Set group type: You can set your group so that new members need to be approved. This deters spammers and can make your group seem more exclusive. You can change whether a group is open access or request to join in ‘Edit group settings’ from the right hand manage panel of the group.
Add a group logo: If you don’t have one choose a rights-free picture that is illustrative of what your group is about. Groups without logos just look odd.
Moderate: Remove any inappropriate posts as they come up – but be gentle, don’t scare off newbies. Unless its blatant, irrelevant spam, contact them and tell them why you have done it.
Make good use of your Welcome message: There is a feature to send automatic messages to new members – you can use this to welcome your new member and let them know if you have a community elsewhere you would like them to join too / or a special offer for new members on Linkedin. To alter the messages sent you need to go to the ‘manage’ tab on the group and click on ‘manage templates’ on the right hand side. This has worked well for my group after a member joins – but don’t be tempted to put the same automatic message in for when people have asked to join – no-one likes to be bored with the same thing twice.
Facilitate: Feature important discussions you post or are posted by the community. People selling and touting their wares / articles are commonplace on Linkedin groups. Help your members sort through the dross by highlighting the best reads.
Add news: You can set this up to feed through your web rss / blog or twitter feed – this helps ensure any news of poorer quality submitted by group members is mixed in with items you have vetted. You can edit the news by going to ‘Manage News Feeds’ in the manage panel.
Contribute to Answers:Answers are a great way to be seen on Linkedin. As with any social media activity: be useful, helpful and relevant when you answer questions. Be generous in sharing your expertise, but look out for opportunities to mention your group every now and then – where appropriate. You can put a link to your Linkedin group or website in ‘Web Resources’ for your answer. Do this sparingly – you don’t want to destroy your professional profile by being slated as a spammer by others.
Tell everybody: Tweet it, put it on your email signature, link to it from your blog, add it to your marketing newsletter, feature it on your forum, tell your friends on facebook, tweet it again. You get the picture. Remember, most people will have one or two social networks of choice – so make sure you link all your social presences together so people can interact with you when they are at the place they like best. And don’t just tweet that you’ve started your group – tell people when you get your first 10, your first 25, your first 100, your first 1,000 members…