5 Tips for Effectively Managing a LinkedIn Group

social media how toAre you currently managing your own LinkedIn group?

Are you considering launching a LinkedIn group?

Keep reading for five tips on how to better manage LinkedIn groups.

Why Start a LinkedIn Group?

Building a LinkedIn group around a specific cause or niche topic can provide many business benefits.  You could:

  • Build more awareness with your target markets
  • Position you and/or your company as an industry thought leader
  • Nurture valuable industry relationships
  • Showcase and highlight your own thought leadership content
  • Generate interest and inquiries for your company
  • Convert group members to subscribers and advocates for your brand

As you can see, there are many good reasons to start a LinkedIn group, but it can be very helpful to have some guidelines for managing a successful group after you launch.

If you’re unsure about best practices for launching a successful LinkedIn group, you may want to revisit these Tips for Launching and Building a Thriving LinkedIn Group for the basics.

This article focuses primarily on helping you learn how to successfully manage a LinkedIn group.

Learning how to manage your own LinkedIn group effectively will also help you discover other well-managed LinkedIn groups to participate in. This can make all the difference in the world with regard to your experience.

5 Tips for Effectively Managing a LinkedIn Group

Currently I manage a LinkedIn group that has over 3200 members with hundreds of new requests to join each month. From this experience, I’ve learned some valuable lessons about how to manage a group effectively to keep members happy and make sure the group is free from spam and clutter!

#1: Review Your LinkedIn Group Name and Description

The name you give your group and the description you provide are critical to attracting the right members. You want to make sure that you use keywords in the title and description of your group, because these will show up in LinkedIn group searches. (They will also be indexed by Google.)

You have approximately 48 characters for your LinkedIn group “title” that will show up in LinkedIn group search results.

For your LinkedIn group description, use words to encourage potentially interested members to click-through and learn more about joining your group. This is an important differentiator for standing out from your competitors in the group search results.

As you will see in the image below, someone who finds this group via LinkedIn or Google search must apply to join. This creates the perception of exclusivity. It means that not everyone is let into the group.

Remember, people love to feel special.

For your group description, approximately the first 140 characters will show up in search results.

complelling description

Use a compelling description to encourage people to join your group.

#2: Create a Strict Group Policy

LinkedIn allows group owners to craft a policy that contains the rules that they want the group to follow. It is important to create group rules that are both firm and clear. Do not assume that everyone will read your group rules.

The image below is a snapshot of my LinkedIn group policy. Notice that it is very specific and clear about what the expectations are.

strict group rules

Example of a firm and clear LinkedIn group rules policy.

To ensure your group rules catch on and stick with members, you must reiterate them frequently and in multiple places.

For example, summarize your group rules in your initial LinkedIn group welcome message that goes out to new members.

Also consider posting and highlighting an occasional discussion as a reminder of what is acceptable in the group. Sending an announcement message to members reiterating your rules might also be necessary from time to time.

As you will see in the image below, I’ve had to be very firm in what is acceptable to post in my group.

group policy

Highlight your group policy in the Manager's Choice area.

Members will appreciate and respect this and will likely share comments to confirm this. Don’t be afraid to make a bold statement about your rules and highlight them as your Manager’s Choice discussion.

No one appreciates spam, and LinkedIn groups that are poorly managed can be overtaken by spam, unfortunately.

#3: Screen New Members AND Member Discussion Posts

A big key to managing a successful group is to moderate who can get in as well as what can be posted.

As you can see from my group description in tip #1, you can choose to pre-approve every single new member. Pre-approving members who want to join your group does take time, but it is extremely important if you want to build a quality group!

Here are some quick tips to decide who can join your LinkedIn group:

  • Make sure they have a picture on their LinkedIn profile.
  • Make sure they fit your specific criteria for group membership (i.e., location, job description, etc.).
  • Make sure they have been a LinkedIn member for at least 30 days (LinkedIn will alert you to brand-new members).

In order to help with this process, take advantage of LinkedIn’s automated email templates (see image below) to clearly explain your process for granting admission to the group, as well as your expectations of group members.

You can use LinkedIn email templates to send a pre-written message to those who have requested to join and are awaiting approval and those to whom you decline membership.

You can also send a pre-written welcome message to new members who have been approved.

message templates

Craft clear messaging templates to auto-send on your behalf.

Should you moderate group discussion posts?

Moderating what gets posted to your group can also be effective to maintain quality and keep the group on topic. If you choose not to pre-approve discussions before they are posted to the group, you will want to monitor the posted discussions closely to make sure they are aligned with your policy.

If a member continues to post content that you deem to be non-relevant or overly promotional, you can either send them a warning or remove them from your group altogether, depending on what your group rules state.

Should you allow your direct competitors to post in your LinkedIn group?

