I recently sat on a discovery call with a potential client and one of the first statements that she made was how powerful she remembers LinkedIn Groups being and how she wasn’t sure what happened to them.
I asked her to elaborate and she stated that:
- She no longer sees a lot of Group discussion threads on her home page.
- She no longer receives as many updates from her favorite Groups in her inbox.
- When she clicks into a Group, she isn’t seeing as much discussion as there used to be.
I actually hear these statements pretty frequently, so I thought I’d share a few ways to plug back in to Groups. I will also be throwing a challenge out there for you to improve the activity within the Groups that you’re a member of.
Why don’t I see many Group discussions on my homepage?
Occasionally, on your homepage, you’ll see that someone in your network liked something in a Group or started a discussion in a Group, but did you know that Linkedin has moved most Group chatter to its own dashboard?
If you hover over “Interests” and then click on “Groups,” you’ll be directed to your Groups Dashboard.
Here you can see:
- A list of all of the Groups you currently belong to at a glance.
- A central location to start a discussion in any of your Groups.
- A running feed of the activity across all of your different Groups.
- A gear icon to access Settings for all of your Groups.
- A section to find a new Group or create your own.
Why don’t I receive Group updates in my personal email inbox? How do I control which Groups send me Group digests?
There are actually two ways to check the Group digest email settings and make changes. One way to change your contact settings is to click on the gear from the group dashboard. This will take you to a listing of all of your Groups.
If you click on “Member Settings” you will then be directed to the Settings tab of a particular Group. Here, you can change your contact email and your preferred settings for Activity, Digest Email, Announcements, and Member Messages.
Another way to change your Group digest email settings is to go to Privacy and Settings, which is accessible through a drop-down menu under your photo, in the upper right-hand side of the screen.
On the “Account and Settings” page, click on the “Groups, Companies, & Applications” tab. Here you can select to “Set the frequency of group digest emails.”
Where are the great discussions that used to go on in LinkedIn Groups?
I’d like to challenge you all to refocus the purpose of Linkedin Groups. I have to admit that I see way too much self promotion and link dumping in a lot of Linkedin Groups lately. Only we can change this. Let’s all get back to only posting meaningful content within Groups. Let’s ask questions. Let’s share ideas. I believe in the power of LinkedIn Groups, but only when members use the Group appropriately.
I am an owner of two very large LI groups totaling over 300,000 members. I have spent 8 years building these groups into interactive and engaging forums for our members to connect and share with each other. The groups have grown well and the feedback was always positive. We moderated out the spam and made sure the content was relevant. Over the past year LinkedIn has systemically tried to wrestle back control of the groups from those the owners. They removed and hid the job section and replaced it with their own paid job adverts that come from outside the group. The removed the ability for the group owner to post sticky discussions at the top of the discussion section to alert the members on important goings on (they just reluctantly gave back one) they removed the daily digests, they reduced the group owner from messaging more than 15 people in the group in a month (really) we have over 300k members and need to communicate with members that are needing help. They reduced the amount of group announcements to one per week, and even that does not work most of the the time. They took away the group stats. Hid groups from the main page on LI, and so on and so on. I have been in direct talks with the groups team and belong to their group owner forum. Its clear that they would like to control the content of each group rather than let the groups continue to grow organically. Feedback from the group owners across the board is that LinkedIn’s big brother attitude to the groups is destroying them, engagement and growth have dropped of a cliff. Lets hope someone over there realizes that the key to staying on top as a social network is allowing people to share with each other.
Great article, Alicia – thanks for sharing the tips about how LI has updated accessing group info – I did not realize there was a separate dashboard for groups.
Re the involvement – I am a member of a number of groups, only a handful of which are truly active and supportive. I try to stay involved with those groups as much as time will permit. The groups that never seem to have any discussions or updates going on, I have just let fall from my radar. I am fairly appalled (yet not surprised) to read what Jabez said above about how LI is trying to control groups, especially very large groups such as he manages. I agree with him, that the value of groups is to let people work together and for LI not to put unnecessary obstacles in the way.
Alicia, well written, thanks. Further to Jabez’ comments, I belong to the LI Group Moderator Community (I manage 4 groups), where we discuss issues of control and access. I just discovered to-day that the welcome/ decline/ decline and block messages so many of us have crafted to help manage groups have become erratic in their issuance, with no way for a moderator to discover if the appropriate message has been issued to a new or declined member. It’s like being picked to play on a football team, given a position but no instructions – and the quarterback can’t even call the plays! Conversely, being declined without a message explaining why is like being cut from the team by discovering your locker has been emptied.
Your advice on various LI functionality is excellent, but it all falls apart if the application is effectively broken!
Linkedin is over it’s top of success, and now dieing, like the old Roman empire once did….
I see the major “PUSH” into the ravine of near-to-zero activity, happened some 8-12 months ago. !
(Member of +- 40 groups, I see it nearly EVERYWHERE..)
How long will IL still exist is this way?
I’m not sure, but it could be a matter of years, before 99% of all profiles on the system, are mere archeological relics of the past….
Unfortunately, since this article was written Linkedin groups have become even worse–literally ghost towns. I predict the company will lose more than half of its members within a year of these changes. Now, group members no longer receive new group posts, no notifications on activity. Discussions are not valued. It’s sad as LInkedin used to be the best place for intellectual discussion and to make professional relationships. Now, people rarely talk with each other. It almost seems like Linkedin leaders got together and thought, “How can we ruin this website and convert it to a jobs posting website where we will only have a few people involved–job recruiters and those searching for a job. Of course, this, too, is nonsensical and we will bankrupt the company as this also requires discussion and relationship building. All in favor? OK, it’s settled. Let’s destroy this once amazing website!”