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How to choose which groups to join on LinkedInYou’ve set up a LinkedIn account.  You’ve optimised your profile and are now looking to join some groups. How to choose which groups to join on LinkedIn?
Groups are quite simply people sharing a common interest. LinkedIn has 1.5million groups to choose from, but you can only join up to 50! There are a number of ways to find groups to join:
  1. LinkedIn suggests groups based on your contacts and profession
  2. Look for Alumni organisations e.g. University, Interns, courses, companies
  3. Use the standard search box and search for groups with the same profession or interests, and then click on the magnifying glass.
  4. See which groups your connections belong to and consider joining them.  To do this, go to the Groups Directory option, in the groups tab, then tick the 1st Connections box on the left hand side.
  5. Alternatively, check out the groups that key individual connections belong to, by scrolling down to the bottom of their profile.
  6. If you are looking to connect to specific key personnel, look at the groups they belong to and try and join those groups.
  7. Look at the featured groups on company profiles.

So now that you can find groups to join, which groups should you actually choose?  Here are some considerations:

How many members does the group have?
Your network is made up of not just your 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree connections, but also the other members of the groups that you have joined.  Therefore, joining a couple of the largest groups is a very quick way of widening your network.  One group I joined had over 1million members!

Is the group open or closed?
If the group is closed, then you will have to meet some sort of criteria before you will be accepted as a member, whereas with open groups, you are usually allowed immediate entry.

Who makes up the group? 
When looking to join a group, look at the group statistics on the right hand side.  You can see the demographics for the groups, as well as location and industry.  Are your clients or potential employers in the group?

How active is the group? 
Look at how frequent the discussions are.  Are they frequent or infrequent?  If they are infrequent, then the group is probably inactive, and so pointless in joining.

Whichever groups you join, remember, one of the main reasons of joining a group is to be able to join in the discussions, so make sure that you have something to contribute to your chosen group/s.  And if you have trouble finding a specific group, consider setting your own up!