Tag Archives: Groups

What fun is that? 5 reason why you should contribute on LinkedIn

thinking

Recently I spoke to a person who uses LinkedIn on a fairly regular basis, at least four times a week he said.

When I asked him how often he updates, contributes to discussions in groups, or shares his thoughts in general; he told me never.

So naturally I asked him what he does on LinkedIn, to which he said he reads what others have to say.

So I’m trying to figure out why someone would just read what others write or would share articles written by others. What fun is that?

I’ll be the first to admit that I over contribute. I joke with my workshop attendees that I am probably the most hidden person on LinkedIn. In fact, I probably am.

Which isn’t to say I don’t read other’s updates and share articles written by others. A great deal of what I know comes from reading articles about the job search, LinkedIn, and introversion.

I am constantly trying to increase my knowledge so I can share it with my customers and colleagues. Call me an equal opportunity contributor.

Back to the person who told me he doesn’t update, contribute to groups, or share his thoughts in general. Here’s the thing: LinkedIn is a platform that encourages its members to share information.

Thus its creation of the publishing feature—yes, I’ve contributed posts on LinkedIn—which gives anyone the ability to share their words of wisdom and thoughts.

For those of you who are on the verge of contributing to LinkedIn but can’t take the plunge, here are five reasons I hope will urge you to make that leap.

It gives us a voice. Whereas some people are verbal communicators, others prefer to communicate via writing. They find comfort in being able to express their thoughts without interruption.

Updating and contributing to discussions in groups follows Parliamentary Procedure which allows one to speak, receive feedback, respond to feedback, and so forth.

LinkedIn is educational. When you write an update, contribute to a discussion, or post an article; you challenge yourself to present viable information, which means it’s best if you do a little research to back up your assertions.

Similarly you can be assured that what others write is well thought out and educational. Challenge yourself to produce updates, contribute to group discussions, and post on LinkedIn information that others will find interesting.

What you contribute isn’t done with impunity, though. On occasion I’ve been told my blog posts are utter shite, so I have to brace myself for this possibility.

When this happens my first instinct is to feel hurt, but then I think, “Hey, people are paying attention.” And that’s a good feeling.

You may want to be fairly conservative if you don’t want to be criticized harshly for your thoughts.

Contributing to LinkedIn can brand you as a thought leader. Not everything one writes is worthy of a Pulitzer. But when you contribute to a group discussion with well thought out content, or write a post that adds value; you’re positioning yourself as a thought leader.

I encourage job seekers to write articles on their area of expertise, even if they feel deflated from being out of work. They are, after all, professionals in their field.

Even asking an interesting question can demonstrate your expertise. Some of my most viewed writing are questions I pose to my connections. Make it simple, yet relative.

It’s fun. This is a matter of opinion. I find writing on LinkedIn extremely fun. For the four reasons listed above, plus an escape from the demands of daily life, as well as not having to watch mindless television.

My family doesn’t understand it until I ask my girls why they spend endless hours taking photos for Instagram. Enough said.


These are my five reasons for contributing to LinkedIn. To simply read what others write and not write stuff of my own is not my idea of fun.

I guess if I were a more understanding of people who feel shy about writing, I’d come up with five reasons why it’s cool not to update and contribute to discussions. Hey, there’s a topic for my next post.

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7 interesting facts about LinkedIn Groups you should know

LinkedIn Groups3Which LinkedIn feature is your favorite for the job search? Is it Companies which allows you to locate and connect with people who can open doors for you? How about Jobs which, according to some, has become the second most effective job board, two notches above Monster.com. Or Who’s Viewed Your Profile, Find Alumni, Pulse?

There’s one I’ve not mentioned yet. It’s a feature that provides you with an arena to express your views, ask questions, share articles, connect or communicate with people who are outside your first degree connections, and more. Groups is high on the list of my favorite features, quite possibly my number one.

That said, I’m going to give you a rundown of Groups functions, some of which are very useful, others not very, and others a waste of time.

Your Groups’ Feed

Goups

1. Your Groups at a glance. When you first choose Groups in the Interests drop-down (silly that one of LinkedIn’s best features doesn’t have its own link), you’ll see a page that allows you to take immediate action. Rather than having to open a group, you can do the following:

Keep up with discussions. This is an easy way to see what’s going on in each of your groups (providing there are discussions happening) and contributing to said discussions. Depending on how much time you have on your hands, you can scroll and scroll down your screen to see if there is anything of interests.

start a discussion in GroupsStart a conversation (New). How easy can LinkedIn make starting a discussion in a particular group. Begin your discussion by selecting a title (LinkedIn provides some suggestions) and adding details, choosing a group (only one group. Sorry), and post it.

Manage your groups’ settings. This function allows you to rearrange your groups in the order you want them to appear. You can also adjust Member Settings, e.g., Visibility, Contact Settings, Update Settings, and Leave the Group. In terms of visibility, I tell my jobseekers to not show their Job Search groups on their profile. Rather the groups that are related to their occupation.

