Oftentimes when Jason and I do LinkedIn 1×1 or group training sessions, people ask us if they should participate in LinkedIn Groups. If you aren’t familiar with LinkedIn Groups, watch the quick LinkedIn video below to get a feel for what they are and how they work.
What we often find is that most people aren’t taking the time to even do the basic weekly behaviors that we recommend on LinkedIn, so getting people to spend time in Groups is even more of a stretch. So if you are one of those people that aren’t regularly doing the things we recommend in “Your LinkedIn Profile Is Done, Now What?“, then we suggest that you wait on participating in Groups until you are ready to commit some real, consistent time to your LinkedIn efforts.
In the interest of full disclosure, I belong to several groups on LinkedIn, but I’m not currently an active participant in them. I receive weekly email summary updates on the activity within each group, scan the topics, and occasionally comment if there is something of interest to me.
But LinkedIn Groups can provide a lot of real value too…you just have to put forth the effort. One recent example of success with LinkedIn Groups was brought to my attention from my friend and client, Brett Gibson, one of the owners of AdventureTech, a .NET Development company in Kansas City. He sent me a couple of emails expressing his excitement over a discussion generated from a post he shared with the LinkedIn Group KCITP (Kansas City Information Technology Professionals).
KCITP is a great group started by LinkedIn and IT stud Michael Gelpman and has nearly 6,400 members. Brett posted a provocative title that said “Here’s a topic polite Kansas City IT people don’t like to talk about”, which referenced an EXCELLENT blog article recently posted on AdventureTech’s web site titled “Technical Debt: When Deadlines Are Met, Bad Decisions Are Forgotten (But Bad Code Lives On).” Below is an excerpt from the discussion (you can see the entire discussion by joining the KCITP group after you are signed in to LinkedIn).
In summary, if you have the time, a passionate base of people that like to engage in discussion, and a compelling topic, then LinkedIn Groups are a great way to meet new people, network, find new business partners, educate yourself, educate other people, and help set yourself apart as a subject matter or industry expert.
The equation is the same for LinkedIn Groups, LinkedIn in general, Facebook, Twitter or any other social media outlet:
IF YOU WANT TO GET SOMETHING OUT OF IT, YOU NEED TO MAKE A COMMITMENT TO PUTTING TIME AND EFFORT INTO IT.