still need to connect! :)
    And, I’ve already joined one of the groups you’ve mentioned- looking forward to diving in!

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  • http://www.eventchecklist.net/ Arwin Adriano

    Learned new ideas about Linkedin here. I have been a Linkedin user and I think I could apply those tips.

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  • http://www.SocialAna.com/ Ana Lucia Novak

    I have been an active member within LinkedIn groups and have found that daily engagement (sharing educational content, commenting and encouraging others) have contributed to the growth of my network. I loved how you outlined the value and provided a thorough overview of LinkedIn groups. This should help anyone who felt awkward to moving forward with confidence. Great post!

  • Lincoln

    I’ve found that there are some really great Australian groups out there, really well managed. “Small Business Evolution” would have to be the best of the lot.

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  • Rashi

    Great Tips!! It will surely help me connect better!!

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  • http://writespeaksell.com jeannettepaladino

    Arleen — I belong to Bloggers Helping Bloggers, a subgroup of The Blog Zone Group. We help each other by commenting on each other’s posts. However, you have to give before you receive. You need to start commenting on member blogs and they will begin to reciprocate.

  • http://www.garrettspecialties.com/ Arleen Harry

    Jeannette,
    I belong to the same group and they are wonderful about commenting on my blog and I do reciprocate. I have left comments on your blogs as well, you have on mine. I don’t see the same thing happening with other groups.

  • http://writespeaksell.com jeannettepaladino

    Sorry for the lapse in memory. Getting comments is the bane of every blogger’s existence. Taking the initiative to leave thoughtfl comments on the blogs of well-know social media gurus may also draw some comments on your posts, as well as writing guest posts on other blogs that link back to your site. That may also draw comments.

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  • Mohan

    Good Article ,Complements my profile searching the groups which suits my profile,
    I would also like to know how we can search the updates of our groups without LinkedIn signal(Recently dropped).

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  • Pamela Lapeyrolerie

    Thank you very much for this article.It is very helpful in my pursuit to make LinkedIn an integral part of my social marketing strategy







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