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Good Idea: LinkedIn sub-groups and how you can use them

Groups on LinkedIn have become an integral part of the community, with over 300,000 groups currently. LinkedIn sent out an e-mail to group managers early this morning announcing the launch of a new feature – the ability for group managers to create subgroups within their groups. LinkedIn describes the subgroups like break-out sessions at a conference: “They enable you to create more focused areas than in the main group.” Essentially, it’s a way to build smaller, more focused communities within the larger community of a group.

These are the current “types” of subgroups listed in the setup drop-down menu:

There’s also an “other” category. I don’t think their categories take advantage of the features’ potential, so I’ve come up with a few potential types of “other” subgroups:

1. Divide your LinkedIn subgroups by geographic location: If you run a large-scale group around an industry or interest, divide the subgroups by location. You can do this by country, state/province, metropolitan area, zip code – however broad or narrow you want to focus. This will allow members of your group who are close in proximity to one another to easily connect, online and off.

2. Divide your LinkedIn subgroups by industry: If you manage a group based in a geographic location (i.e. Linked Columbus) divide your group into industries so that members within that area can easily connect.

3. Divide your LinkedIn subgroups by specialty: If you manage a group within a broad industry (i.e. marketing), narrow the subgroups into specific focuses. This will allow members with the same specialty (i.e. broadcast, design, PR, social media, etc) to allow members easily connect.

4. Divide your LinkedIn subgroups by experience level: Within a group centered around an industry, experience level subgroups can allow entry-level members to share their experiences and grow together and allow senior executives to take advantage of each other’s wisdom. Of course these groups can still collaborate within the larger group.

5. Divide your LinkedIn subgroups by age range: For localized groups, especially ones with active members who like to collaborate in person, age range divisions can allow members to easily connect with other members who are similar to them in life experience. Probably not the best division for a professional group.

Every group is different so how you subdivide the group depends on how your members interact with it. By choosing the right smaller groups and setting them up properly, you can enhance group membership and encourage your members to build up smaller communities, and thus the community as a whole. LinkedIn suggests four ways for managers to quickly build subgroups:

* Set the aims for the subgroup by posting a featured discussion in the subgroup
* Kindle the conversation by posting a news article with a brief comment every day for the first month of the group
* Provide an ongoing focus for members’ attention by adding RSS feeds related to the focus of the subgroup
* Drive attention to the subgroup through your comments in the main group and in other groups where you participate

And hey, if your group only has 10 members, even if they’re extremely active – well, good for you, but subgroups are probably a waste of your time.

To create a subgroup… visit your group and click the “manage” tab and then “manage subgroups” in the right sidebar. Next, click “create a subgroup” and give it a name, type, summary and description. You can choose whether you want the subgroup to be open or if members must request to participate. You can also give your group a logo and website URL.


What ways do you plan to divide your LinkedIn group?

4 Responses to “Good Idea: LinkedIn sub-groups and how you can use them”

  1. […] will look at creating subgroups (another new feature). There are some good ideas on subgroups here via […]

  2. […] Good Idea: LinkedIn Subgroups & How to Use Them Using LinkedIn Subgroups for Business Linkedin Sub-Groups – Just Like a Group, Just Special […]

  3. Jan Mead says:

    Thank you for this information. I work in the career center of a university and can see how having sub-groups would be very helpful in distributing appropriate information.

  4. Valentina Unger says:

    Hi Cheryl,

    Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any “create a sub group” tab within any of my groups in LinkedIn.

    Would you have another idea on how to create a sub group to an already existing group?

    Thank you kindly in advance,

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