LinkedIn’s Problem Child – Groups!
Welcome to episode 157. It’s about time we talked about groups again, a long standing feature that used to be great but seems to have deteriorated in recent years resulting in very strong rumours that groups are about to be dumped by LinkedIn.
But before we get into groups…..
Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week
- More Features Coming to the New LinkedIn Experience
- ‘Conversations’ or ‘Smarter messaging’ is turning out to be a game changer! Here is the update I posted congratulating those that worked on this feature. https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6257913664544866304/ Credit where credit is due.
- Introducing Lead Gen forms
- How to set up LinkedIn Lead Get forms and sync to your CRM
- Consumers predict only short term success for LinkedIn This is an interesting article and the survey results don’t look great for LinkedIn but we are assuming that the people surveyed are expert futurists! In addition, the survey was commissioned by an email service provider who were obviously keen to show that email has a great future. My take is somewhat different, I’m starting to think that LinkedIn may actually have a better, longer future than other social media platforms including the ‘apparently untouchable’ Facebook! This is something I thought about after sharing the following video on LinkedIn;
Have a listen to the podcast to hear what I have to say on this.
Update: I found that post I was referring to and here is the sort of comment I was quoting;
These are not isolated views amongst the community of LinkedIn members and I can see a more likely ‘push back’ against the likes of Facebook in the future because it is so addictive – as covered in the popular book ‘Irresistible: Why We Can’t Stop Checking, Scrolling, Clicking and Watching’ by Adam Alter.
So I think LinkedIn has a very bright future!
What to do about Groups!
I can remember when groups were one of LinkedIn favourite features, now they seem to be the problem child. Should LinkedIn abandon them or is there a cure?
This is an infographic that LinkedIn put together in August 2013
In those days LinkedIn were proud of groups, so how did it all go so wrong?
My feeling is that they became a victim of their own success;
- Too many groups were created (8000 a week in 2013!)
- Group owners were primarily motivated to grow the number of members which resulted in many groups becoming too big to control
- Groups became a spammers paradise
- Anti-spam measures introduced by LinkedIn alienated group managers (rightly or wrongly) and this resulted in less control of membership by managers/owners
- LinkedIn’s prevalent ‘them vs us’ attitude damaged the relationship with Group owners/Managers
Most groups have become like ghost towns with very few new members and virtually no activity.
This article sums up the experience of many group managers;
I first heard this rumour at Social Media Marketing World from experienced and knowledgeable commentators and this led to ex LinkedIn staffer Koka Sexton publicly asking the question to Ryan Rolansky (Head of Product and one of LinkedIn’s key decision makers)
Samantha Bailey has since written this article; (Warning : Samantha researches her articles exceptionally well but as a result they are long……..very long!)
Personally I really don’t believe the answer lies in monetising groups. LinkedIn’s monetisation strategy has always been largely ‘indirect’ meaning that they design functionality to increase things like page views, number of members etc so that they can monetise those things.
Direct monetisation of groups would lead to more issues in my opinion. The whole point of groups is to serve the members, not the owners!
- Groups should be abandoned and replaced with a new, fresh feature that has a new name and image.
- Group owners should be given the option of converting their group to the new format.
- The new format should restrict each ‘community’ to a max of 5000 members (maybe less)
- Group owners who currently have more members will have to select the most active members or create more communities.
- The new format should allow for discussion channels as we currently see in Slack.
- Activity in groups should show in members home page feeds with an option to switch off these notifications.
- This should also include a feature like ‘conversations’ that is visible on the normal LinkedIn homepage
- These new communities should be designed for owners and managers that wish to ‘serve’ a community, not gain personal commercial benefit.
It would seem sensible that this new solution would be developed in conjunction with Microsoft and maybe involve Office 365 in some way.
Those are my views, possibly a bit controversial but I firmly believe that this issue will not be solved by ‘tinkering’ around the edges. A much more drastic step is required and this will inevitably annoy many current group owners.
New Udemy Course
Check out my brand new course Advanced Job Seeking With LinkedIn, it’s only £25 and includes the most advanced techniques I ever teach.
Question : “I‘m Canadian and actively looking for my next job opportunity not locally but abroad.
What can one do to not be looked over because of their location? I’ve filled out the hidden job search function on LinkedIn but I’m not confident that most recruiters have access to this so I feel I could be doing more to make myself a more attractive candidate to foreign recruiters. The only issue for me is that I feel recruiters are turned off to my candidacy because of my location and the possible relocation costs involved.
What can one do to avoid this or at least minimize it?
ANS= Unfortunately there is no simple solution to this. Most jobs are filled (on LinkedIn) via search so what are the chances of someone searching in Canada?
Applying to ad’s is also tricky although you do have the option of making your desired location clear in your cover note.
One important thing to note is that applying for jobs without a permit to work is pretty much impossible. You won’t get a job offer first, permit second. It simply doesn’t work that way!
As far as LinkedIn is concerned you have two things you might be able to do;
- If the location you wish to relocate to has a different language then you can create a profile in that language as discussed with Luca in last weeks show.
- With the above and in circumstances where the language is not different you could change the zip/postcode location in your profile. This is not being entirely honest so you would need to make this very clear in your summary but it’s your location that will count you out of searches so changing that will make the biggest difference.
I saw this is my public profile settings. What does it mean?
ANS = This one had me (and Luca) stumped but Luca found the answer in the good old LinkedIn Help centre!
Machine Translated Public Profiles on LinkedIn
At LinkedIn, we’re constantly trying to improve our member experience. One of the things we’re doing is launching a pilot program where we’re machine translating certain parts of public profiles from English to a secondary language, which will be the profile viewer’s native language.
If you’re part of this pilot program and sections of your public profile are machine translated, you have the advantage of increased exposure in country-specific search engines, which may lead to more profile views, messages, networking and job opportunities.
1 The machine translations will be limited to certain public profile sections, including the headline, position title, school degree name, skills, and language.
2 Currently, we’re only launching this program in specific countries by machine translating sections of certain public profiles into selected languages.
That’s it for this week, don’t forget to leave a voicemail or email me with any questions or suggestions, till next time.
Have a great week everyone.
PS New Service. I am now providing one to one coaching sessions. Click ‘Schedule a call’ above and arrange a time to speak directly with me.
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