What prompted the redesign? According to LinkedIn Product Manager Daria Axelrod Marmer, the sheer volume of information demanded improved functionality. LinkedIn reports some conversations happening at the rate of 200+ per minute with more than 8,000 new groups being created each week. Holy moly, that’s a lot of activity!
I spend quite a bit of time on LinkedIn and that activity most definitely includes participating in LinkedIn Groups. Paying attention to the discussions that happen in different groups, participating, sharing data and personal experiences helps me do a better job of serving my clients and it also gives me insights into some of the issues my clients and prospects and sometimes even their clients and prospects face on a daily basis. As a result, I regularly meet and interact with a ton of new and interesting people and that’s rarely a bad thing.
Because I find Groups to be such a valuable part of the LinkedIn experience, I thought I’d share 3 reasons that might make you rethink your own use of Groups.
New Look, Easier Use
The Groups redesign didn’t change any of the functionality, but it did make Groups easier to use. If you head over to your LinkedIn Groups, you’ll notice they now more closely resemble the LinkedIn homepage, making it easier to see conversations and content at a glance.
Each group’s influential members are now more prominently featured at the top of the sidebar on the right side of the page, giving you the option to easily alternate between conversations and group members with whom you may want to connect or engage.
And if you’re a LinkedIn Group moderator, be sure to customize the image at the top of your page so that you can display your group’s branding.
Boost Your Profile Views
LinkedIn compiled some stats to help promote the Groups’ redesign. One that I found especially compelling was the fact that posting or engaging in Groups can get you an average of four times as many profile views. Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? After all, LinkedIn is a social network. And if you aren’t, well, socializing or participating on the platform, you’re not going to be visible—and that means you can’t expect to get much use out of the site.
Network Where The Action Is
Groups are, undeniably, some of the hubs of LinkedIn activity. As mentioned earlier, more than 8,000 groups are created every week with more than 200 conversations happening each minute. That’s a lot of opportunity to share your expertise with others, tap into the latest issues in your industry (or that of your clients), find new content ideas, new ways of doing things and, of course, increase your digital footprint and your overall personal brand reputation. Why wouldn’t you want to tap into a resource like targeted Groups that can be extremely powerful?
Just do us all one extra grande favor, OK? Don’t be spammy. Remember that LinkedIn groups are about conversation and sharing, not just blasting out your links to anyone and everyone. Make meaningful contributions to the group members, share content that’s not always your own and participate in discussions and share your thoughts and experiences. You’ll reap far more benefits than if you’re simply out to serve your own agenda.
LinkedIn continues to be focused on improving the user experience and content the platform provides for business professionals and brands and to provide value to users. The Group interface improvements, streamlined posts and customized conversations are a welcome improvement for this team of active LinkedIn users.
What about you? Do you use LinkedIn Groups? I’ll admit that a few I belong to drive me a little batty, but overall, they are a big part of my day-to-day interaction on LinkedIn. I’d love to hear more about your experience and whether you’ve noticed the redesign and, if so, how you feel about it.
This post originally appeared on the LeadersWest blog (which we highly recommend you subscribe to and read–it’s all kinds of awesome).