How To Help Your LinkedIn Group Members

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Creating your own group on LinkedIn is one of the advanced strategies [Video 5] that the professional site’s members can implement to build their reputations and accomplish other business goals.

A “not-so-advanced” technique, and one that is extremely important and valuable, is participating in groups. LinkedIn allows users to join as many as 50 groups, and another 50 subgroups.

But once you have joined a group — especially if you are new to groups — you may  not automatically know the etiquette and accepted behaviors . . . unless the group has a manager like Stephen Coates who wrote the following guidelines for posting on the eMarketing Association Network’s group page.

New Posting Guidelines for eMarketing Association Network

As this is the eMarketing group, it is for posts relevant to electronic marketing. If your post has been removed, see below. Here are the rules:

1) Posts must be by real people with real names – pretend names will be removed from the group. Real persons must have a surname.

2) Discussions must be relevant to eMarketing (no wineries, face cream or handbags)

3) The title must be brief (1-2 lines with no blank lines or underlines etc.) with the bulk of the information in the additional details section of the post.

4) The following are not permitted in any tab:

  • “we have lots of jobs”
  • join our group posts
  • expanding my network
  • MLM schemes and other get rich schemes
  • “vote for me”
  • “review my Internet site”
  • overly broad or unfathomable questions
  • “seasons greetings” (Robert Fleming excepted, of course)

5) Redirection URLs (tiny.cc, bit.ly etc.) are not permitted. Why? because although a few might lead to a site with malware and no one knows until it’s too late and they’re used when multiple people flog the one site but want to hide it.

6) Any URL must be accompanied by some explanation of what’s there (eg. “read by blog” or “take this survey” must include a few sentences summarising the blog topic or survey objective).

7) Posts must be posted only once, the deleting of old posts notwithstanding.

8- As 6/5/10 is the 6th May in the entire world except the USA and the 5th of June in the USA, dates are to include the Month by name (6 May or May 6).

Discussions Tab

9) Posting multiple posts with different titles and text but all of which contain the same message from different persons are equally unacceptable.

10) Ads for services must not hide that they are ads, must clearly state the product or service being advertised and must not be titled with a leading question.

11) Business opportunities (in the discussions tab) must state:

  • that they seek people to sell services and/or products
  • that the scheme is not multi-level
  • what products or services are to be sold (and these have to be relevant to eMarketing and no snake oil)
  • what a prospect will have to do (and “invest time and effort” is insufficient)
  • provide genuine contact details of yourself (a gmail address will not do)
  • include the phrase “business opportunity”
  • be posted only once
  • must not be titled with such grand statements as “be your own boss,” “make lots of money,” “ride the wave,” “take control of your life” or other such gibberish
  • the name, address, phone number and URL of the company advertising (“it’s on my profile” notwithstanding).

Job Tab

12) Only actual jobs that pay a salary or contract ($per day or per hour) are to be posted in the job board.

13) Posts must state:

  • the location where the person would be working (city and country)
  • what the job entails
  • what experience is required
  • the salary range
  • the name, address, phone number and URL of the company advertising (“it’s on my profile” notwithstanding).

14)  “I’m looking for a job” posts belong in the jobs tab.

15)  Jobs posts must be removed when the job or the search for one has been fulfilled.

News Tab

16) Event notices are to be put in the news tab and they, too, are to be removed when the event has occurred, unless there is significant IP such as conference proceedings on the site referenced.

Comments

17) Comments must be relevant to the post and not be used to flog an unrelated site, product or service.

18) Personal insults will be deleted and may lead to the person being removed from the group.

If your post has been removed:

  • I cannot restore it
  • I won’t pre-vet something you want to post or explain the rules further
  • please DO NOT send me a note either to say sorry or to object
  • just ensure that your next post is in accordance with the rules and all will be well.

Many of the group members who commented on Stephen’s guidelines suggested that All groups post such suggestions, and Stephen agreed to allow me to re-publish his.

What do you think? Would this be helpful for all groups? Are there some other guidelines you might suggest? Does your group publish such guidelines?

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Posted by Shari Weiss   @   27 March 2010
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