THE Sports Techie LinkedIn Group Surpassing 5,000 Members Was Not Easy

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The Sports Techie LinkedIn Group surpassed 5,000 members and upon reflection, it was one of the hardest challenges to set my sights on and achieve over the past decade as curator of the Sports Techie community blog. My gratitude goes out to those of you in this diverse sports technology group. Since 2010, as group owner and the group’s first member, I’ve vested all new members and only allow posts by actual members. Many groups on LinkedIn are less stringent about who they let in or what gets posted. I won’t name drop but our group has a wide variety of accomplished members from all over the globe. I am amazed by the career, life and societal accomplishments our members and contributors have attained. On the flip side, entry level and those new to the sports tech industry are equally cherished members as they begin their career journeys into the future. I wish you the best in creating your heart’s desired, work portfolio. The Sports Techie community blog gives a virtual three cheers to all our readers and followers around the world. Please join us at THE Sports Techie LinkedIn Group here:


LinkedIn is more than just an online resume. It is safe to say that LinkedIn is the top business-centric social media platform on the planet. Name another business first, social site with more clout, or is it Klout. In May of 2011, they filed for an IPO and during June of 2013, Microsoft acquired LinkedIn. Since then, most businesses now have a dedicated LinkedIn company page updated on a regular basis. It is a superior source for jobs which has never been more important after COVID-19 caused fundamental shifts in where new job growth is going.

Because I have more than 11,000 personal LinkedIn connections, it is hard to beat as one of my go-to, daily feeds for learning about industry news, economic trends and peer related stories. I also share my blogs across other LinkedIn groups where I am a member for added exposure.

Building a social media-based community is still free to do in many ways but the name of the new game is definitely paid marketing growth. A startup or existing business can spend marketing money and buy fake followers or manipulate SEO rankings any time of their existence. It is still possible to grow the old fashion way too, through organic techniques but the road is slow and tedious. The more connections I invite to the group, the more LinkedIn does the same or even a bit more.

Only people in your group can see a group post in their timeline. I used to be able to send out an automated weekly, group e-mail blast but not anymore. I wish LinkedIn would allow for the Group “admin” to send out direct posts to all members that allow them. Seems like a real no-brainer feature to implement. I’ve only blocked 8 people over the 10-years, mostly for putting up questionable content enough times.

Facebook has become a political stew of opinions and ads users need to navigate through to get to the authentic sports business content. Twitter is not what it once was in terms of growth and engagement but is still my favorite social platform in terms of scope. Snapchat is still hanging around. Thus, Instagram is the social media platform champion, it is now the top site for sport content in my opinion. Where does that put LinkedIn in the mix? Right near the top.

Group Metrics

When you have a topic like sports technology, it is easy to get like-minded people together if you have the right platform as is LinkedIn. In 2005, I joined LinkedIn. Then in April, 2010, I became owner of the Sports Techie listed group on LinkedIn. Getting folks to sign up for anything is a modern-day work challenge.

Twitter was my first time over 10,000 followers @SportsTechieNET yet the bulk of those numbers were accomplished before they cracked down on fake users and on growing a follower count organically. I still get amazing followers on Twitter mixed in with the fake’s just not as many as before.

Facebook is probably the easiest place to grow a community as long as you pay, it can be done for less money than you expect but I drew the line when they essentially killed the organic reach of a page. The era of organic growth is about over but I did not have to spend a dime to recruit any of the Sports Techie LinkedIn Group’s 5,000 members.

Of our 5,000 members, just about 2,000 are my connections leaving 3,000 or so of our membership sourced directly from LinkedIn algorithms. I’ve sent out over 5,800 invites and nearly 2,000 have accepted. So, half of my LinkedIn contacts received an invite and every third one said yes to joining. I would guesstimate that our group’s 35% acceptance rate from my invited contacts and having 60% of members connected to the group owner are both very high percentages respectively.

Sending out the invites on a consistent basis is not easy work by no means. Until you try it, you will never know how difficult it is to ask people to join a LinkedIn Group, especially in the early days when I was a relatively unknown and the group’s tally grew at an ever so slow, single digit pace.

Sports Techie, in the big picture, I feel Microsoft is not utilizing LinkedIn groups as best it could but nothing is perfect. They bury their group tab on their homepage and make navigating to them not as easy as could be whether by browser or app.

If I was asked what my number one piece of advice is to grow a LinkedIn Group, my answer would be not to be intimidated. We are all just people so ask anyone you vest to join, no matter their work standing or social status.

When a CEO, all-pro athlete or business champion, a famous entertainer or kid still in high school, all want to join your group, remember each one is just a regular person, same as tricky Dick, con man Trump or Shaq, and you or me. Expect some heavy hitters to accept your invitation if your group’s subject matter is alluring and people post regularly. I aim to treat all members the same as we all are just people who in this case happen to have a common interest in the latest and greatest sports tech content.

Thanks for the support when you join THE Sports Techie LinkedIn Group:

See you later sportstechie in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world!

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Tags: Sports Techie, sports technology, sports tech