LinkedIn SWAM Impacts Your Group Interactions

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Have you been hit by LinkedIn’s SWAM?

LinkedIn SWAM, or correctly termed Moderation of Your Posts in Multiple Groups, has been in place since January last year. It was poorly rolled out and has since affected many innocent group users, because Group Managers were unaware of the impact of their actions.


What is LinkedIn SWAM?

If you post something in a group that is deemed as inappropriate and is deleted, moved, or if you are kicked out of that one group, you will then find that all of your future posts and comments in ALL of your groups require moderation (approval).

You’ll be on the naughty step in all of your groups!

LinkedIn states that “feedback that detracts from your contribution level includes factors like:

  • Being blocked and deleted from a group by group management
  • Comments or posts deleted by group management
  • Posts moved to the Jobs or Promotions tab, unless they were moved there from a moderation queue
  • Contributions flagged as inappropriate, as a job, or as a promotion by members
  • Mass postings of links to multiple groups with inadequate context or relevance”

According to Geektime’s article, The Great Peril’s of LinkedIn SWAM, this is now a temporary measure. The problem still remains that you may not know you’ve been hit and that it impacts on all of your groups, which is what is so unfair about it.

You won’t know which group deleted your post or moved it to promotions, you’ll simply find everything is going to the submission queue. In my experience, Group Managers have been unaware that their actions created such a big impact.


Ensure your job post doesn’t evoke SWAM

Recruiters posting jobs as discussions is a particular pet peeve of Group Managers and will soon get you SWAMd. It’s easy to avoid too by selecting Job when you’re adding your update.

LinkedIn SWAM Job Post

Though I haven’t proof, I am concerned that selecting “add to your groups” when posting a paid job could also leave you exposed because the job appears to be added as a discussion initially, can anyone clarify?

This is all that LInkedIn says about sharing paid jobs to groups, “Some LinkedIn group administrators moderate shared job postings, so your job may not appear unless it is approved by the administrator.” Hmm.


Check the group rules first!

I’ve been SWAMd, in the thankfully distant past, by using my blog’s plug-in to share my post to multiple groups. It was quick and easy but in retrospect foolish.

Now I always check and abide by the group’s rules. They’re found under the i and, usually, clearly state what is or isn’t permissible.

LinkedIn SWAM group rules

If there aren’t any Group rules, I scan the feed to see what is or isn’t being shared. Personally, I think posting in the Promotions tab is like being on page 2 of Google, so if that’s where your blog is going to go, I’d probably not bother.


Posing questions helps avoid LinkedIn SWAM

Now that you’ve determined that the group allows links to your own value-adding non-salesy content, add your post with context and a question.

When I share this post, I’ll add it with an attention grabbing headline like, “Is SWAM impacting your ability to network in groups?” And in the detail, I’ll add something like, “I’ve been hit multiple times, so have written this brief post of advice, but has it affected you?”


What do I do of I’ve been SWAMd?

Sadly, the only way to be de-SWAMd, is to send a note to each of your Group Managers. It’s time consuming but worth it.

Under the i, you’ll find the name of the Group Manager.

LinkedIn SWAM Group Manager

Using their name, conduct a Member search, and then send them a message.

LinkedIn SWAM group manager search

Usually when I need to do this it’s because I have a number of posts pending approval, so I ask politely if they can be approved and if they could set me to ‘approved to post’.

Some Group Managers are very active and are quick to respond, others are absent. Sadly, the latter may never respond and it may be best to leave the group and find another.

Has SWAM affected you? How do you get around it?

Update 5th May 2014:

“Now the system has been taken a stage further, whereby the LinkedIn system itself decides whether a member is placed in temporary moderation across groups based on input it takes not just from Group Managers, but also from other members (across multiple groups) who may flag posts as being incorrectly posted (e.g as a Promotion or Job in the Discussions area). Again no specific guidance has been provided to Group Managers on how and when this moderation takes effect but I understand it can last for a few days to two weeks at a time” – George Montgomery, LinkedIn Group Manager, UK Entrepreneur Network.



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Katrina Collier - Chief Searchologist
Katrina Collier is recognised globally as an expert on social recruiting. From SMEs to global corporates, she has trained countless HR and Recruitment professionals around the world to source and recruit on social media.

With 11+ years of social recruiting and full-cycle recruitment experience, she's passionate about teaching effective methods of social sourcing and candidate engagement, and ensuring recruiters are robot-proof.

Get in touch and give your recruitment a rev up!