LinkedIn is often discussed as a powerful social networking tool, particularly for business professionals, employers, and jobseekers. What is not discussed as frequently is the site's ability to simply drive traffic to your site. We talked to entrepreneur Lewis Howes (who claims that LinkedIn is one of the top traffic sources to his blogs) about how powerful LinkedIn can be for driving traffic.
Is LinkedIn part of your strategy? Comment here.
We asked Howes why he thinks people don't generally associate LinkedIn with driving traffic like they would with other social networks like Facebook or Twitter. "Their perception of LinkedIn is of a resume, or a way to get a job, but they don't see all of the powerful tools within LinkedIn that allow you to drive traffic back to your site," he tells WebProNews.
LinkedIn has announced that it is now being integrated into Microsoft Outlook, in one of the numerous convergences of social media and email that are increasingly taking place.
"Anytime you can increase the size of your network on LinkedIn, it will give you the opportunity to distribute your content to more people, therefore driving more traffic back to your site," says Howes. "The Outlook integration is a way to connect more with your current LinkedIn contacts, and also help you grow you network as well."
In some ways, LinkedIn traffic may even be more valuable than traffic from other social networks and sites. This is simply due to the generally professional nature of LinkedIn itself.
"You need to take into consideration that LinkedIn has the highest average household income per user over any other social networking site (even NYTimes.com and BusinessWeek.com readers)," Howes tells us. "That being said, these are business decision makers you are targeting with your traffic from LinkedIn. The network is for real, and it will only continue to grow in time as there are currently 60 million professionals."
Now consider that LinkedIn could be one of your top traffic sources if you put enough effort into cultivating it as such. On a scale of 1-10, Howes says he'd rank it as a 7 or 8 on importance level for using it. "For me it is always one of the top 5 referring sites that drives traffic to my blogs," he says.
Howes went through ten steps in a post at ProBlogger.net. While the post is geared at driving traffic to your blog, you may find the advice helpful for other types of sites. In summary (he goes into much more detail about each of these in the post), the ten steps are:
1. Complete your profile.
2. Increase you connections.
3. Customize your website links.
4. Answer questions.
5. Update your status.
6. Join niche groups.
7. Post comments in groups.
8. Add RSS feeds to groups.
9. Create a group.
10. Add the blog application to your profile.
Now that LinkedIn can be integrated into Microsoft Outlook, I would suggest looking at getting that set up as well (steps here), if you want to get serious about including LinkedIn in your traffic strategy.
Of course there are plenty of other ways to use LinkedIn as a tool to increase the success of your business. As Howes lists, you can sell products, find new clients/employees, generate leads, receive funding, obtain sponsorships, sell tickets to events, as get press coverage to name a few.
Have you considered LinkedIn's potential as a significant traffic source? Do you already get significant traffic from LinkedIn? Let us know.