This post is adapted from Me Media: Social Media for Non-Techies
A LinkedIn Group is slightly different than a social networking site.
Where as a social networking site will let you customize your content, a LinkedIn Group follows LinkedIn’s formula and templates.
A LinkedIn Group is a great option if you don’t want to have to deal with back-end coding, widget/badge creation, or too much maintenance. Similar to a social networking site, you can provide multiple people with administrative rights (which allows them to decline or approve requests, additions, etc.).
A LinkedIn Group allows you to post articles, feeds, discussions and events. Similar to a social networking site, you can also set your parameters to allow e-mails to be sent if someone poses a question, joins, etc.
Creating a LinkedIn Group is fairly easy:
- First and foremost, you must be a member of LinkedIn. If you’re a professional anything in this day and age, you should be on LinkedIn. There are dozens of critics of LinkedIn and its relevance, but I wouldn’t listen to them.
- Consider the current groups available. If there are 17 different groups around kitchen and bath design, do you really want to add another one into the mix? Also consider what your group will provide its members that is different than the other groups.
- Consider your group name. You may think the Mr. Robotos sounds unique, but LinkedIn has a lot of members. You’ll want to search the Groups Directory to make sure no one else has used the name.
- Create your Group. Once you’ve figured out your name, click the “Create a Group.”
- Fill in the Required Information. You’ll be asked to include a Group Logo, Group Name, Group Type and Summary. When writing your summary, it is best to include a brief synopsis of the goals of the group (i.e., a place for members of the journalism community to connect, share best practices, etc.). You’ll need to include your e-mail address or the one of the person who will be the group owner. I am the group owner of several LinkedIn Groups and all that has meant is that I get the requests to join when someone asks. You can also select items such as displaying the group in the groups directory, allowing members to display your group’s logo on their own profile page and/or allowing people to join without asking first.
Depending on your group you may want to require everyone who requests to join be approved by you or other group administrators first. If you’re concerned about competitors or non-desirables infiltrating your group this is a good option. However, if you want an open-door policy, then you’ll want to click on the box to allow anyone to join the group.
Me Media: Social Media for Non-Techies (emediaconsulting.blogspot.com) is a how-to blog geared toward teaching non-technical people how to create, use and manage social media. The blog is written by Erin Erickson, Chicago Chapter Vice President and former print editor who taught herself HTML and social media to in order to work in online media. She is a Senior Web Editor at Putman Media.