Why Do People Join LinkedIn Groups?

Back in the old days, pre group discussions or a searchable group directory (less than a year ago), there wasn’t much value in groups.  Sure they helped you see other members outside of your network.  You could contact those members, but there really wasn’t a significant way to interact and build community.

I finally resorted to creating a non-LinkedIn site to provide that sense of community for one group (www.northfultonbg.com).  With the addition of the searchable directory and the discussions features the equation changed.  Now you can interact with others.  The problem is that few people are participating.

So if you’ve joined a group, what are your expectations?  Is it only a cool graphic on your profile?  Is it too simply be able to contact and connect with a larger network without having to pay for a Premium account?

Discussions are the one feature that could truly provide value yet most people either aren’t reading the discussion questions or they just aren’t responding.  I posted a question in a 200 person group asking “What do you expect to get out of being a member of this group?”.  Seven days later and not a single response.

If I asked this same question in Answers I would probably get 30 to 40 responses.  The problem with these responses would be that active participants would be supplying the answers.  The real question is for those not actively participating.  It’s a Catch 22.  They’re not participating so they won’t answer the question, but their input would be valuable.

So if you’re not active (but for some reason you’re reading this blog), what do you expect out of group membership?  By the way if you are active, we’ll welcome any answers to the question.

Published by

Sean Nelson

Sean has been a Keynote speaker at Norvax University, conducts social media workshops and webinars, and has released three books on LinkedIn and written several social media guides. Sean currently runs Social Media Sonar, which in addition to providing free resources, manages social media strategies and tactics for companies. He is also a partner in Surge Labs, a conversion rate optimization company, helping companies improve conversions and profitability through scientific testing of Landing Pages, Websites, Email communications, and Shopping Carts.