Right now, there over 2 million groups available on LinkedIn. With more than half of all LinkedIn members belonging to at least 1 group and more than 8,000 new groups created weekly, have you considered a LinkedIn group strategy?

Creating your own LinkedIn groups is a strategy that can be used to grow your business. Running a group can help you to increase targeted connections, expand your network and get more clients.

On the flip side, leading a group isn’t for everybody. It’s best to know and understand if managing a group fits your strategy.

What Are the Benefits of Running a Group?

Running a group allows you to position yourself as the leader or ‘go-to’ person for the industry. It gives you visibility across your areas of expertise.

When someone joins your group and becomes a member, your group details and logo will be displayed on their profile.

This promotes your group to a wider audience and expanding your potential network.

LinkedIn groups can be exactly what you need to grow your business but can also bring a set of unexpected challenges if you’re unprepared. Some tips for starting a group include:

  • Have a clear purpose for the group;
  • Complete all the required fields and ensure all members know what to expect from you as expectations management is key;
  • Decide if you will you be checking in daily or weekly, or if you will require a co-manager of the group to reduce the workload;
  • Set clear expectations of your members to help you manage a situation where a member does not comply;
  •  Consider using the automation features to reduce manual workload;
  •  Maintain engagement by contributing topics for discussion and providing positive feedback to All-Star group members.

What Are the Disadvantages of Running a Group?

Running a group requires dedication and commitment, as once you start a group it cannot be closed or discontinued.

It can be time consuming and there are limited analytics and return on investment data.

This makes it difficult to gain a tangible measure of running the groups.

Running a group might not be beneficial to you if the members or topics within the group has a high potential for conflict and negative engagement.

What Do the Latest Changes Mean to Groups?

LinkedIn is currently rolling changes that will directly impact groups.

These include a new layout and interface, changes to privacy (groups will no longer be shareable by search engines), as well as a standalone app.

The group member experience is changing too.

Group owners will be able to fully view a group member before approving them. Any group member will now be able to report or remove conversations that they believe don’t meet the guidelines.

By rolling out these changes LinkedIn are showing a commitment to engagement and community. If you have a LinkedIn group now is a great time to revisit your group strategy. If you don’t it’s a great time to consider if it is worth it for you.