Today's blog entry was inspired by fellow Cvent blogger Jenise Fryatt's great post entitled:
- Don't bother reading the group rules. Just dive right in.
One group sends a welcome letter to every new member and posts expectations through a convenient "Group Rules" link and regular announcements. In spite of this, it is amazing how many members don't bother reading them.
Tip: Take the time to read the group rules.
Every LinkedIn Group configures the LinkedIn infrastructure in a different way. Rules are also different from group to group. For example, some groups don't allow any blog content and you can only post articles from bonafide journalist sources.
- Immediately start a discussion to introduce yourself and promote your services.
Would you go to a professional association meeting and immediately shout a sales pitch to everyone in the room? It's just as rude to shotgun promotional material out to the group.
Tip: Take the time to find out how each group handles member introduction discussions.
Many groups provide Member Introductions discussions with guidelines about what to post.
- Invite people to join your own LinkedIn Group.
What you have to offer is of much greater value.
Tip: Just don't. It's just as rude as going to a party and shouting that there is a much better party across the street.
- Keep posting your own topics. Don't bother responding to other discussions or trying to assist other members.
You're much too busy and someone with more time can do that.
Tip: If you reach out to other members, they'll be much more open to your content. Remember people tend to do business with people they know and like and not in response to sales pitches.
- Don't bother with subgroups. Just post each and every topic in the main group.
After all, you're way too busy to take an extra 30 seconds and post in the right subgroup and make it easier for members to find your content.
Tip: Take a moment to find out the structure of the group and post content in the right area.
- Seize every opportunity to shotgun your sales pitches out to the group. If another group member posts spam or a topic that belongs in another area, take that as cue to add your own promotion.
Clearly spam is okay today and the other members love receiving digests filled with sales pitches.
Tip: Flag all promotional spam and misposted content.
LinkedIn automatically deletes content after a certain number of flags (set by the Group Owner and Manager).
- If your discussions or comments are deleted, just post them again.
What you have is so valuable that the deletion must have been a mistake.
Tip: A deletion is a clear message from the community about what is inappropriate. So, suck it up and don't post it again.
- Take every opportunity to let members know that they are wrong.
A group member tried to ram his idea down the throats of other members. He alienated people instead of convincing them of the merits of his service.
Tip: State your point of view once or twice. Listen to the merits of other ideas instead of pushing your own.
- Join as many groups as possible and flood them all with generic content.
After all, if the content is generic, it applies to everyone, right?
Tip: Even if your blog content is generic, customize your LinkedIn discussion post for your audience.
If you have a lot of generic content, instead of flooding the group, start one discussion and use it for updates.
- If you disagree with a decision by the group leaders, start a protest discussion or thrash them on your blog.
Your temper tantrum will earn the goodwill of other members and make them really enthusiastic about doing business with you.
Tip: Remember that every group has to be managed in a way that balances the needs of all members.
These 10 steps are guaranteed to alienate your fellow members. You'll find yourself placed on moderation (requiring approval for all content before it goes live) and, eventually, banned from every group you join. Alternatively, follow the tips for a rewarding experience in LinkedIn Groups.