This is a great read from Mashable and I think the general principles apply not only to LinkedIn, but to running a group or community on any platform. If you thought just engaging in social media was a lot of work, read this before you get all gung-ho and decide to start your own group! If you do it right, and follow these guidelines, you’ll see that it takes time and effort to create a successful group.
As the moderator or creator of a group it’s important for you to set the tone, expectations, and be proactive in maintaining a environment conducive to community:
Encourage member participation by praising and highlighting valuable contributions to the group. This incentivizes others to share their content and engage. If you encounter negative or counterproductive behavior from a member, it’s important to be professional and civil. Should it become necessary to issue a warning, handle the matter privately.
Read the full article: 8 Tips for Managing a LinkedIn Group.
Here’s a few thoughts on why you might want to start a group on a social networking platform in the first place:
1) To create a community based around a particular interest
2) To enhance your own knowledge by learning from your peers
3) To share your passion and knowledge of your particular niche
4) As the curator of a successful group you have the opportunity to raise awareness of your personal or business brand – this will only work if you do things the right way! Starting a group and letting it languish or become an outpost for spammers will not do much for you.
5) Possible business opportunities – participating in groups allows members to showcase their expertise and people who need that help gravitate toward groups to find the experts. As the founder of the group you may become a natural place for people to begin their inquiries.
6) To connect with peers and leaders in your industry. If you are starting a group based around business-interests, chances are you will attract some people you may consider to be the ‘competition.’ Look at this as an opportunity to network with others in your space – business opportunities and collaborations may result.
7) To provide a community space for your organization. If you happen to work for a company that has staff in different places, starting a group can provide a place for those people to feel more connected to each other.
There are many other possible reasons to start a group or community – post yours in the comments!
header image courtesy of: Erica Marshall of muddyboots.org