Participating in LinkedIn Groups assists in raising your visibility on LinkedIn. This is important when you are looking for employment, growing a business, or simply attempting to build your personal brand. From observations, it appears that some individuals have no problem starting new group discussions or sharing information. However, they do not always seem to know how to keep conversations flowing and they quickly taper off.
So what can you do to keep conversations flowing like water?
Simplicity is the Key
Keep your discussions succinct (brief and to the point). Online readers have short attention spans, so keep your discussion interesting and use less words to get to the point quickly or you’ll quickly lose your readers.
Don’t Leave People Dangling
When you start a new discussion, do not leave conversations hanging around. Try to respond within 1-3 days, so that people will not lose interest and move on. If you cannot respond in 3 days, simply respond as soon as you can, there’s no hard and fast rule.
People often ask for feedback from their readers, but never seem to follow up on the feedback provided. In that case, why would someone want to provide feedback or answer a question from you in the future?
Review Comments or Material before Responding
As people respond to your discussion, carefully read comments before you reply. You can respond by telling members why you agree or disagree with what he or she said. If you disagree, make sure that you are not rude, argumentative or dismissive (and never resort to name-calling). Keep in mind that other people are also reviewing and may not support your discussions the next time around. Also keep in mind that LinkedIn is a professional networking site, thus you should be professional.
If you are responding to an article post…please make sure you actually read the article first. Some people respond to the comments of other people or comment based on the title of an article without even reading. People can always tell when you respond without reading and some individuals might even look very silly doing so.
Probe for More Details
If a group member’s comment is difficult to understand, ask for clarity. This often peaks the interest of others looking on and you might even receive more comments.
Provide Supporting Information
Share your personal experience or thoughts on the question. In some cases, just asking a question is not enough to get others to participate. Providing more details might make group members feel more comfortable to respond.
Try some of these suggestions the next time you start a LinkedIn group discussion and watch as conversations start to flow freely.
It is important to note that some groups are more silent than others, so you might not always receive a reply. In those cases, look back at past discussions where several people participated; this will help you to determine what subjects are important to group members.
Will these tips work for all your discussions? Of course not, silly (smile). Make sure you are providing value in your discussions and they should be relevant to your group’s theme. It will be a hit and miss for some but just keep trying.
For more details, also see ‘LinkedIn Group Discussions – Stay on Topic!’
Copyright 2010 please do not duplicate without written permission from the author.