I posted this set of guidelines on a LinkedIn Group and thought it might prove useful to others. While focusing on the specifics of LinkedIn Groups, the concepts inside this post can be applied to most any social networking site.
The bottom line is if you write something you want it to be read, then make sure you sit back and read what you have created from a prospect’s point of view.
Your post needs to grab attention and be something that will help them as well. If you cannot take the prospective reader’s POV, then have someone else read it and provide feed back.
Here are some simple guidelines that will help improve everyone’s group experience. (HINT: this will work in any LinkedIn group)
Two Areas to Post
There are Two areas where you can post in a group: CONVERSATIONS and JOBS.
This is a great place to share information or ask questions. Both should be limited to the focus of the group. An example: don’t create a post about gardening in a marketing group.
Share something you feel will benefit most of the members of the group.
This is the place to boost your personal brand image, create an image of a Subject Matter Expert; sort of what I am doing now. Discussions are distributed as part of the email digest sent to group members.
In presentations I have made before the Omaha Chamber, the Millard Business Association and various networking groups, you may have heard me talk about the 4-1-1 program to posting on social media. The last “1” is Promotion. (The other five posts should be sharing useful information to boost your personal brand.) While I am all for people promoting their business in LinkedIn Groups, I suggest that you start any promotion as a regular discussion as it will get distributed via the email digests to group members. At this time LinkedIn distributes regular discussions and Jobs vie email digest.
Just as it sounds. If you have a job opening or know of one you can place it here. If you company has posted it on LinkedIn, all you have to do is SHARE the job in the group and it will appear.
For those jobs not advertised on LinkedIn, start a job discussion. You can add links to an online job board. Jobs and Job Discussions are distributed via email digests.
The Email Digest
When you subscribe to a group, you are automatically enrolled in a daily digest email that you will receive via email. You can through your group settings, change this to weekly, or no email. I am not sure why you would not want to get an email digest from a group you belong as they are a quick way of seeing what is going on in a group and w way for you to determine if you wish to read more about the discussion and perhaps make a contribution to the discussion.
HEADLINES or SUBJECTS
Please pay attention to the little number in the SUBJECT field. It shows 200 characters MAXIMUM.
Do not place the entire post in the SUBJECT LINE. People will not see past a couple of hundred characters.
The most important element in a discussion is the Headline.
PLEASE DON’T USE ALL CAPS (did so to make a point). Caps also reduce the total amount shown and make your headline more difficult to read.
Then add more information in the content field to further make your point.
Why did I bring this up?
Simple, most people get daily or weekly digests via email of the groups they belong to. LinkedIn allows you to join as many as 50 groups. That can be a lot of daily emails to scan and if there are 5 new discussions that can mean 250 headlines to scan. And SCAN is the operative word. People will scan the headlines just like in a newspaper or magazine and in the email digests too.