Your LinkedIn Group Probably Sucks

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My personal secret is that I’m not very cynical. I am an optimist. I believe in freedom, John Cougar Mellencamp and apple pie.

I even like Human Resources professionals…

…until someone tells me, “I’m going to start a new LinkedIn group.”

Yeah, great. I barely have time to see the dentist, pay attention to my cats, and get to the gym on a regular basis. You know what I need more of in my life? LinkedIn Groups. Please. Start another one so I can get a bunch of spammy email messages from people I don’t know.

LAURIE SOME PEOPLE FIND GREAT VALUE IN LINKEDIN GROUPS AND YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR SETTINGS, YO.

Ohhhhhh… hey… wait a second. I can change my settings and opt-out of a really boring LinkedIn group? Yeah, thanks for that. You’re a social media maven. And like that’s the point.

As we’ve noted in the past, everyone needs to start somewhere. Baby steps. But please slow down and take a pill before you start a LinkedIn group and send me an invitation. There are 1,000 other HR LinkedIn groups out there that are automatically better than yours.

You suck before you get started. Doesn’t mean you can’t compete but you’re late to the game. And PS that shit is hard to maintain. My good friend, Bill Kutik, just got married. Before that, he toiled away as a miserable LinkedIn group administrator. He tries to keep his group interesting by keeping out idiots and spammers. This is no ordinary task. No matter what automatic settings you use, the jerks will find a way into the group.

I know for a fact that Bill barely has time to be married — let alone smoke a few cigarettes and take an afternoon nap. Running a LinkedIn group is Sisyphean at best. Why do you want to do that?

Listen, I’m not cynical. Here are some alternative ideas so you can be awesome.

  • Be a champ and get involved in a thriving community.
  • Post some comments on a blog. How about this one?
  • Write an op-ed piece and post a link via your personal LinkedIn status update.
  • Find another LinkedIn group and get to know those members. Hijack some discussion threads with your brilliance.

And advertise on the best LinkedIn groups out there.

That’s what I would do.

Doesn’t take a sales or marketing genius to tell you to ‘fish where the fishes are’ instead of wasting time and energy on creating a marketplace that needs energy and momentum to sustain itself.

But no, go ahead, start that HR LinkedIn group.

FYI I’m over here. Being cynical about your strategy.

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