The rise of LinkedIn groups, again

One of the things that changed a great deal on LinkedIn for me is the groups. I was telling somebody, a new connection on the platform, that LinkedIn groups used to be really big and very visible back in the day. For me activity in the groups was one of the things that kept me busy on the platform. There were LinkedIn huge groups that were very visible with fantastic engagement and conversations.  Over time this changed. LinkedIn groups seemed to kind of disappear at some point and the engagement I was getting in the groups I was a member of went down. Checking into LinkedIn groups was no longer the first thing I did. It was now an after-thought.

I know that there are now groups with more than a million members but the sense I got was that things are very different in the groups now. The level of engagement in some of groups I am a member of went down while the platform was growing as a whole. This didn’t make sense to me. I would have expected that there would be a lot more engagement in the groups as the numbers on LinkedIn increase. So I was surprised that there are still massive groups on LinkedIn. They are definitely not visible like before but they are making a comeback I believe.

Those groups were huge and then overnight the groups just seemed to become less significant or it was just my experience. People had been putting so much time into the LinkedIn groups and I don’t know what happened but they were suddenly no longer as big as they used to be. My connection was so surprised because they were asking me for ideas on how to grow their LinkedIn group and I was taken back to the time when there was so much incredible activity in LinkedIn groups. 

Some of the groups were  so busy that they needed at least 10 admins and to join the group you needed to be patient while vetting was taking place before you could be added as a member. That is just how hectic it was back in the day.

There was one HR group in particular. It had its membership drawn from across the world. It was probably the most efficient group on LinkedIn. There were very clear rules about what could and could not be done in the group and there was so much value add in the group. People were incredibly busy in this group and you could tell that whoever started the group had really applied their mind to what they wanted to achieve. Any posts that were no in line with group rules were deleted. In fact because of the very strict moderation, these posts did not even make it through in the first place. There was basically no spam in the group and if spam turned up, you can be sure that is the last time that person would post in the group.

Naturally the people who had put in so much time into building those groups were discouraged when things changed so much on LinkedIn. I wonder if these people will be ready to go back and rebuild those communities again on LinkedIn. It has been a very long and there is no doubt that some of these people have moved on to other things. Some people might be willing to give it a shot. LinkedIn has been introducing a lot of features over the years like video and live broadcasts and some of these will enhance the quality of engagement and discussions in the groups.

LinkedIn groups on the rise again?

I for one believe that the time might be ripe for groups to make a comeback, to be more visible than before, just like they used to be or even better. I would really love to see that happen. LinkedIn has proven itself in the world of business networking. Other platforms have tried their hand in this space. At some stage Facebook seemed to making a lot of moves in the same space as LinkedIn but when it comes to professional networking, LinkedIn is the platform to beat.  I think it is going to take time for LinkedIn groups to be as influential as they once were. There is so much content now than before. However, this can also pose challenges sometimes as we are now generally overwhelmed with content in our lives in the online space.

Something different

If LinkedIn groups are going to become very significant again, they will need to provide exceptional value. LinkedIn groups will need to offer something different, something compelling.

A few questions to finish off

Will members be prepared to put in the hard work again to rebuild their LinkedIn Groups.
How are things going to pan out in the groups space?

Let’s see what happens!

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