I went to a LinkedIn networking group leadership meeting (yes, they actually meet IRL) yesterday and a good portion of the content was about growing the group in the right direction and 'policing' member activity.

Anyone who belongs to a few groups and actually visits them or receives email updates (you know you can control those right?) knows that spam and off topic conversations are pervasive and even the most liberal of group moderators needs stock in flyswatters or it starts looking like Get Rich Quick Boulevardreal fast. Real people, or at least ones who were genuinely interested in the group to begin with - start to change their settings to not receive updates, and leave.

If all group members had appropriate behavior, policing wouldn't be necessary of course - but that wouldn't be very indicative of human nature now would it?

Certainly you want to be seen as a good group citizen and have people take you seriously if you are going to be an effective networker. So, here are 5 tips to help:

1. Introduce yourself to the group - Most groups have a thread going where people introduce themselves. If the one you belong to doesn't start one! Name it something innocuous but exciting like 'Introductions". Don't post your resum - just a few sentences about who you are and why you joined the group. Say what your expertise is and how you are willing to help others.

2. Do not make posts like this --> "Hey all Im Ken. Does anyone know of any jobs in mass communications here? have 2 masters from Syracuse and need a job now. If u know of anything, pleas write me at (email address)". <-- Seriously?

  • Install and use spell check
  • Use punctuation and capitalization
  • This is not networking, this is lazy and no one is even going to reply except to tell you to use punctuation and capitalization and spell check

3. Be professional if you want to be taken like a professional. Whining, flirting, harassing, and any other type of inappropriate comments are just going to sabotage your efforts and make you look like a clown.A benevolent group owner will warn you once and then kick you out if you do it again.

4. Do not mispost. That means jobs and job conversations go in the jobs tab. Promotions like B2B offers, discounts, whatever the group allows - should be posted in the promotions tab. And if the group is about XYZ don't post ABC, you'll stick out like a weed.

5. Read the the group description and rules. If you can't stay on topic and be professional - don't join, or risk looking like a fool and wasting the group's time - and your's too.

Do you have a tip for good LinkedIn group citizenship to add to the list?



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