LinkedIn Groups: Valuable or a Waste of Time?

I’ve been an advocate of LinkedIn Groups for a while, especially since they took away Answers.

This week I saw a message on Facebook that surprised me.  Michael Stelzner is one of the smartest entrepreneurs I’ve met, very savvy with social media, very likable, creative, and he’s been successful with his business ventures.  This message, from him, surprised me:


42,000 members in a LinkedIn Group… that’s pretty sizable. I think the only reason to shut it down is that it’s not bringing value to his business.  I’m guessing this is because:

  • As a Group Admin, when he sends out “announcements,” no one is acting on his call to action.  Note: Announcements are so powerful, if you own a Group and are not sending out Announcements, you are missing the main value of owning a LinkedIn Group.
  • There is too much spam.  This is a problem on many LinkedIn Groups, and something that people have complained about since the beginning. In his comments to that Facebook post he adds: “Actually we have staff dedicated to moderating our LinkedIn group and this is not a knock on LI, just the groups. In fact we have one of the cleanest groups out there as far as spam, but we have to remove 100s of comments a week that are self serving.”

On a semi-related note, LinkedIn has taken steps to reduce spam, kind of, but the implementation of the Site Wide Account Management (SWAM) is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever seen.  It allows one Group admin to say you are a spammer, and then you cannot post on any group.  To give one Group Manager that much power is nothing short of stupid.

Anyway, the idea that someone like Michael pulled the plug on a Group that big makes me question who is getting value out of their Groups.  Is it too hard to manage (taking too many resources)?  Is there no return value?

If you think this is overkill, and you have a Group and want to get more value out of it, check out this article: Introducing The Moderator’s Field Guide for LinkedIn Groups