LinkedIn is giving users a way to create polls for groups. If you’re a group manager or member of a group, you can now create a poll with up to five questions. This is not only a fast way to collect useful information related to group-specific question, but it’s also useful way to start discussion within a group that already has a strong number of members. Users can also share the polls they’ve published out to Twitter.

“LinkedIn groups are great for organizing users around similar topics but there is a often a big time lag in conversation compared to engagement on other social networks,” Syracuse University Social Media Professor Dr. William J. Ward (@DR4WARD) tells us. Will this new feature help LinkedIn turn groups into spaces for engaged conversation?

To start a poll, go to one of your LinkedIn Groups and click on the Poll feature button.

The poll pops up within the discussions tab of your LinkedIn Group, where fellow members can select one of the up to five options, “Like” the poll and drop in a comment. The poll creator can opt to receive an email for every new comment. Any group member can create a poll.

Members of open groups can respond to a poll without actually joining the Group. LinkedIn is testing this out with the Harvard Business Review group, which transitioned from closed to open.

LinkedIn recently launched group statistics dashboards and revamped events. Group stats are now available by demographics, growth and activity. The updated LinkedIn Events gives you a list of events you might want to check out, based on your connections and interests.

Why Isn’t There More Conversation On LinkedIn?

LinkedIn does not have the kind of pop culture pull that sites like Facebook and Twitter do. It is for professionals who want to keep up on others in their field, and related news and information. Don’t professionals want to start conversations too, though?

While this type of clutter avoidance is an advantage for LinkedIn, it’s “also a disadvantage,” @DR4Ward tells us. “People check-in less frequently so conversations occur more asynchronously and lack some of the excitement, novelty, and urgency of other social networks.”

Will polls for LinkedIn change that? Tell us what you think in the comments.