In the age of digital business networking, it’s obvious that no site has done a better job of it than LinkedIn. While it has expanded its features to integrate Twitter, utilize apps and, most recently, the ability to follow companies, the Groups feature has been a long-standing hallmark.

Within LinkedIn Groups, there have also been changes over the years that included member-generated content, including discussions, job postings and news articles. However, one thing that has not changed is how many groups a user can join. At the moment, the limit is 50.

Though 50 groups seems like a big number, long-time users have found no problem reaching that upper limit in a very short period of time. Meanwhile, new LinkedIn groups pop up at a relatively fast pace.

Because of this, the question then lies in which groups are the most useful to you?

To figure out which LinkedIn groups are right for you, consider the following elements:

  1. Industry or Field – Search groups based on the industry or field you’re in or about to enter.
  2. Location – Professional organizations in your region tend to have groups, along with regional groups created by individuals.
  3. Company – There are many groups associated with companies or former company employees.
  4. School – LinkedIn groups are constantly launched for schools either by the institutions themselves or by fellow alumni.
  5. Hobbies or interests – You never know if a particular hobby or interest could turn into a business opportunity for you.

After joining the groups you want, observe the discussions, job postings and news articles for the next couple of weeks. If you find that these groups have a great deal of useful activity, you will certainly want to remain an active member.

During your trial period, you should also make note of any users who are attempting to use the group as a mailing list for their own purposes rather than the groups. If this is the case, you will probably want to either think about limiting the group e-mails you receive or, in the extreme case, leave the group altogether.

Always remember, of course, the you can get a great deal out of LinkedIn Groups, so long as you are able to utilize this feature properly.

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