The key for your company to thrive in the post-Covid era is your people’s level of emotional intelligence
One of the most powerful tools we have to energize our LinkedIn group is discussions. Yet we’ve seen it in the past: one step aside and what was meant to be a vivid conversation turned into a dry, still-born individual announcement.
Posting discussions on LinkedIn groups may seem the easiest thing to do. However, to make to work you need to sail often between Scylla (your immediate interest) and Charybdis (community engagement, speech attractiveness, controversy) and turn the outcome of the group conversation into a booster for your reputation.
Here are a few things you might want to bear in mind when you decide to post a discussion on a LinkedIn discussion group:
We have a tendency to join groups in order to be able to post various service offerings, event invitations or job postings under the form of discussions. By doing so we not only miss the purpose of the discussion, we also run the risk of having our post removed by the LinkedIn algorithm – or by the group moderator, for the matter. To make sure you contribute to a group’s added-value, make sure you only post genuine conversation topics in a Discussion.
By posting a discussion you are asking people to take precious time of their lives to talk to you online and share their thoughts and feelings visibly for everyone. Before posting the discussion give yourself a few moments to ask yourself: How would I feel if I were my audience / people in the group? What would interest me? What would make me want to react to this topic? Then phrase your discussion post accordingly.
That’s the way we, humans, are wired: we only grasp facts with a limited sequence of our brain. In order to process and remember information, it needs to be served to us in a form that is engaging both our mind AND hearts – that is, the information triggers some emotion that we can perceive with our whole body, not just a part of our brain. That’s the bottom line of storytelling: if we want people to listen to our story and take certain action – like join us in the conversation, for example - we need to be able to trigger emotions in our readers.
Why controversy works? Exactly because it triggers emotions: irritation, frustration, anger but also joy, relief, happiness etc. While we are aware that we need to take controversial topics with a pinch of salt – the AmCham group has rules that are meant to protect the community members and limit unethical behavior – we also know that, if we want to spark a conversation we need to be able to talk about the things that matter.
Usually when we want to trigger debate around a topic, we also post a link leading to our blog, website or other digital tool meant to fuel that discussion. In fact, this is the main reputation-creator: we generate a discussion around a topic we care about AND in the process we drive visibility towards our websites. That’s why it’s important to make sure all the links you post are active – there is nothing more frustrating than clicking on a link that goes to a non-functioning page.
LinkedIn has a weird algorithm informing group members on posted discussions even days after the discussion was actually posted. If you belong to the people who visit their LinkedIn profile once a week, make sure that you check your profile more often after posting a discussion: people might start reacting to your discussion and a conversation can emerge only when people actually synchronize their comment postings.
The rule is simple: react to people as you would in real life. It is possible people will not always agree with you, mainly when your topic is controversial. Fortunately LinkedIn doesn’t allow anonymous comments and thus reduces the impact of potentially negative communication. Even so, you need to remember: Internet is forever and everything that you post out there speaks in your name long after the discussion is over.
If your discussion is time-sensitive, you might want to close it once its focus is over. If not, leaving discussions open may help new group members go through the previous activity of the group and become familiar with other members’ ideas and thoughts.
A word on language accuracy. Numerous people are concerned if their English – or Czech – are good enough in written in order to post comments and don’t embarrass themselves. Trust me, I have my hefty share of both in my current life 🙂 That’s why we at AmCham decided to encourage members to post discussions in both English and Czech, with people joining the conversation in the language in which the initial discussion was written.