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Why you should be a LinkedIn groupie

We all know LinkedIn is a powerful networking tool. Whereas our Facebook pages, and often our Twitter handles, are more casual, we strive to maintain the utmost professionalism on LinkedIn. Many use their accounts to connect with people they have networked with in real life, and a lot use their profiles to post industry-specific articles to receive recognition from colleagues, but there is a percent of people who have transcended from networking pros to networking entrepreneurs.

I’m talking about the people who have made wildly successful groups that most of us are a part of. I’m referring to the people who saw a need for a group and put it into action first, or if not first, then best. This is not so different from an entrepreneur targeting a market niche for their hot startup. They see a need, or better yet: they create a need, and then they supply the product.

Below is a list of the 10 largest LinkedIn groups and why they’re so great:

1. Job Openings, Job Leads and Job Connections!

With close to 800,000 members, this group gives us a common ground: the crappy economy and the fact that nobody’s job is safe. Even if you’re currently employed (congratulations, you beat the statistic!), this is still a great group to join. Members have a real camaraderie and desire to help each other, and no matter what your job status, it’s nice to be part of a group that cares.

2. Linked:HR (#1 Human Resources Group)

HR professionals, unite! With 640,000 people who either work in Human Relations or are interested in the field, you have countless opportunities at your fingertips. Ask questions you’re embarrassed to ask your own HR department, find out if your company’s policies are standard, and mingle with some really smart people who could be looking at your resume one day.

3. LinkedIn Accounting OFFICIAL

Guys, it’s a half a million CPA’s all on one page. Do you have questions? We bet they have the answers!

4. LinkedIn Residential Real Estate OFFICIAL

Are you looking for a new home? Maybe a new office space? Don’t know where to turn? There are almost 500,000 real estate agents on this page, just waiting for their next client.

5. LinkedIn Entertainment OFFICIAL

Look no further for experts well versed with what goes on in front of the camera and behind-the-scenes. Even if you don’t need their services personally, there’s nothing wrong with having a conversation that expands your knowledge base.

6. eMarketing Association Network

Managed by the eMarketing Association, this group hosts the largest number of Internet marketing specialists. Technology is rapidly expanding and growing on a daily basis and it never hurts to know an expert or two to help out your SEO.

7. Social Media Marketing

Are you a seasoned vet but new to the Facebook game? Do you struggle with the difference between ‘tweet’ and ‘hashtag’? These 300,000 social media junkies can help you out. Ask some questions, read some articles, and maybe hire one of them to run your company’s page!

8. The Recruiter Network – #1 Group for Recruiters

Even if you’re all set in your career, it never hurts to put some feelers out there, and that’s exactly what the 300,000 group members are doing. Join their ranks and see what opportunities come knocking.

9. The Project Manager Network – #1 Group for Project Managers

If you only join one group on this list, it should be this one. Share tips, see what other people are up to, and make some friends you can possibly collaborate with down the road.

10. Telecom Professionals

260,000 members of the media and press are in this group, and the potential is vast. See what they’re talking about, join in on the conversation, and get noticed. They can give you and your company some attention, and if you play nice the chances are high it will be positive.

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Gabrielle Belavsky