Be careful about this. There may be some benefit to working with a competitor who has a related, well-managed LinkedIn group. However, be aware of those who are more interested in gaining exposure to the members of your group for marketing purposes rather than the well-being of your group!

#4: Use the Group Announcements Feature

With the LinkedIn Group Announcements feature, you can send up to one announcement per week directly to the email inboxes of your members.

This is a great opportunity to share helpful content and encourage members to subscribe to your blog, invite them to attend a webinar or download a free guide that you’ve put together.

The key to running a successful campaign using the group announcements feature is to craft a compelling subject line. The email will actually come from LinkedIn, and many of us receive numerous emails from LinkedIn each day. Therefore you will need a great headline to make your group announcement stand out.

send announcement

Send group announcements with compelling subject lines to stand out.

Additionally, be careful about abusing this privilege as many group owners do. Mix up your messages and don’t send a call to action every time. Consider alternating between value messages that are helpful or informative and specific calls to action.

#5: Lead Your Group

Of the five tips, this is the most important. Someone needs to actually lead the group. If you represent a big brand or larger company, choose a spokesperson who can be the face of the group and spend time being involved in the group.

If you’re a small business owner, you should be the face of your group.

How can you lead your LinkedIn group?

Lead your group by becoming one of its most active members. By being active in your own group and positioning yourself as the leader of your group, members will get to know and trust you. Do not expect your group to lead itself.

lead your group

Lead your group by being engaged and vocal!

Here are some recommendations for how you can lead your group:

  • Post a weekly discussion—share your own thought leadership insights as well as valuable content that you discover online.
  • Post a weekly question.
  • Comment on existing discussions (this will almost always create activity).
  • Encourage engagement through questions and feedback requests.
  • Run LinkedIn Polls within your group.

LinkedIn group activity does go out to members in a weekly email digest. The more interesting and relevant the discussions are in your group, the more likely your members will be to open that email and get engaged.

If you follow these LinkedIn group management tips, you will build and grow a very high-quality group. It will require a commitment from you or a team member to stay on top of managing the group on a weekly or daily basis, but the outcome will be very rewarding!

Your members will also appreciate the quality of your group, and they won’t be hesitant to share your group with friends, colleagues and connections.

What challenges are you experiencing with managing a LinkedIn group? Do you see ways that you can improve existing groups? Are you thinking about starting your own LinkedIn group? Share your thoughts with me 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://www.urbanmedia.co.uk/ Urban Media

    The problem with Linkedin groups is than, on one hand you want to accept a lot of people so that the message you want to convey can be achieved but then some people are thinking too much about their own company or self publication. So how would strike the balance?

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

    I think what the problem of LinkedIn groups are, is that their creators didn’t or don’t have a clear idea of the purpose why they created them. They may have a good name of the group, but the description is not of the most apt ones. Furthermore, they do not establish some group rules, what can you do in this group, what can you post there, etc., which is connected with the last point in your post – not leading the group. Once you create a new LinkedIn group, you should manage it, lead it – or at least have someone to do it for you, if you don’t have time.

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  • http://www.tortugacreative.com/ Chris

    I’m going to echo what Peter says..

    Simply put: If you don’t have the time, don’t create one.

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

    Great article about LinkedIn groups Stephanie! I have created my own group and it’s been working well for me, though now that I’ve read your tips on how to manage the group, I will be able to maximize its purpose by not just coming up with updates about my company, but by creating interesting topics for discussion.Thanks a lot SME!

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

    Hi! Give people a chance but if they don’t follow the rules (perhaps you have a strike 1,2,3 policy) they are out. 99% of the time they won’t try to get back in because they know better.

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

    Good points Peter. Thanks!

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

    Sounds good John. I wish I would have managed my group better early on. It would have been easier!

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  • http://about.me/kirsten.lambertsen Kirsten Lambertsen

    Great, specific post. Thanks :)

    Do have any suggestions for coming up with a unique, stand-out group in the first place? What are some examples of ways to differentiate your group and its topic from all the group noise on Linked In?

  • Игорь Moschckin

    Thank!

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

    Hi Kirsten, I believe that if you try to niche down to a particular geographical location, demographic, or common interest is the best way to be unique. If you could have all 3 of those that would be ideal. For example: Professional or business women who live in Dallas and work or are involved in technology

  • http://about.me/kirsten.lambertsen Kirsten Lambertsen

    Solid answer :-)  Thanks!

  • http://ca.linkedin.com/in/bobupton1/ Bob Upton

    1)  Decide with early members what you have in common and what your broad message might be.  
    2)  Be clear among yourselves what you want group members to do.
    3)  Use newspaper tactics:  Headline draws attention to sub-head, then first paragraph, then story.
    4)  Give more than you get.  An earlier comment above speaks of self interest.  Moderate that to stand out.  Guy Kawasaki said in a Success Magazine CD:  ”Give 99% of the time and promote 1%” paraphrased.  

