Have you ever considered joining one of the numerous professional groups on LinkedIn, in hopes of expanding your professional network, but hesitated because you weren't sure who the members are or how active the group is? The popular networking site has unveiled a new statistics dashboard that offers an inside look at a group's demographics, growth and activity.
For active online business networkers who use or might consider participating in specific groups to meet others in their industry or complementary industries, the new group statistics "provide visibility into the types of professionals in a particular group and the level and shape of the conversation," says LinkedIn principal product manager Ian McCarthy.
In the demographics view, LinkedIn says you can now see information about the seniority level, function/role, location, and industry of the professionals in a particular group. This is valuable for a networking entrepreneur because it provides "easy visibility into the types of expertise and functions of people in any given group, who is in your region or a region where your business is looking to expand, and whether the group is composed of the desired mix of senior, middle and entry-level professionals," McCarthy says.
Meanwhile, when you click on the growth tab you can see how a group's membership has grown over time, and the activity tab shows how regularly members start and contribute to discussions. It also displays recent job and promotion counts for the group. LinkedIn says a "sizeable" number of promotions can indicate that the group is being actively moderated by managers and members.
"We see millions of examples every week of how conversations in LinkedIn Groups provide not only an exchange of ideas and perspectives but also create a context for new professional relationships to develop," McCarthy says.
Will the expanded access to demographics help you decide which LinkedIn groups to join? Let us know in the comments section below.