I often get questions from people regarding LinkedIn. When I feel the question is shared by others, I post it here on my blog for all to read.
I enjoyed reading your article about the changes to LinkedIn groups. I have been away from LinkedIn for a while and found your overview very helpful.
Since LinkedIn Group conversations and comments are visible to Group members only, how can I judge the value of a LinkedIn Group. I joined one group, only to find that there not been any new posts for a year. Plus, for the LinkedIn Groups that I have not joined yet, I can only see the members that I already know. This also makes the decision process to join a LinkedIn Group a difficult one.
What a great question! You are absolutely right– it’s much harder to determine if a LinkedIn Group is worth joining now that the discussions are hidden. But with that stated, there are things you can look for to determine if a LinkedIn Group will provide value.
Here are 5 ways to decide whether or not to join a LinkedIn Group.
1. When you search for Groups to join, on the search results page, you will see the member and discussion count for each Group. The more members, the more discussions, the better the chance the Group is active and interesting.
2. Although you can’t see a list of all Group members prior to joining, you can see a list of members who are your direct, first degree connections. If you know quite a few people within the Group, odds are, it’s a good Group. A LinkedIn Group without any people you know may signal that it’s outside your interests, industry or simply, not a Group that provides value.
3. You can also check out the Group description on the far right side of the Group page. A well-written Group description that states what the Group is about and the types of discussions allowed and the standard of people who are welcome provides another good sign that the Group is worthwhile.
4. A great way to find Groups to join is to look at profiles of people you find inspiring, interesting, and similar to you. Scroll through the person’s profile to the bottom and see what Groups they’ve joined. If you are directly connected to them or if you have InMail messages to use, you can even message them on LinkedIn and ask their opinion of the Group. What a great excuse to do a little networking!
5. The other thing to keep in mind is that LinkedIn raised the Group limit from 50 to 100. You can join twice as many Groups as before. So join Groups– and see if you like them or not. 100 Groups is a lot of Groups, so join a number of different Groups and see which ones you like. If the Group seems silly, all you need to do is leave the Group.
It certainly was nice being able to see Group discussions prior to joining an Open LinkedIn Group before LinkedIn made changes to how Groups are managed; however, I believe it’s important and a good thing that these Group discussions are kept private. Cloaking discussions allows Group members a feeling of privacy and safety. When you know the whole world can see your Group postings, there’s an element of vulnerability that stifles good discussions. People are less likely to ask questions and provide advice for fear of being judged by others. Now that Group discussions are private, I believe we will see a resurgence in good discussions that provide value and assistance.
Dear Reader, Are there other ways you determine the value of a LinkedIn Group? Please let me know by leaving a comment on this blog post… just scroll down!
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