Transcript of "How To Run a Successful Group on LinkedIn – Best Practices"
How to Run a Successful Group – Best Practices1. Active Management Why Important: o The first step to having an active group is having an active management team. Checking into the group and interacting with members will grow the sense of community and allow the members to trust in the management. Checking In o We suggest the Group owners and managers check in to the Group at least once a week. This will allow you to keep up-to-date on requests to join, the moderation queue, and the submissions queue. LinkedIn does not provide Groups approval requirements. However, we do suggest that each Manager review their requests on a weekly basis. Outside the scope of LinkedIn’s User Agreement, Group Owners and Managers are responsible for any inappropriate discussions or comments as well as the activity of perceived "spam" that is posted in a discussion thread. The action of spamming fellow group members is not considered a best practice for group behavior. o Interact with the Group > Let the members know that you are there. o Utilize the available management tools located under the “Manage” tab. The Manage tab contains all Management Settings. Only Group Owners, Managers, and Moderators will have this tab available. The group can be set up to allow members to flag content as a job, a promotion, and inappropriate content.2. An Engaged Management Team Why Important: o An engaged management team will go the furthest in having an active, successful group. If the management team is active, members will be much more comfortable with the management team and be more inclined to interact with the team. Appropriate Staffing o LinkedIn Groups can have only one Owner, up to 10 Managers, and up to 50 Moderators. Only Group Owners can close or transfer Ownership of the group, and change the group to an open status. o Moderators can help group Owners and Managers share some of the workload related to group management. Group Moderators can: Monitor and delete inappropriate discussions and comments Manage the Submissions and Moderation queues. Feature a discussion in the Managers Choice module. Keep Engaged o Set expectations for Managers and Moderators prior to promoting. 1
How to Run a Successful Group – Best Practices If they have a specific role (i.e. approving people) How often you want them to check into the Group If they can/should create subgroups (see “Segmenting Your Members”) o Regular “meetings” (in person or via email) to discuss how things are going, any issues that are coming up, etc.3. Empower Members Why Important: o Even with the most active, engaged management team within a group, your group members may still be the first to see inappropriate or spam content. They can relieve the pressure on your management team when you empower the group to self-police. Encourage members to self-police the Group content o Utilize Manager’s Choice or Announcement to explain how to flag items Actively manage the moderation queue, so members feel that their participation in flagging is worth it4. Lay the Ground Rules Why Important: o Let the group know what is allowed and what is not: the topics, where to post, how to interact, etc. Group rules are posted by group Managers to provide participation expectations and guidelines. o Keep in mind that the text field will not accept HTML, so rules wont display hyperlinks for websites or email addresses. Utilize Manager’s Choice to call out specific rule reminders as needed. What to Include o You may use this section for “tagging” (phrases, abbreviations, and acronyms) enabling concise and consistent Group Communication. This feature also helps when searching discussions for specific topics. o Expectations of Group participation What content is allowed and where to post it. Outcome if a member continually posts inappropriate or off-topic content.5. Manage Expectations Why Important: 2
How to Run a Successful Group – Best Practices o Letting new group members know what you expect of them and what they can expect from you as the owner/manager is important. This also allows you to let members know of any requirements for entry into the group. Group Owners/Managers can create, manage and automatically send the following template messages to people interested in your group. We suggest that Groups utilize each template available. Examples are provided below. o Request-to-join Message – sent to people who request to join the group. o Welcome Message – sent to people when you approve them for membership in the group. o Decline Message – sent when you decline requests to join the group. o Decline-and-Block Message – sent when you decline requests to join the group and block any future requests. What to Include o Request-to-join Message – sent to people who request to join the group. Approximate timeframe that the request will be reviewed. Any specific qualifications needed to join the Group. How to contact the Group owner/manager if need. o Welcome Message – sent to people when you approve them for membership in the group. List of the group rules Any pertinent info for a new Group member – popular discussions to review, etc. o Decline Message – sent when you decline requests to join the group. Explains why you have declined the member. o Decline-and-Block Message – sent when you decline requests to join the group and block any future requests.6. Transparency Why Important: o LinkedIn supports a policy of transparency of Group ownership so that prospective members can be confident about the management of Groups they might join. Therefore, all LinkedIn Groups must be maintained under the ownership of a compliant personal profile. This is important so group members will trust you as the owner of the group. If you remove content, let the poster know why. If you are removing a member for a certain reason, let them know why. If it is due to several instances, it is better if you have reached out to them in each specific instance. o LinkedIn will not send any notification to a group member that they have been removed from a User Group. Notification should come from the group Owner/Manager. If a member contacts Customer Support for information, they will be directed to the Group management for assistance. Allow Group members to send you messages. 3
How to Run a Successful Group – Best Practices7. Balance Why Important: o Even if your group is for the purpose of gaining exposure for your company, product, etc, you do not want to overrun your group members with a constant barrage of marketing messages. They will not be as inclined to be active within the group. Strive to have balance in content; both member and management driven. Announcements are a useful tool to send all of your Group members a message at one time relating to your Group. You can send one every 7 days. The announcement will be posted in the discussions area of the Group. o Some examples of things you can do are: You can give them useful hints on how to participate. Call out a discussion that is active and interesting. Inform the Group about a major change you may make to the Group. You will need to include a subject line that is clear and concise to what the message is about so that members know what they are looking at. You can also make your announcement a Managers Choice discussion so that it draws even more attention to the message in your Group. You can undo this at any time by going to the discussion and click on “Manager’s Choice (undo).” removing the check from the box. Clicking on the Send Test button will send a draft email to your primary email address on your account.8. Segmenting Your Members Why Important: o By creating a successful subgroup, you will be able to have more topic specific discussions and engagement. Successfully creating subgroups o A subgroup is a group within an existing LinkedIn main group. The subgroup provides members a more tightly focused arena for professional discussion and interaction among members the existing main group. This existing main group is often called the parent group. Subgroups are smaller than the parent group and have a focus that is more defined. For example you may find a parent group named "Industry Regulatory Issues Group" and then subgroups named "Internet Regulatory Issues", "Insurance Regulatory Issues" and "Broadcasting Regulatory Issues". These subgroups are more exclusive in their membership and have news and discussions that are of specific interest to them. Creating Plan of Attack o Decide on the target Group for each subgroup o Decide whom will own/create and manage the subgroup o Decide if entire parent Group management team should be included as members of subgroups9. Open vs. Closed – which is better for me? 4
How to Run a Successful Group – Best Practices Why Important: o Depending on what goals you have for the group, the type of group you choose to create can either help or hurt you in reaching that goal. Open groups’ content is available for the public to read. It is up to the group owner and managers to determine the settings of the group. This would include allowing anyone to join with or without a request, or any LinkedIn member to post to discussions or only the members of the Group to be able to contribute. o This will improve visibility of your group and may assist in growing membership. Closed groups allow members to share discussions with only the members of that group. The information is not public.10. Encourage Engagement Why Important: o Group members want to be acknowledged for participation and good content. This will encourage currently active members to become more so, while also encouraging the silent sections to become more vocal. Ask open-ended questions, both in new discussions and when posting relevant links. Participate in member-initiated discussions – let them know that you value their input Publicly acknowledge valuable, active discussions through “Manager’s Choice.” 5