The Death of LinkedIn Discussion Groups

April 5, 2014


This blog is being written because it is clear to me that people do not know how to properly use LinkedIn Discussion Groups.  So first a few definitions:

Spoken or written examination of a topic, a detailed consideration or examination of a topic, an informal debate

Something that promotes such as an advertising campaign or a post that is designed to promote a product, cause, organization or event

Unwanted electronic messages; to post a message many times to a newsgroup or an inappropriate message to multiple newsgroups. Usually promotional in nature

I run a fairly big LinkedIn Discussion Group (over 12,000 members) and I have noticed some unfortunate changes over the years.

  1. People are not allowing the photo of themselves to be displayed
  2. People post the same content on all or many of the discussion groups
  3. People treat discussion groups like advertising bulletin boards
  4. People are no longer paying attention to the content in LinkedIn Discussion Groups


This has resulted in the degradation of LinkedIn Discussion Groups.  Rather than having lively discussions, people post;

  • Links to articles they have read or written
  • Announcements of upcoming events
  • Content about what they do professionally

These are all one-way push messages and do not instigate a healthy discussion of anything.  The purpose they serve is to push out the individual’s message and then forget about it.  Then they take this same push message and post it on several discussion groups.

So LinkedIn Discussion Groups have become places where people promote and send out spam to the members of the group.  I believe people do this because of a false belief that they will become more visible on LinkedIn.

I think this is a symptom of the fact that people know they should be using social media and LinkedIn to raise their professional image, but they do not know how to use the different social media channels and specifically, the various functions within LinkedIn.


Post a question and invite people to express their opinion.  This is done by creating a catching heading which encapsulates your question.  i.e. “People are abandoning their LinkedIn Discussion Groups. Why do you think this is happening?”  Then for the content, briefly state your observations and/or beliefs and end the paragraph with an invitation asking people to express their opinions.


If you MUST promote, I encourage you to either push the promotions radio button or post the content on your own LinkedIn profile which by the way does a lot more to raise your visibility both within and outside of LinkedIn.  Posting the content in a discussion group is not seen by outside search engines.  Posting the content on your own profile is seen as a change to your profile which is recognized by outside search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.

So here is my call to action: What are you going to do to make LinkedIn’s Discussions more relevant and useful?



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