For several years now, LinkedIn’s groups feature has been diminishing in importance and usefulness, partly because of excessive self-promotion, and partly because of spamming which has interfered with the usefulness to account holders. In principle though, the group feature should be a terrific concept on the platform, and that’s why LinkedIn is determined to make things right, so that the group feature can be restored to its former status as one of the app’s key features.
It is hoping to align some recent group improvements with many of the prevailing trends toward greater in-app engagement, so that groups will once again be restored to prominence. The recent announcement of updates and additional tools which it has provided to improve group functionality, should serve to increase interaction among LinkedIn groups and drive greater engagement. Here are some of the most important updates recently announced, as well as some of the tools now being offered to support the group feature.
Search for content
In the area of group membership, LinkedIn is now providing some brand-new search options which will allow members to find specific content or comments containing certain keywords. This can be a very valuable kind of search to conduct when you’re looking to find all the commentary about any particular subject, so you can have it all in one place before you. As an example, if you wanted to find out all the latest buzz about employment in Boston, you could search for that, and you would be returned a listing of all content and comments which included those keywords.
Administrators will now have the capability to block specific members right from a comment which has been made within the group. This will make it a great deal easier to eliminate some of the junk and the spamming which has served to diminish the value of the group feature. Spamming had grown to epic proportions within some groups, and that made them virtually unusable because all the useful content was drowned out by the spam. With this new capability, an administrator can go right to the source of that spam, and block the account so that no further spam is shared with the group.
Group administrators will have even more power provided to them, since they’ll be able to locate members by filtering on certain criteria such as industry, company, location, or school. This will help to quickly group all those individuals from Boston, Massachusetts, or from the aerospace industry, or those who work for the New York Times. This is a feature which is expected to be extremely useful when it becomes necessary to interact with a specific group who have that same common thread.
Remove all posts
Another new capability which will be made available to group administrators is that of deleting all posts from any specific member. This is another step intended to curb the potential for spammers to go wild within a group, or to remove any offensive posts which have been supplied by group members. It’s not quite the same thing as blocking a member from a group, which would prohibit all posts from being seen by members of the group, but it does remove all previous posts submitted by a specific account holder.
Moderate new posts
This is considered to be a long-awaited and essential capability for group administrators, because it allows them to review every single post before it is allowed to be shared among members and to go live. This should prevent all distasteful posts from ever appearing before the group, and it should prevent all spam from finding its way into the group as well. Most other platforms have had the same capability for several years now in their online forums, and LinkedIn has finally gone with the flow and added the same capability on its platform.
New invitation setting
One of the more innovative options now being made available to group administrators is to allow group members to invite connections into the group. At the same time, the administrator will have the option to prevent any specific group member from inviting those same connections into the group. The strategy behind this is to provide more control over potential new members in any group, and to only allow members to invite new group members, after they have shown that they are responsible in carrying out that option. On the other hand, those members who have invited new members into the group which have turned out to be problems, would could be prevented from offering any further invitations in the future by the group administrator.
Group administrators will have the capability of recommending posts to group members which they think will have value to the entire group, and should be read accordingly. It will of course, also be possible for group members to find these recommended group postings, so they can follow up on the advice of their group administrator and gain some value from the recommended post.
LinkedIn has added some brand-new options which will make it much easier to share information about any group on the platform, both in LinkedIn feeds and in messages sent in private. The reason it would be advantageous to share information about specific groups is to make them known to others who might potentially be interested, and to clarify the actual interests of specific groups. With a built-in facility for accomplishing this information sharing, it is much more likely that group members will take advantage of it and disseminate information about various groups, which will be advantageous for everyone.
One last step LinkedIn is taking to increase the usefulness of its group feature is to improve group notifications. This will ensure that all group members are made aware of the most useful and relevant posts made by any group. It’s very possible for group members to miss some of the most important posts which have been made by other members, so this refined notification process will help to ensure that this possibility is diminished. Now whenever relevant group posts are made available to members, a notification will alert them to the fact, so they won’t miss anything important.