5 LinkedIn Groups That Will Make You Smarter and Boost Your Career

Read time: 7 mins

Why participate in groups on LinkedIn? They’re a great place to see what’s happening in your industry and what people are thinking about it, connect with people outside the four walls of your company, and share your expertise. Since the Questions and Answers function of LinkedIn went away, groups have become the place where people go to ask questions and solicit the expertise of their peers.

Think you have no special expertise? You may LinkedIn groupsAccording to LinkedIn, members who participate in groups get more visibility.be surprised when you see some of the questions people have and realize that you can help, which is always a great feeling. You’ll raise your own professional profile in the process; according to LinkedIn people who participate in groups get four times more profile views than those who don't.

Strategic Sourcing & Procurement  With nearly 94,000 members, representing a wide range of companies, industries, countries and roles you’re likely to bump into someone you know while also being exposed to a wide variety of perspectives.

There’s always something happening in this group, including lots of job postings, webinar and conference invites and even notices of new manufacturing plants coming on line. Anyone looking for a new methionine vendor in Singapore? There’s a lot here to sift through.

Recent discussion topics range from basic questions such as, what is the difference between strategic sourcing and tactical purchasing, intermediate questions such as what is the right threshold for purchasing/category managers in a large company and strategic questions such as what impact the Greek elections might have on the Euro.

Some of these discussions draw a lot of participation and thoughtful answers, making this a great place to learn, connect and share your expertise. This group is open to all.

E-Procurement and procurement  - Shy around crowds? With just over 11,000 members, this group is a bit quieter. Analysts and bloggers hang out here, as well as a lot of industry executives and marketers.

There are some good discussions, but here they are more centered around in depth content such as white papers, blogs, articles and e-books from industry leaders and less around ad hoc questions. This is a good place to check out some company white papers and articles and see how different players in the space are positioning themselves.

There’s not much in the way of job listings and events and the pace of postings seems to be a few per week. This is an open group.

E-invoicing Platform (online / electronic invoicing, e-billing, invoice processing/automation, EDI) - This smaller group is tightly focused on all things related to e-invoicing around the globe. The pace of postings is slower, so it’s an easy group to keep up with, but engagement seems relatively high with most posts drawing a few comments.

Discussions range from the very technical, to regulatory matters to higher level topics such as breaking down barriers to interoperability. There seem to be frequent requests for help and resources. With just about 3400 members, if you are an e-invoicing geek, this is a great place to establish a voice and presence, without being drowned out by the crowd. Permission required to join.

Buyers Meeting Point - Procurement Networking and Knowledge  - This is a smaller group – about 5,300 members. What makes it great is the leadership and participation of Kelly Barner, co-author of Supply Market Intelligence and co-editor of the Buyers Meeting Point website and recently named to Procurious’ list of most influential people in procurement.

Kelly shares a lot content from her site, which includes a lot of interviews with people in procurement and reviews and commentary of industry reports and a lot of great tips from her own long experience. Kelly knows the industry inside and out, seems to know everyone who’s anyone and shares her expertise freely. As a result, she attracts a lot of smart people to the group.

Coupa Spend Optimization  -  We’d be remiss not to mention this group, led by our social media strategist Kira Bernshteyn. This group is a forum for procurement professionals, cloud enthusiasts, Coupa customers and prospects. It is a place to network and share thoughts and ideas about procurement, expenses, invoicing and cloud technology and keep up with the latest Coupa news.