In my small stint as an editor of a blog network,have seen lot of things changing in digital publishing scenario, specially in last few years. Evolution of the social networking sites and their increasing influence on content marketing, has changed the face of the publishing business drastically. These social media communities have absolutely revolutionized the way of content sharing and distribution.
Few years back the content world was quite different from what we see now. Digg, Delicious, Stumbleupon etc. were the platforms publishers used to share their content on while Orkut, Facebook, Twitter were the sites where people used to purely socialize. LinkedIn was primarily used for professional networking and job searching.
Today Linkedin boasts a huge base of around 230 million professionals generating ten billion page views a month. Further a million groups of like minded people LinkedIn means real opportunity for publishers targeting business professionals..
Understanding Linkedin’s Content Distribution System
LinkedIn has a diverged content distribution system generating around 10 billion page views a month. The features which are most useful for the publishers are:
LinkedIn News feeds
LinkedIn being a professional platform gathers a huge crowd with a higher intelligence. Unlike other social platforms where users share casual things from their day to day life, LinkedIn is way more serious a community consisted of professional people like CEO’s, top level executives and leaders from the industries. LinkedIn in last few years has revamped itself as a content discovery platform. LinkedIn News feed which was initially cluttered with automatic tweets got a boost last year in July when Twitter shut down its automatic update of LinkedIn accounts of users. More and more people started posting richer content to LinkedIn following this update.
Today, LinkedIn personalized news feed service gives you a better chance to get noticed by your professional friends, colleagues and influencers. LinkedIn’s Share button is a step in the right direction. Make sure your site features LinkedIn share button to help more eyeballs to your content.
LinkedIn executive editor Dan Roth says, “The stories that have a tiny little bit of fire, we pour gasoline on them … When people start sharing your stories or commenting on stories, our algorithm starts noticing it.”
LinkedIn groups are the platforms where like minded people come and discuss topics of their common interest, search for help on particular issues and network between themselves. Joining a group gives you opportunity to connect and interact with a host of professionals from your target audience. Not only that, it can also prove to be extremely effective as a distribution channel for your content. You can either join an existing group or create a new one of your own.
Join to observe
Participate to engage
Just joining groups will not serve the purpose; you have to be active to get noticed. Scan through the group digests and pick up few discussions to participate in. Comment only when you think your views can add value to the discussions or raise a potential debate to be farther commented on. Your motive should be engaging more and more people and get them interested in you and the content you create and share.
Initiate to influence
You can even initiate discussions on topics of your choice which are relevant for your group too. To do this you can also create a new group. Though it will take some initial hard work but once you start getting attention people would like to get personally connected with you and take more interest in the contents you share. It will position you as an industry influencer and thought leader. As the owner of a group, you get the privilege to prioritize your own articles over the others in terms of sharing it with the group.
Increase traffic and engagement
Previously,LinkedIn was known as a professional networking site used for building connections and job search. In the year 2010, it introduced ‘inShare ’, the social sharing button and stepped into the world of content. In the initial days only few big publishers like Huffington post, Bloomberg.com, Forbes.com integrated this to their sites. With time LinkedIn started generating more referral traffic at par with other social sharing sites.
In fact the referral traffic through Linked has been seen getting multiplied by many folds. As par Mark Kaufman (former avp, Audience development, CNET), “CNET has seen extraordinary increases in LinkedIn traffic- up to ten fold increase!”, Sara Marshal from BBC also had similar experience, “Traffic from LinkedIn to BBC News jumps ten folds in six months.”
LinkedIn share also drives good click backs. LinkedIn not only channels good traffic but the visitors generate higher page views compared to other social networking sites. Bridget Jones of Business Insider says, “LinkedIn referral users have a higher number of page views per session and a lower bounce rate than the site average.”