LinkedIn is an enigma in the realm of social networks. While Twitter and Facebook are clear in their aims and uses, LinkedIn sits in an odd situation. Its design inherently favours recruiters and marketers, but it has all the systems it needs for businesses to squeeze the most out of its highly-engaged audience.
But how do you get the most out of LinkedIn?
By making the most of the network's “Groups” system. By signing up to groups, you can spark ideas, make excellent connections and learn how to further improve your LinkedIn A-game.
So, if you want to wring the most out of LinkedIn and make your business soar socially, here are five of the best LinkedIn groups to be a part of.
Swimming with just shy of 6,800 members, Entrepreneurs Meet Investors (EMI) is all about connecting entrepreneurs with those willing to provide funding for something new, or for mature-stage businesses to seek capital for growth.
Note that EMI doesn't deal with helping fund film projects, real estate transactions, mining efforts or oil and gas deals. So, if you've got an idea for a business in those areas, apologies – this isn't the group for you.
2. Best LinkedIn business groups: On Startups
Pitched as “the community for entrepreneurs”, On Startups has over 500,000 members. That's 500,000 developers, company-founders, marketers and individuals who can all give your business advice on achieving its potential.
As it's part of OnStartups.com, expect to see a fair amount of its own content being pushed through the group. However, if you drill down to the comments, you'll find some sage advice.
If you thought On Startups was big, eMarketing's group has a whopping 643,725 members inside its private walls. Yes, that's right, you have to be approved to access eMarketing's group.
Inside you'll find a slew of information and advice about how to market your business effectively, with posts focussing on social, email, search and web marketing. While this may not be for everyone, it's undeniable that every business looking for success needs to keep ahead in the world of modern marketing techniques.
While it's incredible that this unofficial group has managed to stay active on LinkedIn, despite using both the TED name and “Ideas Worth Spreading” tagline, it's good that it has.
Packed with links to influential TED talks, along with active discussions and opinions about each talk, this group is invaluable for those who are looking for inspiration.
Due to its nature, not everything here focusses on business matters. But, with over 507,000 members, there's enough regular content going up to ensure you'll find something relevant to your interests every day.
Overlooked by many, partly due to its paltry membership size of just 724 members, LinkedIn for Business is “the official LinkedIn Group” for sharing “best practices, insights, information and more”.
While it aims to focus on how to use LinkedIn to improve your business, many of the community's posts revolve around bigger issues in business beyond simply connecting with others. If you're looking to grow your business' brand presence, LinkedIn for Business is certainly not a bad place to start your search.