LinkedIn groups are, in my opinion, a vastly underutilized or incorrectly utilized resource in social media.
Before joining a LinkedIn group, you need to ask the following questions:
How am I going to use this group?
What will my role be in this group?
What value can I add to this group?
I suggest being selective and strategic in the groups that you join*. It is tempting to try to join every group that interests you, but consider the time commitment and the LESS IS MORE philosophy. If you join 50 groups, will be you able to contribute, post and respond to discussions in every group? (If you answered yes to that question, then I need to clone you.)
Don’t just join groups of people who do exactly what you do. I can’t hope to gain new insight and new business leads if the only groups I join are for social media consultants.
Control the amount of email that you get from the group. You will be quickly overwhelmed if you receive an email for each new discussion. Explore your control settings for each group, depending on the notifications that you want to receive. I suggest a Weekly Digest of discussions, and no more than a Daily Digest.
*Do as I say, not as I do – as of this posting, I am a member of over 40 LinkedIn groups – but I’m trying to trim it down!
Do you use LinkedIn groups? Do you find them to be useful, or a distraction? Any other tips to share? Please post in the Comments section below.