LinkedIn groups have always been an excellent way to find not only like-minded individuals and influencers, but find leads and reach a targeted audience. However, because LinkedIn Groups were public, over the years more and more of the conversations and members began to get spammy and promotional as opposed to a helpful resource.
You see where this is going: LinkedIn announced on November 26 that, thanks to user feedback and studying internal data, all Groups would now be private. With over 2 million groups out there, this is the biggest announcement we’ve seen from LinkedIn ever. So what does this mean for B2B marketers?
Breaking Down the LinkedIn Groups Changes
Aside from the new privacy restrictions, some of the most notable changes to Group Features include:
- Standard vs. Unlisted Groups. Unlisted Groups will not show up in search results and only the group’s owner can invite members to the group. Standard Groups will show up and anyone can invite a 1st degree connection to the group.
- All Groups are Now Members-Only Groups. You now either need an invitation of approval of your request, so get to searching and connecting!
- Groups iOS Mobile App. This new App will allow you to follow conversations and receive push notifications for certain conversations.
- Removal of Subgroups. These will now be treated as their own independent groups so that things don’t get confusing.
- New Tab for Job Discussions. If someone wants to discuss a job opening, that will now be in a new tab to keep things organized and keep separate conversations flowing. This is likely in response to the removal of subgroups.
Other changes that will help eliminate spam include content moderation, removal of the Promotions tab, posting images in conversations, Mentions allowed in Group conversations, and different Group highlights and email digests. You can check out the video below to learn more about the changes:
What This Means for B2B Marketers
So the changes are pretty self-explanatory for users, but B2B marketers will also see huge benefits to their bottom line as well. Check out four ways that marketers will see changes and how you can take advantage below:
1. You can now Include Special Promotions
Because Groups are now private, you can offer special promotions or feature special announcements that you may only want to offer a small group of people who have been talking with you. Keep in mind that you want to avoid anything too promotional, though, because that’s what LinkedIn is trying to avoid in the first place. Be sure that if you’re accepted as a group member, you’re there to talk with members and offer advice. Only make a special announcement if it seems appropriate. That’s not the end goal.
2. You’ll See Higher Levels of Engagement
Because of the new members-only rule, you should see more engagement. This will mean smaller, more targeted groups, and it means that members will actually be able to read all of the relevant comments as opposed to having to scroll down through spam and longer, poor-quality contributions.
3. You can Find Candidates Faster than Before
Now that there is a new tab for discussions about jobs, it’s easier to scroll through and find candidates while still being able to participate in the group with quality content as opposed to searching for jobs/ candidates. In other words, as a recruiter you’re able to still post about a job, but that conversation can be kept to the side so that you see all of the messages responding to the job discussion without having to disrupt the other conversations happening in the group.
4. Lengthier Discussions
This was an idea I got from HubSpot that mentions the major push for social networks to have deeper and lengthier discussions with their social members (as seen through the revamp of Twitter DM and Facebook Messenger). Now that there is a new Groups App specific to LinkedIn Groups and brand’s can @mention certain people, conversations can last longer and you can answer questions more directly and create that ongoing conversation.
How else will the new update help you as a marketer? Do you like the changes LinkedIn made, or do you see any problems arising? Let us know in the comments below!
Republished by permission. Original here.
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