Do you feel like a unknown username in the social media sea? Do you have valuable industry expertise but lack a forum to showcase your knowledge? “5 Ways to Use LinkedinIn Groups to Build Influential Connections” describes ways to focus your energy, build influence, and develop relationships which can result in a deeper understanding of the content and trends in your chosen occupation. Suggestions include:
- Target key group(s): Search for relevant groups in your industry using key words. Based on the group’s description (e.g. is your occupation social media marketing? Or is your focus social media for non-profits?), group size (look for at least 100, and if you want to become an influencer look for groups with no more than 1000), background of the group owner (based on his/her profile and associated websites, is he/she as an industry expert?), who from your network are already members, and current discussions (if the group is open), determine if this is a forum you can learn and contribute to.
- Engage: Once part of a group, read through the most recent and/or most popular discussions to get an idea of what might be important topics to understand or trends to be aware of. Respond to existing comments by providing insights, additional information/references, or bring the conversation to the next level with a thought-provoking question. As you add value you will gain credibility and visibility.
- Prioritize: Although keeping up with your Facebook and LinkedIn updates, Twitter timeline and other RSS feeds is still important, view time spent on your target group(s) as a career investment. Visit and post regularly.
- Promote others: “Promoting and connecting others on LinkedIn can build social influence”. Sharing interesting posts from others in your status updates or tweets, and introducing your first-degree business contacts to each other when potentially beneficial can help you build relationships with others in your industry.
- Drive: Become a “Top Influencer” by engaging other group members in discussions you initiate. By proactively being involved in your target group(s), you will begin to get a sense for the hot topics or trends which draw the most discussion. Always respond to comments directed towards you or your post, preferably within 24 hours.
What other techniques have you used to build influence on LinkedIn or elsewhere? Share your experiences!