If you are anything like me, you’ve done all you can to ramp up your LinkedIn profile, but what comes next? You may already have hundreds of connections, a few great recommendations, a whole list of skills and specialties, but what can you do to continue engaging? A great way to do this is through LinkedIn groups.

What are LinkedIn Groups?

LinkedIn Groups function as a virtual message board or forum where people with similar interests can gather together and post comments, links, or articles, and ask questions. This is a place where you can network with other individuals who have your same passions and/or affiliations. You can join Social Media groups, or blogging groups, or groups started by your college or university… there is a wide variety of groups to join!

Why Should I Join a LinkedIn Group?

1.) They are conversation starters. If you join in a conversation and have something thoughtful to say, people are more likely to view you as knowledgeable in that area.

2.) They allow you to follow top influencers in your field or niche. Whether it is social media, blogging, real estate or computer technology, you can always find groups in your specific area. And if there isn’t one, guess what? You can start one! Neal Schaffer, LinkedIn Guru, created his own group Windmill Networking – Social Media Education & Open Networking for Professionals, and this has been a great opportunity for me to follow and learn from the best of the best.

3.) They are a great way to network. After all, LinkedIn is about networking, and what better way to do so than participating in a group discussion? For example, I am a part of the United States Mental Health Professionals group. As a Psychology major I find all of the forum articles, postings, and spaces to ask questions extremely helpful. I can post a question, and get diverse responses. This also allows me to network with other individuals who are striving for the same goals that I am.

4.) They can be great sounding boards. In most groups you can start your own discussion. This means you can collaborate with other like-minded individuals to answer your very own questions! I am a part of the Social Media Today group. People often post questions about analytics, or social media posting schedules, or good content. It is great to use other people in this profession to get ideas from.

There have been so many questions about how to optimize your use of and networking on LinkedIn, and these groups are a big opportunity! If you have any questions please comment below, or you can contact us via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or our website. Do you belong to a group on LinkedIn? What are some ways that you have benefited from involvement in a LinkedIn Groups?

Leah Kube, is Slice‘s Social Media Specialist, and blog writing enthusiast. She also studies Psychology at University of Maryland University College, and is an avid researcher and writer.
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