LinkedIn® Groups Adds New Subgroups Feature

Last evening everyone that manages and/or owns a Group on LinkedIn® received (or should have) the following announcement.

“There are now over 300,000 groups on LinkedIn where professionals are discussing, sharing news and collaborating with each other. We sincerely appreciate your dedication to the LinkedIn group you manage. Your efforts are essential to the continued success of groups.


We’re happy to announce that later this week we are launching a long-requested feature for group managers: the ability to create subgroups. Subgroups are like a break-out session at a conference. They enable you to create more focused areas than in the main group.


Also, by creating and inviting members into subgroups, you can now send additional weekly Announcement emails to focused audiences.

To create and invite other professionals into a subgroup, visit your Groups and go to the group’s “Manage” tab today. Once you’ve created the subgroup, here are four easy ways to get it going quickly:

  • Set the aims for the subgroup by posting a featured discussion in the subgroup
  • Kindle the conversation by posting a news article with a brief comment every day for the first month of the group
  • Provide an ongoing focus for members’ attention by adding 10 RSS feeds related to the focus of the subgroup
  • Drive attention to the subgroup through your comments in the main group and in other groups where you participate”

Subgroups image

Within the Groups that you manage or belong to, Subgroups has the potential to increase the value of the discussion and at the same time provides another reason to become even more active on LinkedIn®.  Up until now, the Discussion tab had the tendency to be extremely cluttered with topics ranging over a tremendous number of topics.  The larger the group has become, the more unwieldy the value of the Discussion and News Tabs are.  In only the most actively managed groups has the owner/manager been able to keep the topics and posts in some type of order. It has grown into a task that has taken several hours a day to manage for the active groups.  One of the best managed groups that I have experienced is SalesBlogcast.com Group owned/managed by Doyle Slayton.  Doyle says that he has spent up to several hours a day to keep his Discussion tab in a readable and topic-worthy form.  He has strict rules and enforces them diligently.  Due to his efforts, his site now enjoys over 16,000 members.  If you are interested in Sales in any way, I recommend his group and his blog.

If you are a member of a group that is not taking advantage of Subgroups yet, be proactive and send a note to the Group owner with suggestions for Subgroups and how you would benefit from them.  If you are really interested in driving the success of the Subgroup, ask the owner if they would be willing to let you be an additional Manager for the group and focus specifically on the subgroup.  Some groups have grown extremely large, Linked-HR is currently the largest group with almost 147,000 members as of today.  Olivier Taupin is the Group Owner of Linked-HR Group and you can imagine the management activities that he and his team must invest to keep things focused.   Subgroups should create more focused discussions as well as save time for the Group owner/manager by allowing their members to place their comments and posts in an appropriate subgroup.

One of the new features within Subgroups is the Access methods for the Subgroup.  You have options that include:

  • Open Access: Any member of the group may join this subgroup without requiring approval by a manager. The subgroup will appear in the Subgroups directory of the group.
  • Request to Join: Users must request to join the subgroup and be approved by a manager. The subgroup will appear in the Subgroups directory of the group.
  • Invite Only: Only members who receive an invitation from the group manager may join the group.

This opens up an entire new use for LinkedIn®.  Think about how you might be able to benefit from this new feature.

As I wrote in an earlier post, Groups are where the action is on LinkedIn®.  What are some creative and useful ways that you want to implement as a Group owner or member?

  • Miles,
    Thanks for sharing the great news and your thoughts. Several of my clients (and a few freidns) are going to be happy when I point them to this post. One example is a staffing firm that has offices all along the West Coast as well as two separate categories of clients. Another is a real estate brokerage with a similar configuration. I can see how there would be a desire to keep everyone together for global information and also have an easy way to segregate for more regional needs.

    Again… thanks!

    Brent Jordan
    Brent@BrentOnLinkedin.com
    http://www.LinkedinSeattle.com

  • I like the concept of subgroups. I believe it will make the groups more effective especially the large ones. More leaders will become engaged, and you may even be able to find a thread of conversation much easier.

    I hope to be a sub group leader on some that participate in.

  • Thanks for the kudos Miles!

    I must admit that I’m still scratching my head over the decision to add subgroups. I think there are so many other group management tools that need to be added before a subgroup option becomes valuable. Here are a few examples:

    1. A tool that allows the group manager review “spam like” posts prior to posting.

    Let’s say a group manager decides that only “discussions” are allowed in the discussions forum… that means no re-direct links allowed in that section of the forum… if someone attempts to post anything containing a link, it goes straight to the spam cue for editing/approval.

    2. Another option would be to have a new “tab” for Events. Members would be allowed to promote events, along with the date and time, in this section of the group. When the event is in the past, it is automatically removed from the calendar.

    I could go on and on but I’ll keep it to those two examples for now.

    Maybe I’m seeing it wrong, but it appears to me that Subgroups are nothing more than another group within the group. So basically, it becomes another “room” for the group manager(s) to have to moderate and manage.

    At this point, I say “no thank you,” and will keep SalesBlogcast.com Group to only one main group.

    Thanks again!

    Doyle

  • Dear Miles,

    You are so right in your analysis.

    I have six large Groups (including Linked:HR you mentioned in your blog) and have asked the Members of all these Groups to tell me which subgroups I need to create first.

    The possibilities are endless and this will be certainly one of the successful features in Groups. This said there are still a lot we don’t know: Is there a limit in the number of sugroups? Are these subgroups included in the 50-Group limit? I also want to understand more about the rights of the subgroup managers.

    I don’t want to make any mistakes and will take a few days before starting creating my first subgroups. One think I know is that it will increase our work load but this also will increase dramatically the quality of our Groups.

    Just like Doyle, I am still scratchinh my head!

    Olivier Taupin
    Founder, Linked:HR

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