Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Marketing Question: Is Posting in Multiple LinkedIn Groups SPAM?

Nobody on the Internet likes to read SPAM when they want to research something or enjoy a good quality discussion.

An age old marketing question…When does marketing stop being good marketing and become inconsiderate and impossible to appreciate SPAM? (Is anything on the Internet really “age old?”)

See Also: Good Question: How do I know when it is SPAM?

LinkedIn Groups Seeing Same Problems as Many Older Forums

Recently, I entered a discussion within a LinkedIn Group where someone was complaining that the group seemed to be steering more toward what I call “post and run” behavior.

These LinkedIn Groups are designed for people to begin a discussion thread by posting an idea or a question. Then people within the group answer the question or add to the discussion through fact, opinion, humor, etc.

See Also: Internet Marketing Tip: Over 7 Ways to be More Effective on LinkedIn

These take a page from the old-time forums.

Just like what happened to a lot of forums, people started posting links to their websites or blogs within these forums.

Within the forums, the most damaging thread posts included a link that barely related, if it related at all to the overall forum’s topic. Obviously, these types of posts do not add anything good to the discussion. In fact, they clutter space between the forum’s thread posts and comments that really contributed to the forum’s topic.

Many LinkedIn Groups are suffering from the same issue.

LinkedIn Groups: The Stated Complaint

That person was complaining about people who post a link and share it with multiple LinkedIn Groups. For instance, this discussion took place within the Sticky Branding Group, one of the largest and most traditionally interactive groups on LinkedIn.

Most LinkedIn Groups have a feature that allows people to take a post from one group and share it with other LinkedIn Groups.

This gentleman was complaining about people who use this feature.

More specifically, he was complaining that people were leaving a post that contained a link to their website or blog, and he gets upset the most when people use the sharing feature that leaves the same link across within several different LinkedIn Groups.

While he and I bantered for a while, leading to neither of us coming to any terms of agreement about this.

The strange thing about this particular discussion is that he has some really good points.

Posting in Multiple Groups: Why it is SPAM!

I see a lot of people abusing this really cool “Share Link” feature within LinkedIn Groups.

I think both this gentleman and I agree that a person who posts entirely unrelated tips is dumping SPAM. For instance, if someone leaves a post about how to take care of a cat inside a LinkedIn Group about Bakery Goods, another one about Children’s Books, and a different one about Automotive Suppliers, we can call this SPAM. It simply is irresponsible posting disguised as “mass action.”

This is a lot like attending a children’s event and trying to force a conversation about an adult topic. Not only does it not belong there, but it stands a great chance of offending the people who attended the event to discuss things that relate to children or possibly parenting.

Trying to introduce something like stock tips is probably nearly equally unwelcome within the discussion about the children’s event.

My General Rule: If you are posting something that most people in the “room” (LinkedIn Group) are not likely to find valuable, you are probably posting SPAM.

Each conversation is different. Why is it okay to try brining up the same topic, regardless of conversation?

Posting in Multiple LinkedIn Groups: Why it is Good Marketing!

The other gentleman claimed that it would be a near “miracle” if a post related to more than one LinkedIn Group, because each group is different.

My take? Sometimes, the same conversation topic makes sense within more than one conversation or at more than one event.

For instance, a discussion about marketing might apply within several marketing groups, even if each group has its own niche.

Be careful! It IS really easy to abuse the LinkedIn Sharing feature.

My General Rule: If you are posting something in places that people have a good chance of finding valuable (because it is on topic or a genuine point of interest), then it is probably Good Marketing, maybe even good conversation.

That’s right! Posting the same thing in multiple groups that might appreciate your contribution is GOOD MARKETING.

Most of us are using social media to try networking. We’re trying to meet people, but we’re also trying to market ourselves…and what we have to offer.

None of us knows where the “right” people will see something and suddenly respond or, better yet, share what we have to offer. We don’t know who is in the “room” at any point. We will start topic-related conversations anywhere we can, trying to find people who will find value in what we have to offer.

Sometimes, the fault lays with our "inappropriate" topic, but many times, the “right topics” go undiscovered, because nobody was in position to see the beginning of this "right" conversation.

For now, I plan to keep posting my links in multiple locations, where my post relates to their main topic, because that is good marketing—not SPAM.

Like this post?  Other recent posts are
To visit The Ultimate Analyst company website click HERE.


  1. Chris, Since I was also part of that conversation I just want to support what you have written in your blog. I agree that a blog that is linked in the discussion area can be relevant. Sometime the link can be to an article related to the topic, your own blog or someone else's post on topic. I don't see the concern when the post is on topic.

    However, I also acknowledge that the discussion sections have rules about not posting.

    I relate this to being at a conference. Sometimes people want to engage with you and hand you a brochure about them or their business. You can ignore or refuse to take it if you don't want it.

    I'll be interested in other opinions on this topic.

    1. Hi, Jeffrey.

      Unfortunately, I wrote this last response to that specific post. Now that it's publishing this week, it's a little dated and after-the-fact.

      So I'm not sure how many people will swing by here to spend more time on this topic.

      I agree with you. I'd like to get a real vote from the people who visit Sticky Branding, in particular. Most people don't participate.

      I think that the real issue is that Sticky Branding has not been as interactive lately. We are (somewhat) missing a balance between people who contribute content and people who comment.

      THAT seems to be a real issue. It's gotten to be a bigger issue.

      If we had more people commenting, I don't think there would be nearly as much concern about people leaving links--without also contributing by commenting.

      Your brochure example is also good. The only exception might be if there are so many people giving brochures that they keep us from spending time with people we REALLY want to see, then it becomes irritating. It (deciding whether to accept a person's specific brochure) is no longer a choice but a distraction.

      In many LinkedIn Groups, the quantity of links distract us from being able to notice any real conversations that might be happening...or could have happened.

      Sticky Branding has always had people who left links and left without contributing comments, but lately there has been less discussion.

      We just probably need to put forth some additional effort toward commenting on posts from each other...until the comment-only people come and feel comfortable commenting, again.

      Jeremy Miller's Sticky Branding Group is really good, and it's a great place for us to market our blog posts and meet other marketers. We just have to take steps to make sure that we get those discussions going again.

      Thank you very much for visiting.



Hey there! Thank you for taking time to read my post and share your thoughts with me and my other readers. I'm always tickled when I get a non-SPAM comment. Honestly, sometimes I'm even okay with some borderline SPAM.

Let me know if you would like for me to address a topic by sending me an email at

Thanks, again. I look forward to seeing you soon.