Updated: February 2018
As we’ve walked through the basics of LinkedIn, you now have information on how to set up your profile and how to find and join groups to help you build your network. So you’ve found some groups, but what do you post? How do you post? Read on to learn more about how to improve your LinkedIn presence and mistakes to avoid.
First, it’s important to understand that the LinkedIn group feed works almost the same as Facebook. You have your:
- Post box
- Comments on posts
- Like button
- Share options
Simple enough, right? There are so many benefits to using LinkedIn groups. So here are two ways to use some of these options to build your LinkedIn group presence:
1. “Like” and comment on other group members’ posts.
To build your presence in the group, start first by liking others’ posts or comments on existing group discussions. However, don’t become the group member that likes every single post and every single comment.
Next, start commenting on content other members of the group post. This is a low-pressure way to start getting members to recognize you without having to go for the gold and create a post likely to be viewed by all group members.
HOWEVER, make sure the comments you are posting are relevant, well-thought out, and well-written. Just as you shouldn’t “like” every comment and post, don’t comment just for the sake of commenting. Find a discussion you feel you can contribute something meaningful to and go from there. A good rule of thumb: Always leave a discussion better than when you found it. If you start commenting a few times a week on a handful of discussions in all of your groups, you will start building a good presence.
2. Share a news article or other piece of information related to the field.
When you get to the point where you feel comfortable posting content to the whole group, remember that these posts are meant to be professional and engaging. A funny article from Buzzfeed is not the kind of content you want to post. An article from a reliable news outlet about a recent change or event in your field – that’s something worth sharing.
But don’t just post something and leave it to stand on its own. Provide thoughtful words to accompany it and do so in a way that will encourage discussion and engagement from the members of your group.
So since you now know how to wade into the LinkedIn group pool, make sure to take note of these three mistakes to avoid:
1. Don’t ask for a job.
It’s okay to ask for information or advice from professionals in the field, but don’t make it about you and your issues finding a job. For example:
BAD – “Could anyone give me advice on how to get a job in this field?”
BETTER – “What were some of your best early experiences in this field?”
This shows you are taking in interest in the members of your group as people rather than what members can give you. Asking engaging questions that lead to discussion will not only help you build your LinkedIn group presence, but it could also land you a job.
2. Don’t overpost.
Though being involved in conversations from the group are important, you don’t want to be that group member always posting irrelevant, repetitive, or unprofessional information. Just like you don’t like seeing annoying posts on your Facebook newsfeed, professionals don’t like seeing it on their LinkedIn feed either.
3. Don’t join too many groups.
Though LinkedIn lets you join up to 50 groups, you want to go for quality rather than quantity. As college students we are often stretched very thin, and I’m sure we all know we can’t do our best work when we are being pulled in too many different directions. This same idea applies to the internet. Don’t join all the groups – just start with 5 to 10. With how busy you are already, 5 to 10 will be more than enough to keep you busy on the LinkedIn.
Remember, join groups you’re passionate about. Join groups you think will be helpful to get a job or internship, and that you will be interested in maintaining for the longer-term. If the group is related to your field, hopefully you’ll find it interesting and want to contribute to it over the next few months or years. But if the group seems like only something you’ll be engaged in for a short time – until you get a job or internship – keep digging for something you’re a little more passionate about. When you’re passionate, it’s easy to take the time to keep up with the group discussions and find the opportunities you’re looking for!
– Shannon Ball, Rebecca Reynolds, PCA