In my five-year career as a marketing professional, there has been one constant resource that I’ve turned to for guidance time and time again — and the best part is, it’s FREE to use! Who doesn’t love free, am I right?! When it comes to finding career direction and seeking industry research, social media groups are the first place I start!
These exclusive social hubs have been a gold mine for market research and one of the most valuable resources for me to glean through, tap into, lean on and help shape my strategy for a variety of industries. Marketing masterminds, Millennial go-getters, tools for techies, San Diego creatives, golden retriever lovers, coffee connoisseurs…you name it — there’s probably a social media group for it (and I likely already belong to it).
The Benefits of Social Media Groups
I love to start my day by reheating my cup of coffee (for the third time), sitting down at my desk in my coziest pair of yoga pants (perks of working from home), and spending about 30 minutes (sometimes more) peaking through my favorite Facebook groups and LinkedIn groups for marketers, creatives, and of course, people-who-love-their-goldens (just as much as their coffee — why isn’t this group already a thing?!).
I love having the opportunity to…
- Network in my industry.
- Stay up to date on the latest trends.
- Gain feedback on projects.
- Do some not-so-secret social listening to identify:
- Gaps in the market
- Questions to answer
- Needs to fill
- Gush on puppies (as if my own golden, Gracie, doesn’t get enough love).
Being new to the Learning & Development world (read my story here), I find myself seeking a new home for all things industry inspiration. So I thought — why not round up some of my new favorite social media groups for learning professionals?
5 Best Facebook & LinkedIn Groups for Learning Professionals
Facebook: eLearning Industry
Run By: Christopher Pappas
Topics Discussed: industry-related blog posts, events, conferences, webinars, software tutorials, templates, and learning strategies
Group Members: 3,520
☕ Group Perks: This Facebook group is updated most often during business hours — and in the evenings by more active members of the group, including the admin and thought leader, Christopher Pappas. As an extension of the eLearning Industry platform and resources, you can trust that the content being shared in this group (at least by the admin/CEO and usually the members as well) is high-quality, helpful, and never too sales-y. There also don’t seem to be any group rules listed, which, although well-intended, tends to limit the discussion and the benefit for those who joined. The pro here is that most topics are allowed for discussion!
If I were to describe this group in coffee terms (because, why not?), I would say it’s an espresso — warm, efficient, and offers a quick morning pick-me-up.
Facebook: Instructional Designer
Run By: Christopher Pappas, Kangdon Lee, Bhimashankar Sanga, Rish Jah, Lori Hollar
Topics Discussed: As stated in their description, this group is home for “sharing and exploring ideas about instructional systems, design, and technology.” I’ve also seen a few Instructional Design job listings, questions and services offers.
Group Members: 4,678
☕ Group Perks: In my opinion, this group’s strength lies in two things — their numbers and their specificity. With five different admins from all over the world (including one boss babe), it’s nice to have a variety of opinions and perspectives for a well-rounded environment. There are also plenty of eyes to report any misconduct, which is always a risk you run into with social media groups. I’m also a fan of niching down your group to minimize (as best as possible) any left-field comments/questions/offers. Most IDs should feel right at home in this safe space!
This group, to me, screams iced skinny vanilla latte with almond milk — their ability to stay on trend keeps them and us ahead of the learning game!
While I’m still waiting to be approved by a few promising LinkedIn groups, including Chief Learning Officer magazine and Training and Development for eLearning (hint, hint) — I am very excited by these ones I’ve been able to poke around in so far…
LinkedIn: E-Learning 2.0
Run By: Curt Zilbersher
Group Members: 67,778
☕ Group Perks: This group is a big winner in my book for its fast-moving open forum. Almost any topic is allowed, including jobs, promotions, and educational resources. As part of ttcInnovations, where we aim to inspire innovation, this welcoming environment is the perfect place for us to share and consume golden learning nuggets! I’m looking forward to exploring this one more in-depth, as it seems full of creative, friendly people.
With its social atmosphere, I’m going to go ahead and call this LinkedIn group a frappuccino — with limitless ideas buzzing around and loads of charisma and excitement!
LinkedIn: The eLearning Guild
Run By: William Brandon, Kate Brown, Jenny Elwood, Kat Gore, Robyn Smith
Topics Discussed: Industry events, eLearning Guild webinars, questions, blog posts, jobs (only on the Job tab), and tips
Group Members: 53,968
☕ Group Perks: Hosted by the girl gang and guy behind The eLearning Guild, you can ensure that the content found here is full of industry expertise and creative ideas. Since the group rules are pretty black and white (self-promotion in any form is a BIG no-no), this platform is, for the most part, saleless and pressure-free. As a member, you’re open to exploring new concepts without being distracted by sales pitches — other than the ask to join The eLearning Guild, which looks like another great resource! (mental note to self: sign up!)
Based off its straightforward rules and the focus on protecting the integrity of the group, I’d call this one black coffee — no bells or whistles needed, just a good, strong brew!
LinkedIn: Rapid e-Learning
Run By: Christopher Pappas and Sufiyan Rahmani
Topics Discussed: Rapid eLearning, tools, tech, templates, and all kinds of interactivity
Group Members: 3,520
☕ Group Perks: Talk about niched down — love it! Rapid e-learning is a subgroup of the eLearning Industry (sound familiar?). What makes this group so unique is that it’s solely for learning professionals who work with rapid eLearning. I’m told by my team that this has recently been a hot-button topic in the industry, so I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes out for marketing inspiration and industry knowledge.
This LinkedIn group is so unique, I think it deserves a flavor all its own — tea! Although it may not be coffee, this group, with its not-so-subtle flavors, is the best kind of wake-up call!
Do You Have a Favorite Social Media Group?
I hope to see you hanging around these spaces — if so, say hello! I’d love to get to know you! If you belong to any learning-focused groups I might have missed, feel free to share them below in the comments. Also, out of curiosity — do you think we’re missing something in this industry?
What I have noticed during my research is that most of these groups are lacking a bit on that one-to-one conversation. We’ve been talking about forming our own Facebook group internally here at ttcInnovations, where we can share inspiration, ignite discussion, and offer a safe space to have virtual coffee chats. Would you be interested in joining something like this? Any and all feedback is welcome — I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!