LinkedIn groups can be hit or miss, with many of them over-run by spam, and most approving a little more content than most members would like, which can then flood your notifications and/or home feed.
But LinkedIn may be about to demonstrate how, exactly, LinkedIn groups should be run, with the launch of a new group through which the platform will look to provide community support and guidance for digital marketers.
LinkedIn’s refreshed Marketing Partner Community Group will focus on sharing industry knowledge and relevant conversations, while also hosting discussion around new and coming updates, and insights from the platform itself, to help improve approaches to LinkedIn marketing.
As explained by LinkedIn:
“The group is designed specifically for marketers who want to take their efforts to the next level. We want to increase the synergy and collaboration between our marketing partners, customers, and internal experts to help everyone involved reach new heights. If you’re interested in getting the most out of LinkedIn for your marketing, and learning how various third-party connections and enhancements can improve your results across a variety of focuses — from content and creative to targeting to lead generation and beyond — this group is for you.”
That could be great for those looking to take their LinkedIn marketing to the next level, and stay in touch on the latest updates. And while I hate the term ‘synergy’ in almost any context, the description does sound promising in terms of highlighting new tools and options that you can potentially build into your LinkedIn marketing approach.
In the new group rules, LinkedIn has also sought to establish clear parameters around what will and won’t be accepted.
“No network marketing or MLM (Multi-level Marketing) of any kind is allowed to be promoted in this forum. This is not the forum for that type of business. NO SPAM or DIRECT SALES PITCHES ARE ALLOWED.”
Which should probably be basic parameters of every functional group, but it’ll be interesting to see how LinkedIn looks to action this, and ensure that its own group doesn’t end up getting shredded by self-promotional posts and other rubbish, which can prompt users to switch off their notifications entirely.
LinkedIn has had an up and down relationship with groups over the years. Once considered a key connective tool for many professionals, the influx of spam ended up turning most people away, and rather than address the rising problems with its groups product, LinkedIn sought to de-emphasize them by reducing reach and notification capacity, essentially putting them out of sight and out of mind for many.
But there is a lot of potential in LinkedIn groups, and LinkedIn has, at times, seemed intent on refreshing them, with presentation updates and management tools to help cull the spam, and re-engage users.
Thus far, those updates haven’t really been able to get LinkedIn group engagement back on track, but maybe, there could still be potential there, and maybe, through this group, LinkedIn will show how group management is done, and will generate more engagement benefits as a result.
Though the key, inevitably, is manual intervention. If you want to ensure that your LinkedIn group is valuable, you need to moderate it, and reject off-topic posts, in order to maintain focus. That takes more and more of your time the more members you have join up, and the question then comes down to how much value you’re gleaning from the effort that it takes to manage such.
Still, LinkedIn’s new group could provide some valuable insights into key platform approaches, and it could be worth joining up to see what kinds of internal discussion it shares, along with case studies, interviews, etc.
It might be nothing, but it might also be the start of a new beginning for LinkedIn groups. Because one way or another, LinkedIn, through re-focusing on its own group, is about to learn the challenges of maintaining and maximizing group engagement in its app.