"Answer questions others post in the group, direct them to resources which may help [and] use your experiences to help others," adds Clare McDowall, the founder of consulting company Socially Good. "Post great content [that] might benefit others in the group. LinkedIn promotes the top contributors in each group, and gives your content recognition [which can] earn new connection requests and enquiries."
Above all, "don't be self-serving," says Misha Sobolev, director, CTOsOnTheMove.com. "Maintain a 7/1 ratio — seven useful pieces of content to one promotional."
5. Recruit new hires. "Recruiters should post jobs to the Discussion section of [their or the relevant LinkedIn] Group [as] their post will be sent out as a daily email to every person in the group," says Katie Sansone, social media manager at executive recruiting firm Windsor Resources.
"Even if [a member of the group isn't] right for the job, perhaps they have a friend, sister, cousin, etc. who is." Also, "if you post in a group late at night, say 11:30 p.m., your post will be at the top of the Daily Digest Email and will be one of the first things people see when opening the email," Sansone says.
But remember: "Today's candidates don't have the patience to weed through a lot of text to find out about your company or wade through a lot of clicks to find the right job," notes Will Staney, director of Recruiting and Strategic Programs at SAP. "So, it's critical that your company's LinkedIn Group [as well as your job postings] be compelling, targeted and timely."
6. Conduct market research (including polling group members/customers). "Want a fast and cheap way to find out what your market thinks? Ask them on LinkedIn," says Kurt Shaver, founder, The Sales Foundry. "Join a LinkedIn Group whose members represent your market and simply pose your question. [Just] don't be overly sales-y. For example, as a LinkedIn sales trainer, I asked a group of VPs of Sales what training methodologies they prefer (classroom, webinars, online self-study...)."
"LinkedIn Groups allow you to create free polls with up to five answers," adds Katie Hollar, marketing manager, Capterra, a free service that helps businesses find the right software. "Post a poll within your own customer or user LinkedIn Group to collect feedback on your product or service. For example, a software company could say, which feature would you most like to see added to our software functionality in 2014?" she suggests. "If you don't have your own LinkedIn Group, post the same poll across a variety of industry groups and aggregate the responses to use as research in a blog post or report."
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