Elevate Social Selling with LinkedIn Groups!

With all of the changes over the past year to LinkedIn, its Groups feature has taken a back seat. Heck, it’s not easy to even find them anymore. Over the coming months, though, LinkedIn Groups will gain more prominence in the platform… and that’s a really good thing for social selling reps.

During my trainings, I’ve always highlighted Groups as a great way for sales reps to build their reputations as thought leaders in their vertical – they become the “go-to gal/guy” in their respective area(s). As a result, their companies also become authorities in their sector. Groups are also a great way to engage with others in a specified area, which can lead to sales-based conversations.

The feature had fallen out of favor, with one reason being the link to reach them was buried under a drop-down in LinkedIn’s main navigation bar. It only makes sense that if you can’t easily find a feature, you’re not going to use it all that much – if at all.

LinkedIn Groups’ descent into obscurity, though, is over.

Changing LinkedIn Groups

In mid-January, I received an InMail from a LinkedIn executive that proclaimed Groups are “re-integrating back into the core LinkedIn experience.” LinkedIn acknowledged the importance of Groups in its message and promised to make Groups “a bigger part of the main LinkedIn experience.”

Details were scarce, but here are two promised improvements:

  • Easier access to Groups from the homepage, with the ability to see the latest content through the homepage feed and notifications.
  • Better conversation tools, including the ability to post videos, @mention the members you want to weigh in and reply to comments to keep the conversation going.

Later in the month, LinkedIn started rolling out parts of the new notification feature. You’ll soon begin seeing notifications for social activities on your group posts in real-time, including likes, comments, and @mentions. If you run a Group, you’ll also see alerts for membership activities such as group invitations.

If you don’t want those notifications coming to you, and I’m not sure why you wouldn’t if you intend to use Groups to elevate your social selling and create new opportunities, here’s the link to update your preferences.

Bye Bye Mobile

One result of the changes is that the LinkedIn Groups app for the Apple iOS platform will be going away. I have to admit, I had the app on my phone but never used it. I’d like to hear in the Comments section if you ever used the app and what you thought of it.

With the discontinuance of support for the app, LinkedIn promises that users’ existing group memberships and contributions won’t be affected. LinkedIn says its goal is to create an even-better Groups experience within the main LinkedIn applications. If I had to guess, I’d say that Groups will likely become a part of the main LinkedIn mobile app (as well as gain a spot in the main navigation of LinkedIn.com).

Searching LinkedIn Groups

If LinkedIn asked me about any other changes I’d like to see, my one recommendation has to do with searchability. Right now, you cannot search for Groups from within the Groups page. They do have a very useful “Discover” feature that, when clicked, brings up groups in which you may be interested. Previously, if you wanted to search for specific groups by keyword or geographical location, for example, you had to exit out of the Groups interface and search for them from the main LinkedIn.com.

Bringing the searching of groups into the Groups interface would be the icing on the cake of a feature that’s very valuable, but often ignored. Hopefully, with the other changes coming, LinkedIn Groups will again become a valued (and utilized) part of LinkedIn.