Open One of Your Groups and Go to Town

2. Discussions. Probably the best feature Groups has to offer, as it allows you to show your expertise through intelligent questions, thoughtful answers, relevant shares. One of my valued connections, Hank Boyer, constantly shows up on my Groups feed posting articles that are relevant to his connections.

3. Promotions. No man’s land. Promotions are ignored in most groups because any type of information posted and deemed as self-promotional end up here. One of my valued connections informed me that when he posts anything in a group I started, it is automatically placed in Promotions. I removed this page from my group.

4. Jobs. This is feature that is sometimes ignored by group members and, therefore, they don’t learn about jobs posted by their fellow members. I’ve sent messages to the members of my group informing them to look in Jobs, but this isn’t something that I can do on a constant basis.

5. Members. A valuable feature if you’re looking for someone whose occupation is closely related to yours. Type in “Project Manager” in the search field and you will be able to access the full profiles of group members who have “Project Manager” on their profile. Better yet, you can:

  1. Follow
  2. See activity
  3. Send message
  4. Connect

with any member in your group, even if he/she is a 3rd degree. I tell my workshop attendees that if they want to communicate directly with someone who’s not in their direct network, they can join a group of which the person is a member. The same goes for connecting with 2nd and 3rd degree connections.

6. Search. This is where you can search for discussions from the group’s members. When I want to search for a discussion started by one of my fellow group members, or when he’s been mentioned in a discussion; I type in his name in the field and am granted this information. There are other items you can search:

  1. Latest Activity
  2. All Discussions
  3. Manager’s Choice
  4. Discussions You’ve Started
  5. Discussions You’re Following
  6. Pending Submissions

7. Number of groups to join. I tell my LinkedIn workshop attendees that LinkedIn allows them to join up to 50 groups, but I advise them to join groups only if they will be active participants. This leads me to conclude that a good rate of participation should be at least once a week—whether you ask an illuminating question or answer one.

This further leads me to confess that I was once banished from a group because of lack of activity–yes, it’s possible. Thus, I made it my mission to participate in more groups or quit them. Should I get my hand slapped again, I will gladly apologize to the owner or manager who banishes me from that group.

My advice to you is shed the groups you’re ignoring. Treat it like spring cleaning; purge your proverbial LinkedIn house of those groups you’ve stopped visiting. Trust me, it will feel great.


If you know of other functionality of Groups not mentioned here, let us know.

As always, if this post helped you, please share it with others.

The third of 3 steps for a successful LinkedIn campaign: being active

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Previously we looked at connecting with others on LinkedIn, the second step for a successful LinkedIn campaign. Now we’ll look at being active on LinkedIn.

I tell my LinkedIn workshop attendees that one of my colleagues jokes that I need an intervention. Not for use of an illegal substance; no, an intervention for use of… LinkedIn. Too much use.

This little joke elicits laughter from my attendees, but I secretly wonder if there’s truth to his words. If using LinkedIn 365 days a year, including holidays, is considered abnormal; then I might benefit from an intervention.

This post is not about refraining from using LinkedIn often. To the contrary, this post is about the necessity of being active on LinkedIn. How many hours should they dedicate to LinkedIn many of my workshop attendees asks me.

There’s not a set number of hours or minutes you must dedicate to LinkedIn; but to be be productive on LinkedIn, you can’t sit idle. Here’s what you must do:

1. An obvious way to be active is to communicate with your connections by posting Updates. How many you post is up to you, but I suggest at least one a day. This is when I get remarks from my attendees about not having time to make one update a week.

To prove this is not a tall order, I show my attendees how I update providing tidbits of job-search advice, asking a question, or sharing an article I find educational. I tell them it’s important to share relevant information with their connections; that’s what good connections do.

2. Another way to be active is to “Like” what your connections update; or, better yet, comment on your connections’ updates. Liking their updates is great, but it takes very little effort to simply click the link. Be more creative and add a comment which can generate discussion, or reply to your connections privately.

3. I’ll visit my connection’s profiles–with full disclosure–many times a day. My connections will visit my profile many times, as well. When they “drop in” and have disclosed themselves (not Anonymous LinkedIn User or Someone from the Entertainment Industry), I’ll show my appreciation by writing, “Thanks for visiting my profile.” This will also lead to a discussion.

4. You’ve probably read many opinions from people on the topic of Endorsements–here we go again. Add me to the list of people who prefer receiving or writing thoughtful recommendations as opposed to simply clicking a button. And I’m not alone.

But, in fairness, Endorsements have a purpose greater than showing appreciation for someone’s Skills and Expertise; they act as a way to touch base. In other words, they’re another way to communicate with your connections.

