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Archive for May, 2017

Get Ready to Give Up on LinkedIn for Marketing

Posted by Bob Warfield on May 30, 2017


I just read a notice in Buffer, the software I use for Social Media sharing, announcing that as of July 2017, LinkedIn would be closing down API access to LinkedIn Groups.

Time to give up on LinkedIn for marketing.

Here’s the problem:

I use LinkedIn by cross posting my latest content there.  It’s easy to do because I can automate it via Buffer (or Hootsuite, WordPress Plugins, and a variety of other methods). It’s a good thing too, because overall, LinkedIn is not a very effective social platform.

In fact, for the last 30 days of traffic on my business site (, Social Media has only been responsible for about 3.5%.  And of the Social Media, here’s the breakdown:

Pinterest:  6597

Facebook: 2504

LinkedIn: 1365

Reddit: 583

Twitter: 146

These are pretty tiny amounts of traffic.  By comparison, my post popular article got 31,741 views.  That’s just for one article and I have several thousand on the site (I’m a content marketer!).

Over on my entrepreneurship blog (, I have a series I call the “Top 15 Marketing Masters.”  It’s an analytical benchmarking series where I look at the Top 15 marketers in aggregate and also individually.  I have chosen them based on the traffic they generate to their own websites because after all, if a market can’t market themselves, what kind of marketer are they anyway?

On average, the Top 15 get just 7.83% of their traffic from Social Media.  Surprised?  Despite all the hype around Social Media, you shouldn’t be.  After all, it’s dangerous to bet your business on someone else’s Walled Garden.  You can think you’re a rancher and wind up a cow in no time.  These Top Marketers know that.  In fact, the highest share of Social Media traffic is 19% for Gary Vaynerchuk.

If we drill down and look at the relative importance of the different social platforms to these Top 15, here’s what it looks like:

Facebook: 54.58%

Twitter: 21.47%

LinkedIn: 12.32%

YouTube: 5.4%

Other: 6.22%

They’re not doing much better than I am with LinkedIn.  So, unless they’re large enough that’s it’s worth it to have someone manually posting to LinkedIn Groups, many of them (as well as countless other businesses) will just give up on LinkedIn.

Why is LinkedIn closing the API?

I’m sure they have their reasons, but this sort of change is exactly why you never want to bet your business on someone else’s Walled Garden.  I have a whole post that tells exactly why this is a problem and how to avoid it here:


[ Beware of Web Services: Are You the Cow or the Rancher? ]

Is there anything we can do about this?

Well, it’s possible some outfits will figure out how to hack LinkedIn and post automatically anyway.  That’s an arms race as LinkedIn works to block them.  In the end, not reliable and probably not worth the trouble.

I sent LinkedIn Feedback telling them exactly what I thought of it, and you could too.

[ Here’s a link to a page telling you exactly how to give them feedback.  ]

If your business is in the same boat I am–will quit using LinkedIn if you can’t automate–tell them exactly that.  Maybe they’ll relent.

I doubt it.  Walled Gardens seldom get better, they just get worse.

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