Choose Your Groups – While you can join many groups on Facebook, LinkedIn or other platforms, it’s not realistic to think you can participate regularly with all of them. Social MediaChoose one or two where your target audience can be found and make a point of being active there.

Review Guidelines – Most groups have clear member guidelines and rules. Be sure to review these so you understand what the boundaries are.

Answer Questions – If you want to position yourself as an authority, demonstrate your knowledge by contributing to forum conversations. Provide value and members will notice.

Promote in Context – Mention your services carefully and in proper context. If a member asks for tips when redesigning a website and you are a web designer, this is an opportunity to respond with: “As a web designer, here are my suggestions…” or “In my book, XYZ, I talk about this at greater length.”

Ask Questions – Engage with the group by soliciting feedback from fellow members.

Share Blog Posts – If appropriate and within group guidelines, share your latest blog posts if they relate to the topic of the forum, but don’t just be a drive-by poster. If you’re going to share your blog, also make sure to actively engage in other conversations.

Respond to Comments – Pay attention to responses to message threads where you are involved and acknowledge those who reach out to you.

Show Personality – You can really stand out on a forum by being witty, thoughtful, and smart.

When in Doubt, Ask – The forum moderator will appreciate you checking in to ask about what is appropriate. This is also an opportunity to get to know the group leader and perhaps offer to help out. Co-moderators can also gain added visibility on the site, and most moderators would welcome offers of additional support.

Subscribe to Updates – LinkedIn allows you to subscribe to an email summary for each group that you belong to, which will show up in your inbox daily and allow you to see the latest activity on the group’s board. This is a handy way to scan group activity without having to log in to LinkedIn so that you can decide if there is something you want to respond to. And you can set your Facebook notifications to decide how often you want to see new content from a group.

Did you know we host a year-round Nonfiction Book Awards program? Check it out!