How To Find the Best B2B Social Media Linkedin Groups

Most people learn how to use Linkedin by building a network of professional connections. Some even take the time to post updates to their activity feed. But if you haven’t noticed yet, not a lot of people hang out in the activity stream on Linkedin.

The lion’s share of real engagement happens in Linkedin Groups, especially for B2B companies. But not all Linkedin Groups. Most are veritable spam fests where unscrupulous marketers spam links to promotions or try to drive clicks to their blog posts.

So how do you find the really good Linkedin Groups? How can you tell which ones are worthwhile, and which ones are worthless?

You could just join a bunch of groups, follow the activity that occurs in each one and learn that way. But that’s time consuming. And since there are nearly 1.6 million Linkedin Groups and you can only join 50 at a time, finding the genuinely worthwhile groups that way could take a lifetime.

As an example, I used Linkedin Group statistics to analyze the three B2B social media groups I’ve been a member of to see which one is the best.

I’d rather spend more time in one Linkedin Group where I can have real discussions with other professionals who are interested in exploring a common topic, then spread myself thin over a bunch of groups, particularly if some of them are spammy.

Here’s how to use Linkedin Group Statistics to see which ones to join.

1. Review the Group

Go to the Linkedin Group you’re considering joining. But don’t join right away.

Instead, scroll down below the “Top Influencers of the Week” box in the right-hand column and find “Group Statistics.” The “3,759” number you see in the image is not accurate. Every group uses the same generic artwork. So ignore it and click “View Group Statistics.”

2. Review the Activity

Once you’re in the Linkedin Group Statistics page, click the “Activity” tab and check out the graph on the right. “Discussions” are new posts left to the Group and “comments” made underneath new discussions. A better way to think about “discussions” is as “new posts,” because if no one comments, they aren’t actually discussions.

3. Compare Discussions to Comments

The chart will give you a snapshot of whether or not people are having conversations. If the number of discussions is much higher than the number of comments, people are leaving new posts, but they’re not starting conversations. Unfortunately, this is the case most of the time in Linkedin Groups.

Now and again, as in the Linkedin Group used in the example above appears currently to be hosting healthy conversations, but not until recently. In fact, comments surpassed discussions just last month. Could it be a fluke?

4. Look at the Conversations

Let’s check it out and see. Just because there’s a healthy conversation going on, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a worthwhile group. A low ratio of discussions to comments is necessary, but not sufficient. So hop on over to the group’s activity feed and see if the discussions are interesting to you. If they are, join up.

As a rule of thumb, closed groups tend to be less spammy than open groups because they are actively monitored by a community manager. Some Linkedin Groups have rules for what they do and don’t allow. If they have rules, the manger will send them to you if your membership is approved.

So which B2B Linkedin Groups are the healthiest?

I compared the following Linkedin Groups:

Here’s what I found:

With more than 200 discussions posted in recent months, both B2B Online Marketing and BtoB Marketing do have more activity. But that’s not an indication of worthwhile conversation because they both have too few comments. There’s almost no conversation occurring there at all in these group, and since conversation is engagement, these are, you guessed it, spam fests.

B2B Social Media, on the other hand, has around half the volume of new discussions being posted, but those discussions most recently have started drawing a healthy number of comments. As of January, the engagement level has picked up sharply. For readers of this site, if you like what you see in the Group’s activity stream, this is the one to join.

Are there other ways you have evaluated LinkedIn Groups, or are there other B2B social media or marketing groups that provided value? Let other readers know in the comments below.

Comments

  1. says

    One way to find is the groups directory as you explain. Another way is the profile.

    If I know that one expert or one VP in my business is in a group it is an indication that this group is relevant.

    It also allows you to be closer from who you want to be seen by because LinkedIn considers that 2 members of a same group are level 2 contacts.

  2. Steve Madsen says

    If you would like to “spend more time in one Linkedin Group where I can have real discussions with other professionals who are interested in exploring a common topic”, group statistics can be very misleading as you state. As a group manager of several large groups(>100 K),who strive to promote these real discussions, the comparison of discussions to comments is a real indicator of engagement.

    In these days when everyone seems to have a blog, shares every industry publication with a group-related topic, there are some differences. In the groups I help manage, discussions are discussions. Anything with a link (blog, event, person, etc.) is a promotion. Many group owners and managers do not make this distinction and everything is allowed to be approved to discussions.

    The only way to know this, is get into the group and witness it for yourself. In this way, though, you might face a hit and miss proposition. The wait time between submission to approval is something that will indicate if a group is moderated or not.

    Influencers are an anomaly that don’t ring true either. I try to temper the thoughtful against the frivolous and often decline the frivolous because while they may garner some comments, they don’t cause critical thinking to be displayed.

    Your basic premise of using the group statistics can be a good starting point with choosing groups. And yes, open groups are sometimes more spammy than members-only groups. Open groups are good for owners who want to build numbers, but fall short in many cases thoughtful discussions with real meaning and implications for practice.

  3. says

    LinkedIn groups is the place where you can build engaging conversations, share helpful thoughts and insights. If you are targeting a certain industry or demographic joining to LinkedIn groups will help you gain more business leads. Thank you for the reminders:)

  4. says

    Thank you for this. I am a linked-in group novice who is trying to figure out the best groups to join. This provides me some really helpful insight.

    I am definitely more open to groups with more conversation and less promotion. That said, I am still wrapping my head around the best way to interact with these groups. i.e. What type of information/interaction do I actually want for myself (edification/participation) vs. my professional life as a marketer (some sort of awareness/interest building on behalf of my company).

  5. says

    Are there other ways you have evaluated LinkedIn Groups?

    Yes, I look for evaluations/recommendations by other people via Google. This has been quite fruitful in the past.

    Usually though after doing a bit of digging around via the group search I join and see for myself whether I think the group offers any value or not.

  6. says

    Some great tips to group acquisition. So many people join groups blindly based on the group name. This doe no good if you really want to make some connections.

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