Groups on LinkedIn have really matured. Waldman has found that the discussions on groups are more engaging, people are less shy about speaking their minds, and the content is improving in quality. Of course this depends on the group; this is just from his own experience. However, if you find the right groups in which to participate, the value to your network — and the knowledge you'll gain — is huge.
Not only will you be exposed to news, and new ideas, but you’ll have a chance to demonstrate your expertise through commenting and discussion. Sometime alliances are formed. For example, Waldman was part of a group whose leader would entice you to click links to download some attractive research reports. But in order to download each report, you had to fill out a lot of personal information. He found this practice annoying and said so. Pretty soon, others in the group were agreeing with him. One guy in particular contacted him and they hit it off. Turns out they do similar things, but on separate continents. Thus both of their networks grew stronger.
With over 180 million LinkedIn users in the world, he honestly doesn’t think that even half of them are actively seeking work. More than likely, they are happily employed and happily networking. It is a mistake to think of LinkedIn as a giant job board and your profile as just another resume. The power of any social networking tool is in the actual networking.
So if you are currently employed and not taking your LinkedIn use seriously, you’re making a grave error. Here are five reasons Waldman, writing for the TheLadders, has identified for why you need to be on LinkedIn.