10 steps to getting something out of a LinkedIn social community (Group)

A summary of advice posted by group Admin/Moderators to a LinkedIn group (Business In Japan) with over 30,00 members. A global & open group that is focused around a particular geography, that attracts many people broadcasting self promotional messages, as such groups tend to.

The opportunity of Business In Japan group on LinkedIn [BIJ] (any group really) is not 7,500+ Japan based eyes or 30,000+ eyes worldwide, looking in. Because it’s not happening – not in any great number! At any one time there are very, very few people looking. The bigger the group, the quicker the latest post slides out of view, with those with no commenting happening disappearing the quickest, and those of Broadcasted links the least commented on.

Over time, with email updates, with any new activity in a post, with someone pointing another to a post in the group, there are more of course, but it’s information overload out there in the world and we are all so busy, that the time online is at a premium and something needs to really grab our attention for us to read it, let alone respond…

Those that are looking in the BIJ group, regularly, are incredibly connected, knowledgeable and willing to help as a whole. As the group grows, as engagement and understanding of what people want grows, this community, it’s value to each other and incoming new members, will grow.

But we don’t come here to sort through a bunch of self promotional post, advertising and bloggers seeking numbers for their Google Adwords and PPC.

This makes up the majority, yes the vast majority of attempted posts in BIJ and the sad fact is 90% of people doing this wont read this Discussion post, and are missing out on the opportunity that the BIJ community offers.

If you want to achieve something with this group, regarding ‘Business’ & ‘Japan’:
[1] take a step back, think about what you want to achieve (ask ‘why’ after each answer 5-10 times)
[2] read other peoples discussions, take an interest, comment, share your experience & opinions
[3] research, research, research – what Verticals, Industries, Companies, Departments, Roles in those departments, people in those roles, any people in those companies, any people who know or might know people in all of these…
[4] stop thinking you’re online
[5] imagine you’re in a room full of people and you can go up, listen in to conversation, join them if you like, comment, share…
[6] start your own conversations around things you’re knowledgeable about, that you’re interested in, that are in line with why you are here on LinkedIn, in BIJ in the first place. Ask questions and answer them from others – it’s a two way street, more it should be 80% about the other people, 20% about you
[7] build rapport, relationships, respect… build and grow a personal brand
[8] network & contact people in a non-threatening, not all-about-me way
[9] help other people do the same, help others identify what they want and achieve it too – DWYSYWD (Do What You Said You Would Do)
[10] Ask for what you want, be clear, concise, use keywords and be as specific as you possibly can be

Let’s build a community that supports each other and helps us all get where we want to go.

Feel free to comment below with your ideas.

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