Posted by: waynebreitbarth | January 9, 2011

The LinkedIn Users Have Spoken: Groups Are Most Useful

Happy New Year:
I want to start out by thanking all those who have already participated in my 2011 LinkedIn User Survey.  The response has been fantastic.  If you have not yet completed the survey, there is still time to let your voice be heard.

I couldn’t wait to share with you one of the most important and somewhat surprising results I am seeing.  I encourage you to put the information to use right away to help jumpstart your LinkedIn efforts in this new year.

Each time I conduct this survey (and I have been doing it since 2008), people are very interested to know what LinkedIn features others are finding to be most effective.  In other words, everyone wants to know what they might be missing that others find useful.  With something as new as LinkedIn, we are fearful that we are missing the boat and others have discovered some “golden feature” that would really jumpstart our efforts.

With that in mind, I ask this question on my survey:

“Which of the following LinkedIn features have you used and found to be helpful in your strategy for using LinkedIn?”

And the answer to that question in January of 2011—drum roll, please—is Groups.  [Lots of clapping and surprise from the audience]

Yes, Groups has dethroned People Searching, which was the winner of the previous five surveys.  [FYI—People Searching was a very strong Number 2 in this year’s survey.]  Over 85% of the respondents said that Groups was one of the features they used and found helpful.  I will share the full set of results, along with the infamous and always popular “My Two Cents,” in upcoming weeks.  However, I think it is important to have you reflect on just what your individual usage and habits are, so maybe you can rethink your usage of LinkedIn’s Groups.
I have personally always been a fan of the Groups function, and it has been highly ranked in each of my surveys.  But I will be the first to admit I was very skeptical when LinkedIn announced all the changes to the Groups function in 2010.  To me, it felt more like Facebook— way too busy and hard to follow—but it turns out my skepticism might have been directly related to my unwillingness to quickly embrace change.  I hope you will cut me some slack on that—I am 53 years old, you know.
So now that this news is out, what are you going to do with it?  If your answer is, “Hey, Wayne, you’re the LinkedIn trainer, author, and consultant; why don’t you tell me what I should do with this information,” I am so glad you asked!  I suggest you start by asking yourself these questions:

•       When was the last time I spent any time in each of the groups I am a member of?
•       When was the last time I looked for a new group to join?
•       When was the last time I posted a discussion point, question or thought in a group?
•       Have I recently reviewed the membership of my most important industry-related groups?
•       Have I done any keyword searching into a specific group I am in?
•       How many groups am I a member of?
•       Am I a member of all the available groups in my industry within the demographic region of the world that I serve?
•       Have I reviewed the profiles of the people I respect in my industry to see what groups they belong to?

The answers to these questions will hopefully lead you to a few new ideas, habits or uses for Linkedin’s Number 1 feature that you can implement right away in 2011.

In addition, I you can download a helpful resource that I have prepared for you titled “LinkedIn Groups: Ca$h In On This Powerful Tool” at:

As I mentioned earlier, the survey has not officially closed yet, and if you want to be a part of it, I would really welcome your opinion.  Included in one of the questions is your ability to request a full copy of the survey results.  You can complete the survey, a short 14 questions (should take you no more than three minutes), by clicking this link or pasting it into your Web browser.


  1. * I strongly speak that Linkedin system is very good and the group discussion is very useful, which is the strong position of Linkedin.
    * .

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