Beyond the Limits of LinkedIn Groups
Are you limiting yourself to joining LinkedIn groups in your personal learning network (PLN)? If yes:
- Do you think that LinkedIn is the only social media platform where you can join an online professional network of people with similar career interests?
- Did you know that Facebook has many professional groups that may be more active than the LinkedIn groups that you have joined?
- Did you know that you can follow individuals in organizations of interest through Twitter?
A personal learning network (PLN) is commonly defined as “the group of people that you connect with to learn their ideas, their questions, their reflections, and their references” (TeachThought, 2018).
The most important factor in a personal learning network is that you choose who is added to your PLN. You may be limiting your choices if you are just joining LinkedIn Groups.
LinkedIn has improved groups over the years to reduce spam and improve group communications. You can now subscribe to 100 groups. But do you really need to be member of 100 groups or would it be better to be an active member of 10 groups.
You may want to learn about LinkedIn groups before joining or even after you have joined to find out how you can get the most out of your groups experience. You can read more about LinkedIn groups in the General Limits for LinkedIn Groups and the LinkedIn Groups Best Practices. You may also want to read the Daily Muse’s 5 Ways to Get the Most Out of LinkedIn Groups which outlines the five things you can do to get the most out of a LinkedIn group.
In 2018, nearly half of Facebook users were a member of a Facebook group according to the Forbes article Are Facebook Groups The Future Of Social Media (Or A Dead End). With over 2 billion users, the largest number of users of any social media site, Facebook clearly has users and groups that you will find that match your interests in a number of categories.
Stacy Lastoe, in her article “Facebook Groups: The Best-Kept Secret for Boosting Your Career” talks about how she always thought LinkedIn was the place where you went for career groups and networking. However, what she discovered was that for joining the conversation, Facebook offered many opportunities to explore topics relevant to her career interests and to see job opportunities posted from group members who had some connection or knowledge of the jobs they were posting.
I recommend reading Hannah Morgan’s “Guide to Facebook for a Successful Job Search and Career” if you are considering using Facebook groups in your job search. She recommends following people and organizations that match your career interests. She also recommends joining alumni groups and career groups where you live or where you would like to relocate and work.
Twitter may seem like a less likely way to network for your career. However, you can quickly grow a network of people in your career field that you follow on Twitter. They may share career resources and job announcements of interest to you.
In the article “7 Tips on How to Use Twitter Effectively for Your Career”, M.A. Smith notes that making meaningful contributions to the conversation is what gets you noticed most on Twitter. Elizabeth Magill in her article “How to Use Twitter to Find a Job” highlights the fact that by following people in a career field or who work for a specific employer, you will likely see tweets about what is happening in their work and how they feel about their work environment. In the article “How to Effectively Use Twitter as a Job Search Resource”, Elisha Hartwig discusses the first live TwitterChat for job seekers, which was held by NPR and Twitter in 2013, to answer questions about to use Twitter in a job search. One of the highlights of the article is the emphasis on making contributions that benefit others, not just you when you tweet.
Have you discovered Facebook groups that you want to join?
Have you found people or organizations in your career field that you want to follow through Facebook or Twitter?
Have you used Facebook groups or Twitter in your personal learning network?
If no, you may find more active groups or people to add to your PLN through Facebook or Twitter—beyond the limits of LinkedIn groups