Were you to have been asked that question some years ago, the answer most likely would have bee “I’m not sure”....
Social Media Round-up
When you consider how many social media channels are actively supported by the NonStop community there are always the big three – LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. There are also many news blogs supported by vendors, but for many of us, we do find the time to check out what has been posted to LinkedIn before checking our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Of late I have become a big fan of the television program, Wisdom of the Crowd, even though I have to admit, some aspects of the show startle me, but no more so than what was depicted, almost a decade ago, in another television program, Person of Interest. Point is, as was expressed on one of these programs, when it comes to social media, the genie is now well and truly out of the bottle and our digital footprint continues to expand. Oftentimes exponentially, depending on the topic we address.
Over the past two years, LinkedIn has made numerous changes to LinkedIn Groups – some of which have resulted in a loss of interest by pure marketing types. In other words, there are no open group just private groups that are either standard or unlisted – if you want to join an unlisted it’s a bit of a Catch 22 as you have to be invited to join, at which time you will know about them, but otherwise, they will not appear on any search activities. What has gradually disappeared is the Promotions Tab so if you try to promote them it will just go to spam.
Bottom line? Marketers have begun to bail on using LinkedIn as a marketing channel and perhaps this isn’t a bad thing – LinkedIn has turned back the clock, so as to speak, and is fostering groups of communities more interested in keeping up with what’s going on across their community. As for marketers, according to LinkedIn, “You’re able to use standard groups for marketing, but you have to be smarter about it. Engage more and share better content to meet fellow group members. These relationships could translate into new business down the line.”
As for unlisted groups, LinkedIn advises that, “There are plenty of reasons to start an unlisted group. For example, you can create user groups to beta test new products and concepts, use groups as customer service support for clients or start internal groups for employees. Remember that unlisted groups are strictly for content, not marketing, so they’re valuable for communicating with designated people.” And at this point, usage is still for free so it is becoming a very powerful tool even if some members of our community are returning to mass emailing which simply isn’t making it past enterprise firewalls as easily as it once did in the past.
One last observation, when it comes to HPE and LinkedIn groups, there are a lot of them with most of them only attracting memberships that are less than a thousand. But there are exceptions, of course, and one where I know you will find more members of the NonStop community participating is the HPE Converged Data Center Infrastructure that already has 6,000+ members. Of course, for partners there is HPE My Learning which now has 25,000+ members and helps, “our partners increase their win rate, drive customer engagement in transformational IT technologies, become more confident in their abilities, and expand their knowledge base to grow professionally and become more valuable to their organization.”
So no, LinkedIn is by no means a spent force or a network that isn’t stepping up to better support its members. It may be proving harder for marketers to tap into if they don’t happen to be clever enough to work their messages into content people want to read, but on the other hand, there are a place everyone can turn to for answers to questions they may have. The best places for the NonStop community to visit? Easy:
Tandem User Group with more than 3,500 members
Connect HPE User Group Community with almost 2,000 members
And of course I will always give a plug for
Real Time View with close on 1,000 members
As for Twitter and Facebook, HPE is very active on Twitter and if you want to keep up with events and conferences, there is a number of @handles to follow! On the other hand, more and more vendors are turning to their Facebook pages to provide information but about Twitter and Facebook, I will have more to say in later updates to Social Media Round- Up and don’t forget, these sites are all set up to support the NonStop community, so if you haven’t looked at what is out there recently, you may just want to spend some time checking them all out and yes, join the conversation!