We all know how awesome LinkedIn is to the working professional. Most of us have a LinkedIn account and most of us are members of groups, but how can we find out which groups will be most beneficial to us? With over 1.5 million groups on LinkedIn it can become very confusing very fast. For example, there are over 30 results when I type in "University of Utah Business". How do I know which group would be most beneficial to my career? Is this group even active? Where do most of the people in this group live? Fortunately, LinkedIn has started using analytics in order to make this information readily available to us as group members or group owners.
In November 2011 LinkedIn finally came out with the much demanded and anticipated analytics tool for groups called Group Statistics. Before this analytics tool was released, many group owners had to use third-party applications or personal spreadsheets in order to track data such as growth of group, click through rates, lead generation, etc. Fortunately, group owners AND group members can now benefit from this tool without having to spend the time or resources to measure the success. Check out the analytics for the University of Utah Professional MBA group on LinkedIn - http://www.linkedin.com/groups?groupDashboard=&gid=2572660&trk=myg_ugrp_an&goback=%2Emyg. LinkedIn Group Statistics has four main sections: summary, demographics, growth, and activity.
1) Summary: This is where you can see general info; such as, number of members, comments made in the last week (0 comments for the University of Utah Professional MBA group - FYI), location and job function of the majority of members, and ranking of position titles.
2) Demographics: This section breaks down analytics across seniority, job function, location (surprise, 82% of UofU PMBA group members live in Salt Lake City!), and industry for the members of the group.
3) Growth: In the Growth view you can see how the group has grown over time (0 week over week growth for UofU PMBA group), the number of members in the group, and the number of new members in the last week. If groups grow fast enough, they can earn the coveted "Sky-rocketing" badge.
4) Activity: Here is where you can see the comments, discussions (1 discussion in last week for UofU PMBA group), jobs, and promotions over the last week. It also includes a monthly chart to see the number of comments and discussions over time.
As I quickly learned, I either need to start participating more in the UofU PMBA group, start recommending others join the group, or start looking for a new group to join. If only I had known about LinkedIn Group Statistics before I decided to add another one of those "this sounds like a great group!" groups to my professional profile.
The analytics tool on LinkedIn is becoming even more popular with group owners. In fact, many businesses are now using Group Statistics to generate leads, monitor success of new launches through frequency of comments and discussions, determine where to focus marketing efforts by the demographics of their group, and figuring out which types of members their group attracts. Group Statistics on LinkedIn is by no means a powerhouse web analytics program like Google Analytics (http://www.google.com/analytics/), but for a social networking site, it is helping group users and group owners more efficiently and effectively link in with the right people who can guide them to career success or business profitability.
So next time you are on LinkedIn, click on that little graph next to the group you're thinking of joining before you click on that "Join Group" button.