LinkedIn Groups are a fantastic way to discover interesting conversations and contacts in your industry or niche.  As the creator of a new LinkedIn Group, you have the opportunity to lead these conversations, decide which ones are worthy of a Manager’s Choice designation, and more.

Currently, there are over one million LinkedIn Groups, many with over 100,000 members!  LinkedIn Groups appear in search results when users seek information on a topic, helping you to attract members from the time you start your new group.

For best results, decide what it is your Group offers that other Groups aren’t already providing.  Build your Group with this unique value proposition in mind.

To get your LinkedIn Group started, follow these simple steps:

1.  Sign in to your LinkedIn personal account.  At the top of the Home page, choose Groups and then Create a Group from the dropdown menu.

LinkedIn Groups setup

2.  Follow the LinkedIn Groups setup wizard as it guides you through the information you need to enter in order to complete the Group profile.  Create a Group logo that accurately reflects the topic.  Your Group Summary will appear in LinkedIn search results and should be succinct, enticing, and accurately describe the group and its objectives.  The Group Description will appear on the Group page; you can use this area to add additional information for new members.

Create LinkedIn Group profile

3.  Add your website if you have one relevant to the topic of the Group.  You can now choose whether to allow new members to join automatically, or to approve new member requests.   LinkedIn will also allow you to send an announcement inviting people to join your new Group out on Twitter.

How to approve new member requests on LinkedIn Groups

4.  Finally, decide whether you would like an Open or Closed Group. In a closed group, discussions are only available to members and people must request to join the group.  An Open Group may require more moderation but it is the logical choice if you’d like to use the group to attract more LinkedIn Connections and build conversations around your topic.

Open or Members-Only Groups on LinkedIn

5.  Once your Group is set up, review the page to make sure you have entered all of your information correctly. Correct any errors or typos.

6.  Invite your contacts to your new group!  Don’t forget to add the Group’s web address (URL) to your other online profiles on Twitter, Facebook, and other social networking sites so visitors there can see what you’ve created.

Once your Group becomes more active, you can choose members to promote to Managers.  They can then help you moderate, while you remain the Group Owner and Manager.  If you made a mistake during setup, don’t worry; you can always go to “Edit Info & Settings” to change your Group preferences or information.

Have you created a LinkedIn Group?  Tell us about your experience and don’t forget to leave your URL so other readers can check it out!