It’s no secret that LinkedIn is the number one social networking site for B2B Marketers.
Given the network’s user base of over 380 million and the fact that it’s a source of 80% of B2B social media leads, LinkedIn’s prominence in the B2B industry will not change any time soon.
So if and when LinkedIn makes a necessary change it is important that organizations make a note.
LinkedIn has made more than 2 million discussion groups private, a major step in the social network’s efforts towards improving the quality and professional nature of membership groups.
The move here was based on feedback of LinkedIn groups who craved real connections with peers and industry leaders helping them learn and grow.
Along with making the groups private, LinkedIn has also introduced several other changes that warrant a closer look for any brand making strides and gaining social presence on the network.
Here are the eight changes to LinkedIn groups that B2B marketers need to be aware of.
1. Groups have been designed with new features and fresh looks
LinkedIn members now can add images to their posts and mention other users they have in the group. Organizations believe that these changes can easily cut down on clutter, spam and promotional content within groups.
The navigation panel is simple and LinkedIn has significantly increased the amount of open space on the pages. The changes shown are among the most notable tweaks of LinkedIn groups.
2. Privacy of groups mean they won’t be indexed by search engines
The information that is generally shared on LinkedIn groups won’t be sharable via Google or any other search engine.
This exclusivity will increase the value of conversations held in different groups, followed by the fact that new ideas and strategies shared among members will be known to the ones who are a part of the group.
This major change will help B2B marketers establish thought leadership, showcasing knowledge that can lead prospective clients and customers to come back and check their company page, employee profiles and marketing collateral.
3. Group members will now be vetted
In order to join any LinkedIn group you need to make sure that your credentials are updated.
Having a professional image is a must, as well as having a fully fleshed out profile so that group administrators can assess how well they fit into their community. This generally works out positive for marketers who have spent deliberate time in optimizing their company profiles.
4. Changes for open groups
As an admin of a formerly open group, remember that your discussions can be seen on the web and shared among other social networking sites.
You need to have a bit of control on whoever has joined the group and what posts have been published.
Here are the changes for open groups:
- If your group has a sub group, then they are no longer considered to be the subgroups but regular groups. You will likely have to rename your subgroups along with the links to the old subgroups in the about us section of your LinkedIn group.
- Conversations won’t be public and are now no longer searchable, which will again mean that more people will want to post and comment since they feel safer. On the other hand you will get far less eyes on the discussions compared to before since the comments and discussions were the only thing that were first visible to the group.
5. New app available for LinkedIn groups
LinkedIn has released a stand alone group app, just for iOS with the android version in the pipeline.
Searching for various groups will not be possible through the app, but you can participate in discussions through the app followed by a new algorithm suggesting new groups just for you based on your profile and past interactions.
The new app will appeal to users who constantly engage in discussions whether on the go or in office. Leveraging the convenience of this mobile app and staying ahead of your engagement opportunities as a part of your social monitoring approach.
6. You can now recruit talent without distracting a group
There is a new tab made available within LinkedIn groups for various discussions related to job opportunities. The job seekers can approach hiring managers and other relevant individuals about job opportunities they are having separately, without distracting the quality and focus of the other individuals in the groups.
Having the job conversations being moved away from pure discussions, your insightful and influential messages will continue to compete less with the personal interests of some other group members.
7. Spammers will be put into the naughty corner
From now onwards anyone who is perceived to be spamming the group will be relegated to a penalty box, or indeed booted out of the group altogether.
This privilege of acting against spammers not only extends to the group manager but to all the other group members as well.
Yes that’s right, any group member will now have the power to report or remove conversations that they believe don’t meet the guidelines of LinkedIn, and can even block the person who makes these comments.
8. Discussions are now called conversations
Every conversation that you have on LinkedIn will now be published automatically without any approval from the manager of the group. However the manager of a LinkedIn group can still remove the post, marking specific people as required in moderation.
There have been issues with LinkedIn groups for quite a long time now. And these changes will be exciting only for those marketers who are already leveraging LinkedIn’s power in the social landscape.
Now is the time for you to revisit your LinkedIn strategy using these new features and enhance your brands social presence.
What are your experiences with these changes made to LinkedIn groups? Better, worse or the same? For a Linkedin Consultation schedule an appointment here.