5. Let us not forget your groups which give you another, significant way to be active. Participating in discussions regularly is a great way to share ideas with established and potential connections. I’ve gained connections because of the interests we shared revealed by discussions.

Did you know you can communicate directly with anyone in your group? That’s right, you don’t have to be a first degree in order to communicate directly with even a third-degree member. Trying to get the ear of someone out of your network? You may want to join a group that person is in.

6. If your connections blog and share their posts on LinkedIn, take the effort to read their blog posts and comment on their thoughts. This is an effective way of creating synergy in the blogging community. Now you can express your thoughts using LinkedIn’s Publishing feature. Take advantage of this if you have the ability to write and enjoy sharing your ideas.

Sharing blog posts on LinkedIn and making thoughtful comments in your groups can promote you as a thought leader in your occupation and industry. Don’t be shy about sharing your expertise. Employed or unemployed, you have important information to share. LinkedIn is not only about connecting; it’s also about information capital.

7. Pulse is one of the best ways to stay abreast of news in your selected industries (or channels), influencers, and publishers. LinkedIn delivers news to your homepage every day. And you choose which news you want to receive. When my workshop attendees wonder what they should update, I tell them sharing articles of common interest is a great way to start.

8. Companies feature. I saved one of the best features for last. Companies epitomizes networking on LinkedIn. It allows you to find people who are in a position to help you. It encourages you to be proactive. In my workshops I show people how to find people who have the authority to hire them by:

  1. Selecting a company for which you’d like to work;
  2. choosing second degree connections;
  3. typing keywords in Advanced Search;
  4. choosing “current” for currently working there;
  5. typing the person’s title, and;
  6. indicating the company’s geographic location.

Once you’ve located the person with whom you’d like to communicate, you can ask for an introduction from one of your first degree connections who is connected to said person.

These are some ways you can be active on LinkedIn. The first step is to create a presence with your profile, followed by connecting with others on LinkedIn, and finally being active. Combining all three will lead to a successful LinkedIn campaign.

7 easy ways to learn about your LinkedIn connections’ updates

I’ve written numerous times about the importance of sharing an update as a way to communicate with your connections. My LinkedIn workshop attendees will tell you I mention it a bazillion times during the workshop, and they question my suggestion that they update at least once a day.

One of the things I love about LinkedIn is the ability to learn about the connections in my community. By going to my homepage every morning and numerous times during the day, I can see with whom they’re connecting, articles they’re sharing, groups they’ve joined, jobs they’ve landed, and more. This can be time-consuming, so I narrow my search by type (see list below).

If you’re interested, like me, in focusing on certain types of updates, here’s how to do it. Click on “All Updates” just below the “Share an update” box. A drop-down menu will appear giving you many options for various types of updates to look at. For instance, if you’d like to know what changes are made to your connections’ profiles, simply choose “Profiles.” Let’s look at the various types of updates.

  1. HomepageAll Updates. This is the default update setting but preferred by those who like variety…or don’t know about the “All Update” feature. Below are more specific update types.
  2. Shares. If it’s blog posts/photos/videos and more you’re interested in, select this type of update to discover what your connections have been sharing.
  3. Connections. Important for those of you who are interested in who your connections are connecting with. I find this useful if I recognize a second degree with whom I’d like to connect. Now I can get an introduction to my connection’s new contact.
  4. Groups. Who in your network has joined a group? Who’s started or contributed to a discussion? Because groups are so huge, you should stay on top of what your connections are doing in their groups.
  5. Profiles. Your connections might have landed a new job, made updates to their skills and specialties, recommended someone, posted a new photo (big these days), or celebrated a birthday. By they way, you can hide this activity and changes to your profile by going to Privacy & Settings > Turn on/off broadcast activity.
  6. News. This brings me to the channels I’m following and the comments people have made, whether they’re first or third degree connections. Oh, there’s an interesting article on emotional intelligence. I’ll be back, I’m going to read it.
  7. Companies. Curious about which companies your connections are following? This could be good fodder for discussion. “So, what’s the interest in BAE?” This is another activity you can hide if you don’t want certain connections (your boss) to know.

Your Updates. This type of update is not about your connections, but it is one of my favorite features under All Updates, as I’m very forgetful. This allows me to see if or when I’ve shared a post of mine or some of my connections’. Perhaps I’ve made a statement of advice, or listed a quote. I would like to know this lest I share an identical post.

Hidden. This is a category I hope I don’t end up in, but let’s be realistic. With all the updating I do a day, I’m sure plenty of people have hidden me from their homepage. No worries. LinkedIn is kind enough to not notify you if you’ve been hidden. And you can ask yourself, “Is it better to be hidden or removed?”

My final comment on updates is the ability to customize what you want to see when you’re perusing your homepage or using the “All Updates” feature. Perhaps I’m not all that interested in what companies people are following. I can simply eliminate that update type from the list.