A bad LinkedIn group is like a Twitter feed full of people you haven’t chosen to follow. And last time I surveyed, about 90 percent of the 30-odd B2B content marketing groups were chock-full of blog spam.

This makes it hard to promote yourself and your content in the groups. Consider the following if you are contemplating making LinkedIn groups a big part of your branding strategy for content marketing:

  • You won’t drive much traffic to your site. Visibility is low per LinkedIn Group, and posting content in multiple groups is a bad idea. Each time you share a post with a different group, it populates your primary contacts’ activity feed.  So if you post to all of your groups, you’ll also be spamming up everyone’s feeds and damaging your reputation. Also, there are two filters for viewing LinkedIn Groups: “What’s Happening” and “Latest Discussions” (Basically, “What’s Hot” or “What’s New”). The “What’s Hot” option is the default, meaning that most viewers won’t see new discussions.
  • You won’t generate much buzz. After surveying popular threads in 10 of the largest B2B marketing LinkedIn groups, the most active discussion I could find had a paltry nine comments. This is only for discussions that linked to articles. Don’t plan on going viral via LinkedIn Groups.
  • Participation can be time-consuming. If you’re going to brand yourself on LinkedIn, you’re going to need to comment on other people’s links as well. Are you sure you wouldn’t be better off just commenting on popular industry blogs?

On the plus side . . .

People will get to know your face. Your mug is posted next to every each comment and discussion. If you are active enough, you’ll reach the coveted “Top Influencer” status and have your profile pic displayed in the sidebar.

This is a great way to prepare for conferences. Lots of major content-marketing events have corresponding LinkedIn Groups. Staying active on these in the months prior will help your networking efforts and raise your standing at the events.

There are some really great groups out there. It’s just that LinkedIn Groups were not created to be RSS feeds. Unless your branding goals are carefully targeted, you may want to consider building your reputation through other means.

3 thoughts on “Are LinkedIn Groups Worth Your Time?

  1. Hi John, I agree that LinkedIn groups can be a frustrating waste of time. There are many B2B and social media groups I have joined and then left in frustration from spam. And that’s pretty much what everyone should expect if they join any kind of large marketing or social media group.

    For many people, though, there are LinkedIn groups focused on topics that don’t draw the masses of marketing spam. For example, I’m a member of several telecom tech focused groups that are very valuable. In fact, they drive more referral traffic to our blog than any other source.

    Here’s what I look for in a good group:

    1. Closed group – When LinkedIn created open groups they seriously ruined the concept, as open groups are quickly inundated with spam. Closed groups are much more focused.

    2. Well moderated – Many large groups are basically unmoderated and on auto-pilot. I suggest contacting the moderator and asking if you can help if it’s a group you’d really find valuable. I’m a moderator for several groups just from asking.

    3. Non-marketing – in general, the more niche and focused the topic of the group, the better the interaction inside (though it might not be as robust). And always stay away from social and marketing groups.

    For me, the trick is to actually interact in the group with other people’s content, then sprinkle in a few discussions based on our company’s blog posts. I also try to get our subject matter experts to interact in the group as they will always have more credibility than a marketing guy (like me).

  2. Hey Bo,

    Great advice.There are a few LI groups that I wouldn’t mind helping moderate. I think I’ll ask them to see if they need a hand.

    Also, you might know this already, but a good first stop before joining a group is viewing the comment:discussion ratio (more tab->groups statistics>activity). Lots of discussions and few comments = spam.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *