Thinking of starting your own LinkedIn group?

A LinkedIn group can be a great way to build a community of people with similar interests.? As group management requires a great deal of energy and commitment, before you start your own group, consider the following:

  • Check if there’s already a similar group
  • Are they doing a good job? Perhaps they would appreciate some help?
  • Offer to manage or moderate an existing group
  • Post articles, ask/answer questions and engage in the community

If starting a group is for you and your business, this quick guide will help get you started.

  1. Strategy

What is the purpose of your group?

  • Is it for staff engagement, customer engagement, or competitive positioning?
  • Is it ‘Trojan horse’ designed to give you access to a specific community? For example, if your company specialised in a sales methodology for high-end technology companies, would it be more effective to start a community for sales and marketing managers of technology companies, or start a group named after your company?
  • Which is more likely to attract members and encourage meaningful discussion?

2. Structure

  • Will the group be an ‘open group’ or invitation only?
  • What is the membership criteria?
  • What is the participation criteria
  • Will there be just one group or will you need to segment into subgroups?

3. Process

  • What are the Membership and Participation guidelines?
  • How will you moderate and manage the group?
  • Where and how will you source content?
  • What will you do in the event of a dispute either with or between members?

4. People

  • Where will you draw your membership from?
  • Who will be your contributors?
  • Who will help with group moderation?
  • Does the group need additional support in group management?
  • Will you seek industry support?
  • Who are the key influencers?

These questions are designed to stimulate your thinking and to encourage you to think strategically about establishing a LinkedIn group.

It is tempting to just start a group and ‘hope for the best’ because it looks easy, right? In reality the decision to start a LinkedIn group is a strategic decision, not a tactical action. It requires a substantial level of strategic thought and consideration.

In a future post we will be publishing a case study on the Next Director group, a community of >3,000 global company directors.

Contributor:

Michael Field, Director at Michael Field Pty Ltd.