When we talk with our customers about using LinkedIn as part of a social media marketing plan, a question we get a lot is, “How do I create a successful LinkedIn group?” Of the 100 million professionals on LinkedIn, more than 17 million of them have joined a group. As you start to join groups and create groups, one thing becomes clear: the key ingredient to a successful group is content.

Here are 3 tips you can use to create content that will engage your LinkedIn group members:

1. Find a balance with your content. People are joining your LinkedIn group because you provide something they need: your expertise. But they don’t want constant self-promotion. Instead, they’re looking for a conversation and something they can take away from the experience to use in their careers. So share your event announcements, your whitepapers, and the insightful blog post you just wrote. But don’t make all of the conversation about you. Invite your group members to talk too!

2. You can give the megaphone to your members by asking questions. One of the marketing association LinkedIn groups I belong to sparked an active discussion recently with one simple question: What’s the best marketing advice you’ve ever received? That question received 89 different answers. It gave the marketing association great engagement with their members, and also produced plenty of user-generated content that they were able to share and talk about in their newsletter, blog, and Twitter posts.

3. Not all of the content has to come from you and your group members. There are great blog posts, videos, infographics, and podcasts posted online every day. Post a link to other experts’ useful content to start a conversation and offer your take on it. You’ll get thanked by your group for sharing helpful information, and you’ll also see conversations happening as people start to offer their opinion of what you shared.

Are you using LinkedIn? Let us know how in the comments below.