Do you make the most of LinkedIn? Are you aware of the latest changes made to the LinkedIn groups?

LinkedIn has made it easier for the marketers and business owners to reach out their target audience like a cakewalk and spread out their brand’s voice. Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn is a professional social networking platform that lets businesses to showcase their brand in a fully professional manner.

LinkedIn has recently made changes in groups by redesigning it, and thus making communications more smooth and helpful for members.

In this post, you can know how marketers can search, join and make use of the new LinkedIn groups.

What does the Recent Changes Mean?

LinkedIn totally renovated the interface of the group, so the app and desktop versions are going to be the same. The Groups app is coming soon for the Android version but is now available on iOS.

Though both the app, as well as app, are user-friendly, the functionality on the desktop has reduced significantly.

Among the very obvious changes is that we now have no more access to open groups. Standard and unlisted are the 2 new group preferences. In standard groups, there’s “request to join”, also admin or a group member can send an invitation to join and are accessible by group search. Whereas, the unlisted groups are “invite to join” which can be sent by group admin only and are not available in the group search.

Loss of member search is the other significant change to be noted. Now people can’t search a group’s members using keyword or name, so it’s most likely not worth it to join any LinkedIn group just for getting exposure to prospects. And due to the fact that member search (at the moment) no longer works, messaging to other LinkedIn members privately is much more difficult to do in a proper way.

Though it will be more problematic to use groups for searching and lead generation, but still people can make use of groups for content marketing. Also, LinkedIn has eliminated the “Promotions” tab which was earlier available on groups, which means any type of promotional messages will probably simply drop into spam.

The advantage is that there will be very less spam and lesser pitches in groups. The drawback is it will be probably quite difficult to determine which is promotional content and which is not, so important information may simply get lost in member’s inbox. It also means a lot more work for the group moderators.

But undoubtedly, the changes in the LinkedIn group will influence marketers to accelerate their game in today’s tough competitive business world. Now, they have to be more careful about the content they’re creating and sharing to make sure it adds value to group members and are relevant to them.

Here’s a brief about the recent LinkedIn group changes-

#1: All LinkedIn Groups Are Private

Now all the groups are either standard or unlisted, and are both private. It means that chats shared in a LinkedIn group will be no longer access to other public (non-members).

Standard Groups

It has similar functionality and objective like the earlier version of groups, in terms of sharing and posting information with other group members. If you are not a member of the group, all the group contents will be not accessible (or visible) to you.

Another change you can see is a Highlights page, which shows all the posts which are most engaging in your groups. Go to Groups and Interests to get to your group’s homepage.

Not only group admin, but any member belonging to a standard group can send an invitation to people for joining that particular group, and any user can send the request for becoming a member of the group. You can ask your friend to add you who is already a member of that group.

You can use the standard groups for branding purpose, but for that you have to be a bit smarter about it. You should engage more and share quality and relevant content to meet the needs or demands of the fellow group members. Sharing the content that are relevant and beneficial to someone can help you build stronger and longer relationships that would convert into new business down the line.

Unlisted Groups

These groups can’t be seen in the LinkedIn search. The new members can be only invited by the group admin. The good news is that irrelevant groups that restrict access will now no longer overwhelm the LinkedIn search results.

The unlisted group category is suitable for internal groups belonging to your company. It’ll help you to keep your content completely private, as there’s no more risk of any unknown person to access the shared content.

There are numbers of reasons to opt for an unlisted group. For instance, you can create customer groups to beta test new services, products and concepts. The groups can be also used as customer service support for customers or create an internal group for your employees to know their suggestions or problems.

Keep in mind that unlisted groups are narrowly only for the content purpose, and not for marketing, so they’re beneficial for interacting with designated people.

#2: Standard Groups Lists in Search

By the recent changes, the standard groups are shown up in LinkedIn searches. Precisely you can get them on Google or also through Groups directory. The easiest way to look for any particular group is finding it on LinkedIn.

You can find the standard groups through keyword from LinkedIn’s main or also by advanced search. Depending on your interest, LinkedIn will also create group suggestions. If you want to join any group, search for it, once you get that group, ask to join through group button.

To accelerate the process, you can use LinkedDominator for scraping the groups based on particular keywords, and then sending the request to join those scraped groups in a few clicks.In Search Groups Input, enter the keyword with which you want to search the groups. Enter the no. of groups you want to get scraped. Click on search groups.
Once you click on the search groups, the process will be started and once the groups are scraped, you’ll be notified in the Process Logger.
Select the account in Search group details.
Depending on the no. of groups you selected for scraping, the details will be displayed. You can choose all or only the groups you want to join.
Click on Join group.

As simple as that!

One more way of finding groups is to share an update and ask your contacts, “Which are the most popular groups and which are your favorite ones? Can you send me an invite to join them?”

#3: Groups Have a Mobile App

The group search in the app is very user-friendly with easy to navigate interface. It makes easier to get engaged with the LinkedIn group members very easy. In the desktop version, the LinkedIn’s homepage has highlights showing what’s trendy and most engaging in all of your groups.

For accessing the content, click on any group. Get engaged with group members by posting, replying and liking shared content. Now, you can comment with @mentions and also mention people in updates.

Through Notifications tab, you can see who has commented on your content, making it easier for you to respond.

However, the LinkedIn groups are now not that much beneficial for generating leads and prospecting, the recent interface makes it easier to share the post, respond and build stronger and longer relationships. This will help to get more new clients in the long-run.

Final Thoughts-

LinkedIn wants to get rid off from being a spam pool as they were in early 2007. The new changes are made to motivate the marketers to get back to true social engagement for their brand. It’s actually better than mow down posting (trying out different posts to see what works), and can eventually enhance your customer base along with the bottom line.

The latest LinkedIn groups can help in building better and stronger relationships, which is what actually social media is all about.

What are your opinions? What do you think about the recent changes made by the LinkedIn in groups? Have you tried the latest Groups app? Have you completely explored the new LinkedIn groups? How are you using the LinkedIn groups now after the changes? Please share your thoughts and views with us.

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