LinkedIn groups allow for discussions between users interested in or pulled together for a common reason.

For example, local networking groups may have a LI group to encourage members to interact between meetings, there are groups for professionals within the same industry and there are groups for local areas.

But trawling through other discussions to find one that you can comment on can become tiresome and time consuming.

So, is it worth the effort?

Certainly committing time to commenting on the appropriate groups can have a number of advantages. You can display your expertise by responding to others’ queries in your industry. You can help others out by suggesting people for them to do business with or pointing them in the right direction. You can refer your business colleagues to others and you can also find out about local and industry news.

The person who comments most on each group becomes the ‘top influencer’ and this is displayed to the right of the group for all members to see, so gaining this title can make you more visible to others.

You can also raise interesting discussions to engage with others and find out from those in the know when you have a query yourself. Plus there are other tabs, such as promotions and jobs where you can post.

Being a member of several groups also makes you more visible on LinkedIn in searches and others have the option to connect with you from being within the same group, so it can definitely help to increase your connections even if you don’t actively participate in group discussions.

So, groups definitely have lots of advantages and are well worth being a part of.

If you do really need to limit the time you spend, then do join many relevant groups, with a mix between industry groups and those with your target market in. But I would focus your discussion efforts on very few and become top influencers on these groups. When picking these groups, make sure they have high numbers of members to be seen by more people, and that they are relevant to your goals. If you are looking to win more business in using groups, focus on those with your target market in. If you are looking to become known as a thought leader in your industry, pick industry groups.

Let me know your favourite LinkedIn groups and why you like being a part of them!