How do you determine which LinkedIn groups to join?
Since we are limited to 50 groups, recruiters and sourcers should spend time each month making sure they are in the right ones. I posed this question on Sourcecon.qa and received some terrific answers. I was glad to find that I am not the only person using gut instinct, group titles, and total member numbers. LinkedIn does a poor job sharing analytics with users. They have the stats. They even recommend new groups to join, but the numbers are dispersed, hard to find, and impossible to compare.
Web based scrapers have some great features that allow them to not only pull data from structured sites, but also to keep that information updated. I hinted at how to do that in my post How to Scrape LinkedIn Group Feeds, but no one picked up the clue. Here is a trick to pull in real-time statistics for any number of LinkedIn Group to your own Google Sheets.
Group statistics can be viewed when not logged in using this url pattern:
This works for all groups including private and invite only groups.
Kimono Labs has a free (and paid) service that makes it possible for you easily turn a website into an API right from your browser.
Using Kimono web scraper I pulled in the stats from the target url above (read previous article to know how to do this). This also creates an API with group id “gid=” variable.
This means that once I have the url for the pattern I want, I just need to append the variable to the end of the link. Thus www.kimonolabs.com/api/3dmoi5dw?apikey=getyourown becomes www.kimonolabs.com/api/3dmoi5dw?apikey=getyourown&gid=
I used the IMPORT function for Google Sheets to pull the csv-formatted data from Kimono, but there are other call methods and scripts that may work better for your needs. The only change to each row needed is the new “&gid=xxx” at the end of the url. This sheet will update each time I refresh it.
Recruiters and sourcers should be interested in joining groups with targeted and engaged members. This sheet provides the stats needed to make an informed decision.
Looking for group id numbers? Use this in a search with the group name: site:http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=