The average number of groups people join, on LinkedIn, is 9 according the LinkedIn’s analytics. My question is; are people finding them valuable?
I skim through groups all the time to gauge interaction and engagement and without doubt the majority of groups are filled with people posting their latest blog and getting zero responses. For years I have thought to myself ‘what’s the point?’ As LinkedIn considers that only 10% of users are in groups this seems like a massive time wasting exercise to me.
Well I’m pleased to announce that groups appear to be going the way of the Dodo! Let me clarify, not the groups themselves but the prehistoric way people currently use them and I personally am embracing this with open arms.
There have been literally millions of people following each other’s misguided strategies in groups and using them in the same way. Asking a fake question to attempt to provoke interest and then providing the answer in a self-promoting blog or article underneath. I thought the pure definition of marketing is having the right offer, at the right time with the right person. This strategy does not meet any of these criteria.
I’m part of an Australia networking group that had 938 posts in one day! After 3 days when I checked in again half a dozen had some engagement but that’s all. The rest as far as I could tell, were all self- promoting blogs that had zero interest in them. This method is as dumb as the Dodo’s jumping off the cliff in the movie ‘Ice Age’. As funny as that scene was, it illustrates my point perfectly. Too many LinkedIn users are just following everyone else in fruitless efforts of time wasting exercises.
So what’s the alternative? Well if I continue on my theme of prehistoric animals, you can either act like a t-rex or a triceratops when posting in groups. You can either stalk the groups and ambush your victims with your self-serving blogs or you can be the triceratops and support your herd.
A triceratops was a gentle herbivore that assisted the young, protected the inexperienced, thrived with the strong and learned from the elders (until they were picked off by predators). Basically they supported the masses to be a strong unit. So how does this look in a LinkedIn group? Essentially it’s a two pronged strategy. Giving others the opportunity to shine and get help from your herd to assist you to shine.
Post a question, rather than your blog. If you really have something important to say, ask a member of your herd to post a question for you. This will then be the perfect opening for you to post your answer with your blog showcasing your expertise to the group.
Groups such as the Sydney Business Network Ninjas are taking on this trend fully. We’ve banned blogs at the start of a discussion. It is a Q&A format only and the engagement is huge. This format is quite new in the USA and very new in Australia but I think it’s going to eliminate all the t-rex’s out there preying on LinkedIn and its users.
Just remember the triceratops was also the only herbivore that could defeat the t-rex by ramming its central horn into the chest of the t-rex. I predict these types of groups will overtake and eliminate the groups that are currently full of these self-promoting carnivores.
You have just been Ninjafied by the LinkedIn Ninja Down Under