For many, LinkedIn has become an essential everyday tool, a pulsating panacea of opportunity, whether for jobseeking, business development or, throwing back to its supposed original intent, networking. For others, though, it has become a scurge: a constant barrage of unwanted messages and emails.
And the main culprit for all this hyperactivity is LinkedIn groups.
Too many of us are in too many groups. Myself included. LinkedIn allows users to be members of up to fifty groups (more when including sub-groups), which in my opinion is forty more than necessary; possibly even forty-five.
For conversational, educational and networking potential, hardly any of the groups I currently belong to are worthwhile. The same will be true of yours, too. Conceived a couple of years ago by a well-intended owner, other interests have conspired to dwindle interest and so, subsequently, the level of self-perpetuation required to make a good group work, has fallen through the floor.
When was the last time you initiated or contributed to a group discussion? Are you a genuine thought-leader or merely a voyeur?
Trouble is, whilst member proactivity recedes, the automatic opt-ins we agree to when joining groups, continue. This includes weekly updates and announcements; manager’s choices; and discussion commentary. Receiving all this from one group each week can be enveloping enough but multiply it by fifty, and you’ve got an irritation overload.
Undoubtedly these days it is better to a member of fewer but larger groups, provided, of course, they are relevant. And the latter point is pertinent. There are scores of similar-looking groups and it’s easy to be drawn to mass, but once in the group you often discover they are populated by undercover sales folk, flogging their metaphorical tea towels.
Take a look at your groups right now. How relevant are they, actually? If you’re a marketing professional, for example, are you a member of any of the top 10 most popular UK marketing groups on LinkedIn?
Rather than be perpetually peeved by it, use LinkedIn for what it’s best for – group engagement. But in this instance less is definitely more, so clear the decks and dump your useless LinkedIn groups now. Go!