A recent Social Media Examiner post gave great networking advice for LinkedIn groups. They talked about how to assess groups before you join them and gave a helpful evaluation checklist, but they skipped a terrific LinkedIn group assessment tool.
When you want to know about member engagement, and avoid spam, check the group’s statistics before you join. To do this, click the “I” on the top right of the group’s home page. That will give a drop down menu where you can click “Group statistics.” Like this:
You’ll see a Statistical Summary page that tells you (1) how many members the group has, (2) their seniority, (3) how many comments (member engagement!) the group has had in the last week, (4) the group’s biggest geographical concentration, and (5) the group’s biggest functional concentration.
In addition, from the summary page, you can click links for more demographic information, growth, and activity.
Click the “Growth” link and check out the graph and percentage growth to make sure members are staying put and attracting others. If that trend line slants down, think twice about joining. It means
spam members have chosen to disengage.
Next, click the “Activity” link. You’ll see that this group, AARP’s “Life Reimagined for Work,” had 35 discussions last week which 65 people commented on. The group had minimal job posting and promotional activity. The graph gives you a quick visual on engagement. If you want to join groups with great engagement, look for the blue line (comments) to be on top of the orange line (discussions started). Those blue peaks means this group has some real engagement.
This tool is a bit of a sleeper but couldn’t be quicker or easier to use. Don’t miss it when you want to find LinkedIn groups that have great engagement and little or no spam!
For ideas about non-LinkedIn networks, see this.
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Updated February 2014