4 tips for managing a LinkedIn group

Posted by Faye on November 20, 2013 in The Social Networks |

How to effectively manage a LinkedIn group

Even though LinkedIn is a social networking site for professionals, there appears to be a lot of unprofessional behavior going on. If you manage a LinkedIn group, you know what I’m talking about.LinkedIn groups

In the LinkedIn groups I manage, I’ve noticed that spammers have tried to weave their way into them in order to promote their get-rich-quick schemes and shill for their useless products.

When potential group members check out the discussions in a group they’re interested in joining, and see that most are self-promotional in nature, they will most likely leave. And join another group that is spam-free.

If you manage a LinkedIn group, here are some tips to keep your group on the straight and narrow.

1. Open vs. closed group

An open group is one where anyone can join. In a closed group, membership requires approval from the group manager. Open groups are easier to manage because you don’t have to manually approve people who request to join. Closed groups are typically created for company clients, or other private/members-only organizations where topics in some discussions might be proprietary. Discussions in a closed group are not visible to non-members. If you’re creating a group from scratch, you will need to decide which type of group you want to create. You can convert a closed group to an open group later on, but you cannot convert an open group to a closed group.

2. Create your group rules

Create your group rules as soon as you set up your group. Rules define the group’s structure. This is where you tell potential group members what the group is about and what they can expect after they join. Make sure they understand the types of discussions they are allowed to submit. Here’s an example:

LI group rules

Group rules (click for clearer image)

Although I prefer to call them group guidelines, make sure your rules are clear and concise, so everyone understands your expectations.

3. Keep out the spam and self-promotion

There’s nothing I enjoy less than visiting a group and scrolling through endless posts of self-promotion and meaningless drivel to find legitimate discussions. “Permissions” and “Restrictions” are the settings that allow you to control what’s being submitted. There are a range of options, but I would recommend you start by requiring members to submit everything for approval. Otherwise you’ll get self-promotional spam trickling through the discussions feed. Which is annoying to group members. Once you recognize members who are contributing valuable content, you can always change individual permissions later.

All submissions fall under one of three categories: Discussions, promotions, or jobs. If a submission is improperly posted in the wrong category, you have the option of moving it to the correct one, or deleting it. I have no problem deleting irrelevant discussions, or moving them to promotions, because I have clearly spelled out in the rules what will happen if members don’t follow the rules.


Spam example (click for clearer image)

This is not what you want members or potential members to see when they visit your group.

4. Initiate and contribute to discussions

Your goal should be to have many active and valuable discussions, so members will want to keep coming back to read interesting content and participate in the conversations. Comment on your members’ discussions, and thank them for sharing an interesting article. Your members will feel valued, and will most likely continue to provide valuable contributions to the group.

Go forth and manage your group!

Managing a LinkedIn group comes with lots of responsibility. LinkedIn makes it easy by providing notifications next to the “Manage” tab – reminding you that you have submissions pending. Check your notifications daily, approve/delete or move submissions to the appropriate category, and you will have a rockin’ group that members will want to join and participate in.

Do you manage a LinkedIn group? What are some of the frustrations you’ve experienced?


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  • What great tips. I loved all your information. And you are right, people should be mindful of others when they are posting.

  • Shailendra Agarwal says:

    I am ‘owner’ of a group on Linkedin ( POLYURETHANES) with about ~ 4500 members. :-) I always thought that maybe I am doing something wrong, however, your post ( especially point no. 3) reinforces ,what I have been doing. The people who want to post only about their products/services have compared me with a dictator, called me racist ( ouch!) and have lectured me endless number of times.

    Thanks for posting this. It seems I am an ‘ideal’ owner ( so much of humility). Jokes apart, I discovered your blog today and have read through almost everything.

    • Faye says:

      Thank you for your comment Shailendra. I also have felt sometimes that members might think I’m a dictator! As long as you set the expectations up front in your Group Rules, you should have no problems. There is nothing wrong with letting people know that any self-promotional discussions will be moved under the “Promotions” tab. You want your members to find value in your group, and keeping out the self-serving discussions will maintain that value.

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