How to Stop Wasting Time in LinkedIn Groups

So, you think LinkedIn Groups are a waste of time? Chances are, if you’re simply “hanging out” here and there, you’re right. But like any networking effort — whether it be an in-person event, trade show or online forum — you’ll only get out what you put in. And, forget the shortcuts. There are no magical, cookie-cutter formulas that will rake in millions from the network. LinkedIn is powerful — but, requires real work.

First, the proof.

When it comes to professional networking, lead generation and lead nurturing, LinkedIn is simply unrivaled. LinkedIn’s value is especially evident for industry thought leaders and B2Bs aiming to make quality connections that specifically need their “niche” product or service. If you’re unclear about your sales plan and networking strategy, LinkedIn will only go so far. If you’re looking for quickie meetups and fast cash, forget it. However, if you’re serious about finding leads the old-fashioned way — by actually going out there and meeting people — LinkedIn Groups is a powerful tool.

Lead Generation / Conversion

According to a recent MarketingProfs study, those LinkedIn visitors coming from LinkedIn Groups account for the biggest percentage of business leads (measured via web forms) overall (~57.0%), followed by individual LinkedIn profiles (11.5%) and LinkedIn company profiles (9.2%).

First-Time Visitors

Nearly one-half (45%) of all leads to websites arriving from LinkedIn are first-time visitors. That level is higher for those arriving via “groups” (63.2%).

So how can you maximize the power of LinkedIn Groups without making it a second job?

Learn to Separate the Worthwhile From the Worthless

If you’ve ever joined a worthless LinkedIn group, you know the drill. Spam, self-promotion, irrelevant posts…yada…yada.

Here’s the good news: There are LinkedIn Groups that are flourishing, valuable, active and downright awesome. But, only the smart LinkedIn members know how to sort out the riff raff.

The most common mistake we see clients make is joining groups without taking a close look at their value. It used to be that you could only “sniff out” a group’s value by lurking and hanging out for a while. Not so anymore! Late last year, LinkedIn released the Groups Statistics dashboard for each group. 

LinkedIn Groups Statistics remains one of the most underutilized tools — yet it can quickly make your time on LinkedIn more productive.

Using the dashboard, you can look up the demographics and growth of each group. Better yet, you can also find out the quality of the networking and discussions.

Say “Sayonara” to the spam and “Hello” to the helpful!

1. Go to any group you’ve joined (open groups allow you to do this ahead of joining)

2. Go to More…> Group Statistics.

3. Now, click on the “Activity” tab.

4. Take a close look at the ratio of “Comments” to “Discussions”

  • Comments = Reactions, Comments and Interaction
  • Discussions = New “Posts” to the Group

Is this group worth your time? I think not.
The group below consists of a lot of people who like to start discussions. But no one is actually committed posting comments or responses. Looks like a bunch of posters but no participants.
Bye-bye time sink!

.

How `bout this one?
Hmmm…only if you like watching paint dry.
Where is everyone? Unless this is a group that just started, don’t waste your time.

.

Like Goldilocks said,
“This one is juuuuuust right.”
A good balance of discussions and comments. Get in there and start rubbing elbows!

How to Leave a Group

Okay, you’ve found your good groups and your time-sink groups. Don’t be shy about dropping those time sinks in a heartbeat. Your time is valuable. By leaving worthless groups, you claim back precious time that you could spend with quality groups that respect your time and energy.

Here’s where the elusive “Leave Group” function lives…

1. Click the More tab in the row under the group name and select Your Settings.

2. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the “Leave Group” button.

Your Turn
Have you found your LinkedIn Groups activity to be productive or a waste? Have you tried vetting your groups using the dashboard?

Deana Goldasich

Deana Goldasich, CEO and founder of Well Planned Web, plans and implements Content Marketing to help clients nurture leads, market their expertise and create an impactful presence online.

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8 Comments

  1. Doug Brock on April 12, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    Thanks Deana. I think it’s time for me to cull some of the groups that I either never visit or see low activity in. Great post!



  2. Deana Goldasich on April 12, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    Hi Doug! Thanks for stopping by and I’m so glad the post was helpful! Indeed, this one has hit home for a lot of folks. It even inspired *me* to go start cleaning up a bit too. Got two solid leads in the process 🙂

    We train clients on this constantly, but I realized I’ve been long overdue to do some Groups housecleaning of my own. 

    Enjoy narrowing your list. Let me know if you discover anything interesting or worth sharing in the process!



  3. Townsend on April 19, 2012 at 12:36 am

    Yes I agree, great article. Forum posting in your niche is a great way to develop relationships and to get targeted traffic to your site/offer/affiliate link.



  4. » Comment mieux tirer parti de LinkedIn on May 18, 2012 at 11:13 am

    […] Goldasich, Deana. «How to stop wasting time in LinkedIn groups», 10 avril […]



  5. Nick Braak on October 24, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Great info, nicely written with good graphics to boot. Thanks Deana. 

    What do you think about seeing the groups with an unbalanced posts to comments ratio as an opportunity?  IOW, seed some comments and wait to see if the silent members take any action?



  6. Deana Goldasich on October 25, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Hi Nick! Thanks for stopping by. Certainly, the moderator *at the very least* should be seeding comments in quiet or new groups. That’s always good for getting relevant, healthy conversations and community started. The issue is more in the groups where people post and leave — never to interact with others. It becomes more of a bulletin board than a forum. Those are the groups worth weeding out.



  7. Zoltan Newaza on November 2, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    When recruiters’ disguising themselves as employers on Linked-In that is pretty frustrating and makes most people angry.
    These pretty faced college girls posting the same useless information day after day months after months in job sections, they are clearly promoting themselves and not offering any jobs. They are not employers & don’t hire anybody! When you click on their link you are connected to a link, to a link, to a link, to a link. Then in return you’re getting absolutely irrelevant e-mails. (e.g. a security professional being offered training how to become a registered Nurse , Accountant or X-ray technician?)
    There must be a better way to regulate where recruiters are allowed to post their promotions. Not in jobs section would be a goo START.



  8. Zoltan Newaza on November 2, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    When recruiters’
    disguising themselves as employers on Linked-In that is pretty frustrating and
    makes most people angry.

    These pretty faced college girls posting the same useless information
    day after day months after months in job sections, they are clearly promoting themselves
    and not offering jobs. They have not job offers at all! When you click on their
    link you are connected to a link, to a link, to a link, to a link. In return
    you’re getting absolutely irrelevant e-mails. (e.g.  a security professional being offered
    training how to become a registered nurse or medical billings or x-ray technician
    ?)  

    There must be a better way to regulate where recruiters are
    allowed to post their promotions.



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