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HDC-LinkedIn-Blog-2365Over the years, LinkedIn Groups, the B2B collaboration feature that should have been lauded as one of the best online gathering places, has developed a bad reputation because of the spam posters that take advantage of the system. However, that’s about to change. LinkedIn has announced several improvement plans that will restore Groups to it’s original, intended glory, making it a great platform for businesses and professionals to network and share their industry’s best practices.

The biggest change moving forward is that all Groups will now be private – new members to the group will have to be invited in by either the owner or a member. This will make it harder for those who aren’t serious about the group to come in and advertise unrelated materials. Conversations that take place in the group will also be more private. In the past, search engines could pick up on keywords and display your group’s conversations to the world. Now, conversations that happen in the group will stay in the group. This means that you can now offer exclusive announcements and opportunities for your groups on LinkedIn.

Groups has also updated its settings to help streamline the user experience. The main change being the elimination of Subgroups. Any pre-existing subgroups will now be full-fledged groups. You can still associate your niche groups with your primary group by renaming them to show hierarchy. For example, “John Smith Real Estate” and “John Smith Real Estate – First Time Buyers” could be two of your groups.

You can also tag or mention someone on Groups now. Use the @ symbol to include interested parties in your posts. This can help you reach users who may benefit directly from your post. Groups has also added the ability to include images going forward to help strengthen your posts.

LinkedIn Groups has also released their new Groups App so you can more easily engage with your groups on the go. If you’re ready to up your game on LinkedIn, download the free eBook, Five Steps to Building your Brand on LinkedIn. For help managing your social networking accounts, check out Social. Also be sure to visit the Blog for more tips and advice to help fuel your career!