New LinkedIn Groups Update Impacts All Users
Most professionals that are active users on LinkedIn have been complaining about the downfall of the LinkedIn groups feature for a few years now.
When LinkedIn started groups it was a great idea designed for like-minded professionals to engage in conversation around a topic of interest. According to Venture Beat who broke the story, “LinkedIn has begun notifying group administrators of an upcoming remodel that re-imagines the entire product in an effort to make LinkedIn Groups valuable for the more than 380 million registered users. Further, a standalone Groups iOS app will be released on October 14.”
What happened over the years LinkedIn Groups ended-up being a place for marketers to self-promote to a lot of people at one time. In other words spamming the group with content without the intention of trying to engage the members of the group. These type of posts usually was in the form of a post with a link. There are some groups that do not allow links in their groups!
Online Marketing Continues to Change
Changes to the LinkedIn Groups feature has been coming, if you remember back in June when they instituted group messaging limits where you can now send only 15 free 1 to 1 group messages to fellow group members each month.
“This biggest change will be starting October 14th all LinkedIn groups will now be private”. LinkedIn groups can be used to establish yourself as a trusted resource or thought leader in your niche. Group participants who watch for LinkedIn updates and make the most of current opportunities get four times the number of profile views,” he notes. And increased traffic to your profile can lead to an increase in your network and possible inbound leads. Just like Google updates frequently, so does LinkedIn to offer member increased value.
Group managers that were not monitoring the posts or discussions for this type of spam and who were unwilling to flag those members who were abusing the groups made it a free for all.
If you’ve been on LinkedIn since the early days going back to 2004 when groups were launched, you know what the intention was. With more than two million groups now on LinkedIn, there are so many choices and very little quality conversations. I assume there have been so many complaints coupled with lack of activity in groups that LinkedIn has decided to update the groups feature with some major changes.
“We want everyone to get the most out of every visit to LinkedIn Groups. To that end, we’ve simplified several group features to ensure that groups will always be the most trustworthy place for you to gather with like-minded professionals.” – LinkedIn
How LinkedIn Groups are Changing
► Now, all groups are either Standard or Unlisted.
Unlisted Groups don’t show up in search results and only the group’s owner and manager can invite members to the group.
Standard Groups do show up in search results, and any member can invite any of their 1st-degree connections to join.
► All Groups Are Now Private Groups
Conversations in groups won’t be visible until you’ve joined the group.
► All Groups Are Now Members-Only Groups
Joining a LinkedIn group now requires either an invitation or approval of your request.
► Content Moderation
Group owners, managers, and moderators can still remove off-topic conversations and place members in moderation.
► Better Content Filtering
LinkedIn has improved the filtering of spammy and low-quality content so that promotional conversations stay out of the conversation feed and conversations can happen around more relevant topics.
► Removal of Promotions Tab
General member feedback indicates that promotional content in LinkedIn Groups isn’t a valuable experience so this tab has been removed. (Many think this is a problem because now there is no place to add a promotion and thus people may continue to try to post promotions as discussions)
► Removal of Subgroups
The majority of LinkedIn users thought subgroups were confusing. In order to surface these subgroups to members and to help these subgroups grow, they will now be treated as their own independent groups
► LinkedIn Groups iOS Mobile App
You can follow conversations on the go with the new Groups mobile app for iOS. You can receive push notifications for conversations in your groups so you stay updated on what’s happening in your community. Don’t worry Android users; your App is coming.
► Posting Images in Conversations
You can now make conversations as engaging as possible by posting images to any new conversations.
► Member Approval in Standard Groups
When a member requests to join a Standard Group, their connections in the group can approve the request. Group owners and managers can also approve any request to join.
► Mentions in Group Conversations
You can now reference other group members and bring them into a conversation by typing “@” followed by the group member’s name.
► Groups Highlights and Email Digests
We’ve created a digest of the most popular and recent conversations to cut down on emails from your groups and help you follow the most interesting conversations.
Best Practices For Group Managers
Getting Started (Owner)
Clearly state the purpose of the group in the Summary and Description.
Provide some rules for the group about the type of content that’s appropriate and what isn’t.
Encouraging Others to Join (Owner) Your LinkedIn Group
Standard Group: Invite your connections and encourage group members to do the same.
Unlisted Group: Invite your connections to join the Unlisted Group
Starting and Engaging in Conversation (Owner, Manager, Moderator)
Ask open-ended questions to get the conversation going.
Share timely and relevant content, for example breaking news, exclusive product information, and events.
Ask your members about their goals for the group.
Ask your members for feedback: How can you make this group better?
Keeping Your Group Engaged (Owner, Manager, Moderator)
· Check at least once or twice a week for requests to join, submissions to approve, and flagged posts to moderate. If possible, check daily to encourage group growth.
- Listen to your group members’ feedback.
- Keep it professional and polite.
Closing Your Group (Owner)
Before closing the group, check to see if anyone else can take ownership. If so, you can transfer ownership.
Should you start a LinkedIn group?
My opinion is one of caution for a variety of reasons. With the latest changes, it will be more difficult to attract people to join a group unless the group owner/manager has a large database of quality people to invite. Remember, with the new rules, LinkedIn groups are now private won’t be searchable. Second, managing a great group takes a lot of effort and monitoring thus a long-term commitment is required. Ask yourself if you are up for that challenge and the bigger picture of knowing the goal of the group. There are over 2 million groups now and how many are running well? We don’t know the answer to that, but there is a lot of noise on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn groups can be used to establish yourself as a trusted resource or thought leader in your niche. Group participants who watch for LinkedIn updates and make the most of current opportunities get four times the number of profile views,” he notes. And increased traffic to your profile can lead to an increase in your network and possible inbound leads. Just like Google updates frequently, so does LinkedIn to offer member increased value.
We offer full LinkedIn updates for business groups. A LinkedIn makeover company wide can and turn your LinkedIn business profile into an imprehessive and cohesive digital introduction to the world!