LinkedIn Groups – Getting Value Out of LinkedIn Groups

October 5th, 2009 | by Jason Alba |

I wrote LinkedIn Discussions – Noise vs. Real Value almost a year ago, talking about the amount of spam I was seeing in LinkedIn Groups. The thoughts there are just as relevant today as they were 10 months ago.

Bob Roman just asked a few followup questions, which I’ll answer here.  Note that he is the owner of a Group, so my responses are for a LinkedIn Group owner, not simply a LinkedIn Group member.

Question: How do I send out Events just to my LinkedIn Group? Do I use LinkedIn Announcements?

Answer: Right now either starting a Group Discussion or sending a Group Announcement are your two choices.  Discussions are good because you can start as many as you want, whenever you want.  Announcements are awesome because they typically go into your Group Members email boxes, as opposed to assuming they are going to otherwise notice any chatter in the Discussion.  In other words, I assume that people aren’t going to see many discussions, whereas they almost can’t help but see the Announcement.

Question: Is there a time limit on LinkedIn Announcements?

Answer: I always make my Announcement a featured Discussion.  AFAIK it stays there forever.  The other limit you have on an Announcement is that you can only send one every seven days.

Question: When will LinkedIn Create a tab for Events?  Discussions is just not the same.

Answer: I have no idea, I haven’t heard any whisperings of that, but it is a terrific idea and I hope LI picks up on it.  An “Events” tab would be way more valuable to my Group than a “News” tab, which is essentially the same thing as a Discussion.

Question: How can I use sub-Groups better?

Answer: I wish I had an answer for you, but I don’t.  I haven’t played around with this.  My thoughts are:

- for most, it won’t really matter until you have a very large group,

- perhaps you can send one announcement per sub-group every 7 days, which means you can send more announcements,

- managing multiple sub-groups might become a major administrative pain,

- I’m guessing this is a “would be nice to have” feature that they threw in that some people requested, … but perhaps not anything that many will use, UNLESS,

- they mimic more Facebook functionality… with their richer Groups.

There you go, a quick brain dump on LinkedIn Groups.  More information can be found on my LinkedIn DVD, LinkedIn for Job Job Seekers (not jut for job seekers).

  1. 2 Responses to “LinkedIn Groups – Getting Value Out of LinkedIn Groups”

  2. By Adi @ The Management Blog on Oct 5, 2009 | Reply

    Another vote here for having an events tab within the groups. The news one does seem rather superfluous. Hopefully the bods at LinkedIn are listening.

    One thing I am wary of with regards to announcements however is over-use. Although people have essentially opted in it doesn’t seem right or proper to bombard their inbox with too many messages.

  3. By Jason Alba on Oct 5, 2009 | Reply

    Adi, I agree about the bombarding thing and think that LinkedIn’s limit of sending an announcement every 7 days is a good one… generally I don’t like restrictions imposed but I can imagine that some owners would abuse it …

    of course, Group members could simply opt out by turning off announcements to email, OR get out of the group…

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