In the past I’ve posted a number of links to various things in relevant LinkedIn groups that I’m a member of and it occurred to me as I was doing this that it may be possible, in some really off the wall way, be construed as spamming the group. As a result I now face a dilemma as there is always more than one way to skin a cat as they say, when it comes to working with the network of people you have on LinkedIn.
So, what exactly do you do in this situation? I thought I’d have a quick trawl around the web to see if I could come up with a list of suggestions that other people make as well as see if I can add some of my own in addition. I came up with FOUR key points to bear in mind.
1. Think carefully about the message – mine was “social media and recruitment survey – win a bottle of champagne” and it went on to say that one could win a bottle of France’s finest champagne just for taking part in the survey. On reflection, I’m not entirely sure that this was the right way to go about encouraging people to complete what is actually a very serious piece of research in business use of social media for recruitment.
2. Think about where you post it. I could have chosen to post it as a discussion, but my own feeling was that it could also be a promotion, a bit like a newspaper headline. At least as a promotion you get the chance to ignore it if you don’t want to read it and it is quite clearly marked as going to another website for more info. Having said that, it might invite discussions on it’s own account too.
3. Think about the audience. I’m a member of quite a few groups on LinkedIn and as I worked my way down the list I was surprised to find myself questioning whether a group was the right audience for this particular news item. As a result I avoided some groups entirely and on others checked the type of news items posted previously, BEFORE I made my own contribution.
4. Think about who YOU are. As a trainer and business development consultant on social media, it behoves me to act in a way that is consistent with what I tell my clients to do. It also requires me to analyse my own behaviour fairly frequently simply because things and cultures change in groups. I am sure that there will be one or two groups where my news item might be seen as spam; I’m equally sure that as a result I will receive a message or two informing me of this. The problem is that I don’t yet know which groups that might apply to and as a result am flying blind. What will happen though, is that I will change my behaviour in the future, because that’s the nature of learning I guess.