I Was Booted Out of a LinkedIn Group (Don’t Worry, I’m Back)

I didn’t even realize it until I went to post a discussion and I received the startling message that I had been “banned” from Linked: HR, the largest HR group on LinkedIn.

Yikes. What did I do wrong?  I wrote to one of the Group’s administrators to ask why and beg forgiveness. He was very nice and wrote back that it had happened a couple of months ago and no one knew why, so he was readmitting me.

LinkedIn GroupsBe Careful What You Post

I don’t know why either, but I lately I have received several detailed emails from administrators sent to all Group members. They are clamping down on spam, inappropriate discussions or Promotions that are mistakenly placed in Discussions and vice versa.

LinkedIn has expanded tremendously in the past couple of years and there are growing complaints about the amount of spam that people are posting. I’ve seen discussions where people have posted comments that had nothing to do with the topic – like how to make a quick buck with their get-rich-scheme. These are deleted  immediately but it angers members and creates more work for the group administrators.

Building Relationships

While many of us are using social networks to build our brands and business, it’s important to remember that first we need to build relationships. We do that by posting content that adds value to our  groups: how to do something, a list of resources, or solutions to problems. Sure, we can brag about an award we won — in our own updates.

I am very active in the Blog Zone’s subgroup, Bloggers Helping Bloggers. A small core of us regularly comment on each other’s posts and offer advice to each other on blogging. I’ve never met any of them, but they’ve become friends and I know there has been business referred by and to members.

One member, Dennis Salvatier, is a terrific designer and also a blogger. He and are collaborating on a post that will appear next week in this space.

What Not to Do

I’ve become very cautious about the content I post to LinkedIn Groups. I’ve also cut down on the number of groups I belong to so I can become more actively engaged with members. I’ve learned a lesson. If you don’t want to get the boot from a LinkedIn Group follow these simple rules:

  • Post content that is appropriate to the Group. If it’s a technology group, don’t post your content about how to use a consumer product.
  • Start discussions about real issues in an industry or a problem that you know others are facing. I was the Top Influencer of the Week for four straight weeks when I started a discussion in a human resources group about why companies treated laid off employee like criminals, escorting them from the premises. That got a ton of comments with people sharing ideas about how to do it better.
  • Post your content in the right place. Most groups are very strict about not allowing promotional content in Discussions. It will be deleted. As the rules for Small Biz Nation state: “Discussions must be relevant to the thread. If it is obvious that the post is spam or self-promotion, the post will be removed.” Most groups use the Promotions tab for posts about events, webinars, and services.

It’s a simple formula, really. Follow the rules, make friends, and don’t annoy LinkedIn group administrators.

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Comments

    • Thanks,Shoya. All the social networks keep changing the rules. It’s hard to keep up. Hope you have your image set in the Facebook update of fan pages scheduled for tomorrow. Otherwise, they will just publish your new page as they want it!

  1. As always, it’s sage advice you have. I’ve noticed that recently there are not just more spammers in groups, but people who want to connect start off the relationships with an email to sell you something under the guise of wanting to connect. It’s too bad but it’s just like face to face networking.

    • Agree, Pat. And I still continue to receive many default “I want to add you to my network on Linked” invitations from people I don’t know without any personalization or reason for connecting.

  2. This is a typical mistake that most people make. You need to really be careful what you post on the internet because employers are watching and I’ve even heard of people not getting some positions because of stuff they have posted online before! (crazy, huh?!)

    Thanks for the great write-up, Jeannette!

    • Yes, you’ve got to be careful what you post online because it will follow you around the Internet forever!

  3. I think that in recent times members on LinkedIn have begun confusing LinkedIn with other social media applications in which being connected to many “strangers” may serve one well. The point of LinkedIn, however, is to establish business to business connections and doing business does not happen until there is trust and trust can not be established without a mutual connection. Spamming is like cold calling – it leaves both parties feeling… for lack of a better word – “cold”.

    I also object to people who do not know me claiming to be “my friend” in order to establish a connection. I would much prefer them to say “I don’t know you but I am inspired by you and wish to connect”. Honesty and integrity goes a long way in a world that is relying more and more on social media for day to day communications.

    As always, a truly informative post, Jeannette. Thank you.

    • Andrew, I completely agree. Every day I receive LinkedIn invitations from strangers using the default, “I would like to add you to my professional network…” with no reason given for connecting. I wrote a post about this, “How to Write a LinkedIn Invitation.” Here is the link http://bit.ly/g0nwBP in which I use a proper LinkedIn invitation which gives a reason to connect and offers to help.