  • http://www.communitymarketing4u.com/ Jody stagg

    I’ve been thinking about creating a group for awhile now and these tips are very helpful, thank you.

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

    You are welcome Jody!

  • Online Business Virtual Assist

    Could not agree more. Perfect way to strike a balance.

  • SandyFischler

    This was great! I’ve been thinking about starting a LinkedIn group because the two biggest groups for my industry have become bottomless pits of self-promotional content marketing. For every “conversation” started by someone who wants to network, there are 30 other posts from industry content marketers and people trying to driver traffic to their blogs. Yes, it’s all industry related, but it sure isn’t social networking. 

    People who ask questions go unanswered, people who try to start conversations go unresponded to, all because there is so much content marketing filling up the page. So, I would frankly add one more item to Stephanie’s great list: do not allow content marketing or links to outside entities in top level posts. If you want to create a networking group, those people need to stay on LinkedIn and join the conversation, not leave the site to go read blog posts elsewhere. 

  • Larry Lourcey

    My problem is that it seems like just one more thing to keep up with on my Social Media plate.  I’m curious how much benefit people see from this.  So hard to know where to spend my time most effectively…

  • SandyFischler

    Larry, I’ve been having the same heartburn. Running a group is clearly a time sink and there has to be a cost-benefit analysis. My personal take is that the primary reason you want to participate in Linkedin Groups is for branding – getting your name associated with a topic. I think you would want to start and run a group if you have a vested interest in branding yourself to your industry and making sure your name has top-of-mind placement. 

    I can think of lots of reasons why you would want to brand yourself well, but they all come back to revenue stream. Does peer-to-peer networking stand to increase your revenue stream? Does top-of-mind placement help you become the first person someone turns to when they need a service you provide? If we are talking about LinkedIn and you are a B to C business, that answer may be no. BUT you might still be wanting to increase your social standing within your industry and be considered a thought leader, so that may change the equation back to yes. 

    I think you have to really take a deep look at value provided in relation to time spent when it comes to social networking. I don’t see any point in running around going “social, social, social” if you aren’t creating any value. Posting Lolcats on Facebook is grand fun and all, but is it really creating a brand for you? 

    I find that most people skim social networking sites, which means what you post is critically important. I may not go read your blog, when when I see constant updates rolling across my Linkedin activity feed from Larry on the topic of Sandcastles, it doesn’t take long for Larry and Sandcastles to associate and Larry becomes top-of-mind for me on that topic. So, Groups become valuable not just for networking with your peers, but as a way to keep associating your name with key topics (which SHOULD be your revenue streams.) 

  • http://humanwebsite.com.my/ Kent

    I think the content is the most important thing we need to focus on.

  • Will

    Very nice arcticle, makes it very tempting to start a group after reading. 

  • http://bloggerwhale.blogspot.in/ Blogger Whale

    Extensive article.LinkedIn surely has a lot of untapped potential.Will try to leverage it in future.

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  • LouKel

    I have a group that supports my main website (which is community for local creatives), my question is: How do you go about deleting the LI group? I feel it may be taking the spotlight away from the main website and discussion there. Twitter and Facebook support my website, but I’m not sure what LI is doing for me? And I’m not good at keeping on top of it. The problem is the LI groups keeps growing! Thanks.

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  • http://www.susanyoung.com.au/ Susan Young

    Hi Stephanie, your sound advice came along just when I realised that I have over 1.300 members in my Group and I was letting it run on it’s own! So, thank-you for sharing this topic, I’m now back on track.

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  • Glenn O’Neil(Owl RE)

    Hi Stephanie, just came across your post a year later…but the advice is so useful…I’ve been looking for this for some time – thanks again!

  • Raleigh Leslie

    Stepahanie – Enjoyed this post by you as well thanks for sharing with me. Very good points – I think I might use this as a starting point for my agency’s internal procedures for managing a group. Love the ‘policy’ and then highlighting it in the managers choice area.

    I think the biggest threat to the success of the discussions in a group is the lack of an active manager. That’s kinda where I’m ending up.

  • Libby Mauter

    Do you have any recommendations for uploading images to linked in? We are exploring starting a medical group to discuss difficult patient cases. The ability to upload digital images (xrays, MRIs) is important to the success of the discussion. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  • Kevin Morrison

    Be aware that LinkedIn can and often will overstep your group policy and will place users on site wide moderation without telling anyone. This overzealous policy is non negotiable and like everything LinkedIn, they will not provide an answer or comment, and help…. well you would be better off not wasting your time because they are only here to help themselves.









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