Recently we made the case for engaging in LinkedIn groups, but we left out an important part of the process.
Even with a tight LinkedIn profile and access to all the right groups, it still might seem like it’s a major time investment to log on, engage, and comment within those groups.
Since you know that engaging with LinkedIn industry groups is worth the investment, we’re here to give you one less excuse: you can post and respond to LinkedIn industry groups like a pro in less than ten minutes. Here’s how:
1. Answer the Simple Question and Look for a Deeper One
Time needed: 5 minutes
Often LinkedIn industry group members will ask specific questions. When you respond, don’t just respond. Before you post your answer or comment, see if there is a way that you could take the conversation deeper.
For instance, does the question make a good lead into a more pressing current issue? Something that not everyone knows about, but should? If so, mention it.
For example, in a B2B Healthcare forum, someone might post a question asking how his company can best plan for pending updates to HIPAA compliance.
After you provide your clear-cut answer to this question, see if you can identify and answer the deeper question here: “Is there an easier way to monitor all of these compliance updates?”
2. Keep the Conversation Flowing
Time needed: 1 minute
Much like in-person networking, you want to avoid answering “Yes,” or “No,” because it will cut the conversation off too quickly.
Whenever possible, post questions or comments that are open-ended. For example, ask questions like “Do you think that…” or “What would you say if someone told you…” This will keep conversations going and growing. This will also encourage more people to comment and share their thoughts.
Let’s say you come across a comment such as “Do you use a progressive stamping die process for part manufacturing? Please share your thoughts.”
You could easily answer “Yes,” or “No,” to this question and you’d be helping out the person who posted by providing your opinion. But it would also be a missed opportunity to continue the conversation by sharing how and why your company chose to use (or not use) a progressive stamping die process, and to ask a follow up question about the poster’s experience with the process.
3. Include a Real-Life Example
Time needed: 3 minutes
When you’re busy crafting a response for the LinkedIn Industry Group, keep in mind that nothing works as well as real-life examples and testimonials. Whenever possible, work in a story about a similar situation or a lesson you’ve learned about this topic in practice.
For example, if someone asks something like, “What do you think is the best wire termination method?,” don’t respond with your opinion flat-out. Draw them into your response by telling them about a time when you dealt with a relevant problem.
That way, when you tell them your opinion, they know how you got the opinion, and they will be much more likely to adopt your opinions as their own.
4. Double-Check for Spelling and Grammar
Time needed: 1 minute
When you’re busy, taking the time to post a message on a social network can already seem like something that will take a lot of time. The last thing you want to do is write your message, then look back at it and realize that it does not make any sense.
Make sure that your posts are logical and coherent by pasting your Linkedin Group response into a Word Document to review for basic grammar and spelling errors.
To make things even easier, paste your message into an online application like HemingwayApp that tells you if your message could be worded differently to appeal to a broader range of people in addition to checking for basic grammar and spelling.
There’s no doubt that your weekly to do list is constantly expanding. But when you’re only ten minutes away from an insightful, lead-generating LinkedIn industry group post, there’s no reason you can’t add one or two to your work week. Do so, and you’ll see a dramatic increase in profile views, connections, and just might see a few B2B networking leads.