Have you been trying to share your blog posts or links to articles within LinkedIn Groups and finding that they aren't showing up?

Recently LinkedIn eliminated RSS feeds from groups as a way to help group managers control the volume of posts coming in as discussions as well as to control spam. But the effort didn't stop there. I've recently investigated what has changed regarding posting to LinkedIn Groups.

LinkedIn Groups Have a New “Discussion Posts” Algorithm

As a LinkedIn Group manager myself, I was puzzled about what was going on. All of a sudden there were numerous discussions showing up under the “Promotions” tab in my group of over 3000 financial advisor members. In the past, I had always been reviewing my group discussion posts manually before approving them, or marking them as “promotional”! Now, this work was being done for me?

Welcome to LinkedIn's new algorithm to filter out promotional posts. LinkedIn has begun to filter group discussion posts to determine if they are promotional or not. LinkedIn has told me that they are filtering out posts by keywords that have any sort of promotional context, but they wouldn't give me specifics other than telling me that words like “sale” and “promotion” were part of the algorithm. LinkedIn also told me that I can't control which keywords to filter for.

When I reviewed the most recent posts to my group appearing under the Promotions tab, every single one of them contained a link, and most of them were clearly self-promotional. In other words, these folks weren't interested in starting a true discussion with group members, they were interested in posting links to their own blog posts, products, and services.

Most of the posts under the Promotions tab contain the words “I”, “me” or “my”.

Are LinkedIn Groups that you Belong to Affected?

Unless LinkedIn Group Managers are paying attention to their settings, this is going to be a default setting. Group managers can update their settings to decide how to categorize posts to the group manually by checking the box under Group settings that says:  Allow only moderators and managers to move discussions to the Promotions area

Chances are that most the groups you belong to won't choose to manually control the filtering of new posts to the group. Why? It's just too much work, especially for larger groups! Frankly, I'm relieved to see this new feature as a group manager because it makes my job easier. The downside is I'm sure that some quality content that group members could benefit from will get missed. Algorithms aren't perfect.

How to Share Links to LinkedIn Groups Now

Whether you are sharing your own helpful blog posts (notice I said helpful) or trying to point your fellow LinkedIn Group members to other reputable online content (notice I said reputable), you need to do so in a way that is not self-promotional! You're going to need to share your content to LinkedIn Groups in a way that is thoughtful and strategic.

There are still tools available that allow you to share posts and links to LinkedIn Groups such as Hootsuite and Buffer (this is a referral link to Buffer). In my opinion Buffer does a much better job of this by pulling in an image with the link (see image below). Hootsuite needs to work on this.

LinkedIn Group Post Using Buffer

LinkedIn Group Post Using the Buffer App

You can also still share to LinkedIn Groups from a status update on your profile.

However, using any of these methods above will not guarantee that your posts that contain links are going to get visibility within LinkedIn Groups.

Your best bet is to post your update manually to each of your LinkedIn Groups, and include a question that will genuinely engage other members in a discussion. Doesn't seem practical? Then focus on really making an impact in only a handful of groups rather than trying to be involved in up to 50 groups, which is the limit for how many LinkedIn will allow you to join.

Another best practice in posting links to LinkedIn Groups is to leave out the words “I”, “Me”, and “My”. These posts to LinkedIn Groups will most likely land you in the promotions category where no one will see your update.

Lastly, consider starting a LinkedIn Group discussion by asking a question or sharing a value message rather than posting a link. Leave the link out when initiating discussions and instead point group members to reputable content links as a part of ongoing discussions.

(Further reading on how to properly and effectively promote your blog content in LinkedIn Groups)

Chances are if you were getting any blog traffic or visibility from posting your links in multiple LinkedIn Groups without really intending to initiate discussions, it was not high quality traffic. You're much better off posting to LinkedIn Groups in the way in which they were originally intended to be utilized…as discussion forums.

What are your thoughts?

Will you continue to post links to content in LinkedIn Groups? If you manage a group, are you happy about these changes? Please share your thoughts with me in the comments!