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Linkedin Groups and Pages: what’s the difference for publishers?

See our guide to Facebook Groups vs Pages here.

Linkedin’s value to publishers is largely dependent on whether it’s the right place for the brand. For B2B publishers, a Linkedin presence is essential; in fact, it’s estimated that 50% of all social traffic to B2B sites comes from Linkedin.

For B2C publishers, Linkedin may not be the most obvious place to have a presence. But there are still ways the social network can be used; not necessarily in reaching new audiences, but in promoting your company values, work and job openings to a professional network.

Whether you’re looking to Linkedin as a place to grow your brand and an audience, or as a showcase for your company, there are two main ways to reach people on the platform. Here, we break down the differences between Linkedin Groups and Pages, and which the best one is for you.

Linkedin Pages

A Linkedin Page, like Facebook, is like a profile but for a company or brand. A company can post news, updates, videos, articles and pictures, which ‘Followers’ of the page will then see in their own Linkedin feeds.

But for publishers, it’s not just the company that can have a Page – brands or titles that the company owns can also have a Page of their own.

Although Followers can comment on a Page, it tends to be a more passive relationship than a Group, which are better designed to facilitate discussion. 

Like Facebook, posts on Pages reach a certain proportion of Followers, and these can be seen in the analytics available to Page admins. 

When employees say they work at your company on their own Linkedin profiles, it is normally your company Page they link to, which is a way of getting extra visibility.

Linkedin Groups

Groups are a place individual Linkedin members come together to discuss areas of common interest. People have to be part of a Group to post and participate in the discussion, and Groups can range from very wide topics to niche areas of interest. 

Groups can also have different privacy settings. Most are searchable, so you can discover and request to join relevant Groups, but some can be private and not visible in search.

Publishers can make use of Groups in a number of ways. A Group could be named after a specific publication, so that readers can find and join the group and discuss themes relating to that brand. Groups like this work especially well for B2B titles as people are more likely to be seeking professional content on Linkedin.

A publisher could also start a group around a specific theme, in order to facilitate discussion and reach potential new audiences. For example, an HR brand may decide, rather than naming a Group after the brand, to create a more generic Group for other HR professionals to discuss opportunities and challenges, then build trust with that audience by linking to their own content.

Both approaches to Groups have their advantages, and the right option will depend on the goals of the publisher. What’s New in Publishing has a Linkedin Group, where we post stories that are of interest to publishing professionals.

However, one important point to note about Groups is that Linkedin has been changing the algorithm and notifications around them over the past few years.

Groups used to be a very popular way to use Linkedin, but now they’re difficult to navigate to, and posts rarely show up in feeds.

A growing number of Groups are now full of spam and promotional posts, or have been quiet for quite some time and it’s unclear whether Linkedin will work on resurfacing content from them to incentivise discussion again.

Should I use a Group or Page?

Like Facebook, Linkedin are constantly tweaking and evolving their algorithms, and can switch to favour one or the other very quickly. The good news is that publishers can set up both Groups and Pages together. The question of whether a Group or Page is best depends on your goals, and you may want to focus your efforts on just one of them initially.

If you’re aiming for your stories and posts to be shared widely by professionals on the network, and aiming to build a following of like-minded people, then a Page is best. You may see little discussion on Page posts, but they are more likely to be seen by a bigger audience.

However, if your aim is to cultivate a small community of people and facilitate discussion, then a Group may be best. Content from groups can’t be shared outside of that Group network, but this may encourage people to comment and post more within that space.

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