“Referrals from LinkedIn have increased rapidly over the past few months, but they’re nowhere near the level of referrals we get from Twitter,” a spokesperson from the BBC told Journalism.co.uk.
“Indeed in June, LinkedIn was still behind Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, StumbleUpon and Drudge Report in terms of referrals.”
The figures suggest the dramatic rise in LinkedIn referrals – from 41,278 in April to 164,869 in May – is due to LinkedIn Today, LinkedIn’s aggregation news site which launched in March.
LinkedIn Today has been attributed by TechCrunch as the reason why LinkedIn is now a more important traffic driver than Twitter for its site. Those stats that have been further debated in an article on TechCrunch this week, which questions LinkedIn as a traffic driver as it is powered by Twitter. “Get rid of the tweet and you get rid of the referral traffic,” the article states.
The LinkedIn share button being added to many news sites also deserves recognition as a traffic driver.
Line graph of Twitter and LinkedIn referrals to BBC News. Click on the visualisation to see exact the figures.
LinkedIn Today features industry news for sectors such as ‘online media’, ‘public relations’ and the ‘publishing industry’.
LinkedIn users can also follow particular news sites, such as BBC News, the fourth most popular website in the UK, and the only UK-owned website out of the top four. It is curated by people within that industry based on shares on Twitter and LinkedIn. So a story becomes top story when enough people within the industry retweet and share it.
In order to become news source on LinkedIn today, news sites must contact LinkedIn’s business development team.
BBC News may have received a boost from LinkedIn Today but unlike for TechCrunch, which is a great fit for LinkedIn with its mix of technology and business news, the BBC site has a much wider scope. That is perhaps why the stats show that last month Twitter provided five times as many readers to BBC News, with more than one million referrals a month.
There is more on LinkedIn and how journalists can get the most out of the social network in this week’s podcast.