When you think about traffic-driving social networks, LinkedIn may not be the first thing that comes to your mind, and truth be told, there's a good chance it will not drive the kind of traffic Twitter or Facebook will for your site. However, some sites have found it to be a quite valuable traffic tool, and the company seems to want to further cement its status as such.
Do you get substantial traffic from LinkedIn? Let us know.
LinkedIn reportedly has about 65 million members. That may not seem like much compared to Facebooks 400 million (likely well over that by now in reality), but LinkedIn can bring a different brand of relevance to the table.
Earlier this year, 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. He had written on the subject previously at Darren Rowse's ProBlogger. "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 told 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..."
LinkedIn has announced some changes to its news sharing options, and some of them just may help content spread more like it would on Twitter. Notable changes include:
1. Public vs. Private - Users now get complete control over who sees what they're sharing (everyone, connections, a group, or one person).
2. Images and article excerpt - Facebook-style images/excerpts that can increase clickthrough potential.
3. See and delete your own posts - preview, edit, and delete options for status updates to prevent typos.
4. Easily re-share - LinkedIn's version of the retweet - just click a button and share content with connections, groups or individuals. This could be a huge factor for traffic. Retweets are great for making content go viral.
5. Improved off-site sharing experience - Now content sites will be able to offer a similar sharing process for LinkedIn to its own internal re-share feature.
6. The URL shortener (Lnkd.in) - LinkedIn calls this a companion to its Twitter integration.
7. Attribution - Re-shared articles give "via-style" credit by attributing something you re-share to the person who shared it with you.
8. Shared items on your profile - If a user chooses to make shared items public, they will appear on their profile.
Howes told us that people don't generally associate LinkedIn with driving traffic, and that their perception of it is more like a resume or a way to get a job. "They don't see all of the powerful tools within LinkedIn that allow you to drive traffic back to your site," he said.
LinkedIn has recently launched some new integrations that can only help with a user's traffic strategy - notably, integrations with Twitter and Microsoft Outlook. "The Outlook integration is a way to connect more with your current LinkedIn contacts, and also help you grow you network as well," Howes noted. The Twitter integration obviously lets you tap into the following you already have on Twitter, which has already proven to be a significant traffic-driving tool.
Read our previous article on getting traffic with LinkedIn for some tips from Howes. For steps on setting up your LinkedIn integration with Microsoft Outlook, read here.
Do you think LinkedIn's new changes will help drive traffic? Share your thoughts.