Five Ways to Benefit from LinkedIn’s New APIs

By Tom Johansmeyer Comment

Facebook and Twitter share buttons have become ubiquitous, but you don’t see the equivalent from LinkedIn nearly as often. To remedy this concern, I suspect, LinkedIn is throwing open the doors to its new developer platform, following a trial it ran back in October. You know how I am … less interested in the technology itself and more inclined to focus on the application of it. So, let’s take a look at five ways you can put these cool new tools to work to drive marketing value for your company.

1. Easy login: if you’ve left a comment here on SocialTimes, you may have logged in with your Facebook or Twitter account. LinkedIn wants in on this action. So, it’s rolling out a plugin that will let you use the business social network as your core authentication identity online. For you, this means easier access to your site for LinkedIn users, which means they’ll be more likely to register. Translation: look for more pageviews in the future.

2. Share button: no doubt, you’ve seen LinkedIn share buttons floating around on the web (Huffington Post and Business Insider, for example, use them). Look for them to become more widespread as a result of LinkedIn’s latest feature push. For B2B marketers, this means your content has a better shot of going viral in front of a relevant audience. You know how I feel about vapid tweets and clicks. For those of us chasing deep-pocketed target markets, this share button should help.

3. Recommend button: so, what happens if a user doesn’t want to go all the way to sharing? LinkedIn has a solution for that. It’s rolling out a “recommend” button – a la Facebook – so people can give you a nod on the web. Endorsements from like-minded people are always good for a bit of a traffic bump … and extra traffic means extra intelligence you can use to drive ROI.

4. Profile embedding: you can use the new APIs to embed shorter or full LinkedIn member profiles on your site – and you can also do it for companies. In addition to showcasing information, you can use this as a more robust call to action to get visitors to engage with your company on LinkedIn, which will provide ongoing marketing opportunities.

5. Company Insider: you can pull “rich company data from several different views,” which provides more content for your visitors to consume. More content from somewhere else means that you’ll have to produce less to engage your audience (or you can augment what you’re already pumping out). Either way, it helps you engage your readers, which is the first step to luring them into your sales cycle.

Want more? On its blog, LinkedIn reveals that it’s invested in the infrastructure underlying its platform, which should speed things up and help you deliver a better experience to your users (when you use the APIs it has just released).

So, don’t say LinkedIn never gave you anything!

For LinkedIn, the drive behind all this, I suspect, is growth. Now that the company has announced plans to go public, it’s going to have to deliver big and increasing numbers on a regular basis. Public capital markets can be brutal. The good news is that LinkedIn seems ready for the challenge.