Changes to LinkedIn groups
Nothing stands still on LinkedIn for long. No sooner have we crafted a strategy for engagement, than LinkedIn come along and change the game!
We have read about a number of changes to LinkedIn groups – some we are already seeing, others are apparently on there way.
Here’s a brief summary:
Changes affecting Group members:
“The Top Contributors plugin has been removed to encourage more participation from all group members.”
What this means: This is a bit disappointing. It was possible, until this imminent change, to be active in a group and take some credit for being listed as ‘Top Contributor’. This meant that your profile picture, and headline, featured prominently on the group home page – the inference of thought leadership in the group.
Clearly LinkedIn believe that this was not a good plan and that more people might contribute to group discussions. We are not so sure. The incentive of having your efforts ‘rewarded’ might be very well be the incentive that drove engagement. Unfortunately we’ll never know…
“Group Stats has been removed from the group profile.”
The ‘i’ icon has been removed and replaced by a ‘settings’ cog.
What this means: This is really disappointing. In our training courses we spent time advising LinkedIn users about which groups to join by reviewing group statistics. The stats showed demographics, growth and activity; the first stage in determining whether or not they were worth joining.
There are in excess of 2.1million groups on LinkedIn – the vast majority of which can be deemed useless (poorly managed, inactive or full of self-promotion). If people engage in groups they want to know if the group is worth spending time in. Sentiment analysis of conversations has always been a part of our group recommendation process; but this can take a little longer to determine (you need to join the group first).
On the other hand, more extensive and informed use of advanced search might now be encouraged. Using the ‘group’ filter within advanced search to determine how many of your target audience are group members. Again, you need to join groups to be able to do this and for us, the 50 group limit can slow down the research process.
“We’ve removed the recent activity window on your group’s homepage. To see the most recent discussions in your group, sort the main feed by recency. If you want to find all the most recent activity throughout your group, you can use the recent activity section within the search tab.”
What this means: Again, we can’t see why this change is being made, and it’s going to slow down the participation process somewhat. We want to see what the latest activity is, so why make that more difficult? (This was visible when you selected ‘Interests’ on the navigation bar, and then ‘groups’ on the dropdown. There’s no longer going to be a nice summary of activity for all groups you have chosen to join… you need to go through each group one by one!
If you are finding your groups hard to manage in terms of notifications, you can change your settings by clicking on the cog (right of ‘take a tour’). Here you can update the visibility of the group on your profile, and contact/notification settings. Whilst you can do this when looking at an individual group (see above), this option allows you to amend all settings from one screen.
As a reminder ‘Your Groups’ is accessible by clicking on ‘Interests’ and then ‘Groups’ in the main navigation.
And finally, some changes for group owners/managers
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