9 Jul 2023

Standard vs. Unlisted: Choosing the Right LinkedIn Group Privacy Setting for Your Association


For associations, creating a LinkedIn Group offers an incredible opportunity to foster community, spark insightful discussions, and establish industry leadership. One important decision you’ll face when creating a LinkedIn Group is whether it should be “Standard” or “Unlisted.” Each choice comes with its own set of pros and cons, which can significantly impact your group’s dynamics and your association’s goals.

Let’s break down what each privacy setting means, and explore their pros and cons, to help you make the right choice for your association.

Standard LinkedIn Group

A Standard LinkedIn Group is visible to all LinkedIn users. Anyone can find the group through a LinkedIn search, see its members and posts, and ask to join.

Pros of a Standard LinkedIn Group:

1. Visibility: Standard groups are discoverable through LinkedIn’s search function. This increases the visibility of your association and attracts a broader audience.

2. Member Acquisition: The open nature of a standard group encourages more LinkedIn users to discover and request to join your group, promoting member growth.

3. Diverse Perspectives: A wider member base can introduce a diverse range of opinions and insights, leading to more enriching discussions.

Cons of a Standard LinkedIn Group:

1. Potential Spam: Standard groups are more susceptible to spam, irrelevant content, and self-promotion, which can dilute the group’s focus and value.

2. Member Management: With a potentially large member base, moderating discussions and maintaining the quality of content can be more challenging.

Unlisted LinkedIn Group

An Unlisted LinkedIn Group is a private group not visible in search results. Membership is by invitation only, and only members can see the group’s posts.

Pros of an Unlisted LinkedIn Group:

1. Exclusivity: The exclusivity of an unlisted group can make members feel more valued. It can also increase the perceived value of being part of the group, as it’s seen as a “members-only” privilege.

2. Control Over Membership: Since membership is by invitation only, you have full control over who joins, ensuring that members align with your association’s goals and interests.

3. Quality Discussions: With a focused member base, unlisted groups often have more targeted and high-quality discussions.

Cons of an Unlisted LinkedIn Group:

1. Limited Visibility: Unlisted groups are not discoverable through LinkedIn’s search function, which can limit the growth of your group’s membership.

2. Member Acquisition: Since users can’t request to join unlisted groups, the onus is on you to proactively invite new members, which can be more time-consuming.

In deciding between a Standard and Unlisted LinkedIn Group, consider the specific needs, goals, and resources of your association. If you aim for broad exposure, diverse perspectives, and rapid growth, a Standard Group might be the right choice. If you prioritize exclusivity, control over membership, and high-quality discussions, an Unlisted Group may be more suitable.

Remember, the success of a LinkedIn Group is not just determined by the privacy setting but also by how well it’s managed. Regardless of the choice you make, active management and regular engagement are crucial to creating a vibrant, valuable community for your members. Happy networking!

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