Here is an example of what LinkedIn Groups API can look like. Our case study is the 2011 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference website which was a very early adopter of the innovation. In fact LinkedIn highlighted the Microsoft implemention when they released news about the LinkedIn Group API on their blog here.
DEDICATED PAGE FOR SOCIAL MEDIA – There is a dedicated social page where you find all the interaction via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. From this page alone you can get a good idea of how much people are interacting. There are several posts on Twitter, a good number of discussions on LinkedIn and a fair amount of activity on Facebook where there are over 6,000 fans on the page. This social page pull everything together.
LINKEDIN FUNCTIONALITY ON YOUR WEBSITE – LinkedIn Group APIs bring the functionality of LinkedIn right onto your website. Visitors to your website need not go into the LinkedIn Website to take part. This is real beauty of API. The application on your site pulls information from LinkedIn when you enter your LinkedIn credentials. This process takes less than a minute. In the case of the MWPC website, I was able to log into the website using my LinkedIn credentials and to like to follow discussions. I could also view the latest discussions or the most popular ones. Unfortunately I could not post any comment which actually makes sense as I know very little about the actual conference. Companies could use this Group API feature to promote events in a way that has not been done before, engaging professionals in lively discussions using social media while the event is in progress.
MULTIPLE LOGINS ON THE SAME PAGE – I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I could log using my LinkedIn and Twitter credentials and also like the Facebook while on the MWPC page. I could take part in all the interactions without having to leave the page. This certainly made my life easier. The various Twitter hashtags made it possible to follow different topics or classify posts based on the topic.
INTEGRATION AND CONSOLIDATION – One of the first things I notice looking at the Microsoft website is that I can see outputs from Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and the blog all at once. Normally one has to move between different applications and screens to see the out from the various platforms.
BETTER INTERACTION – Having all the major platforms ensures maximum engagement as some people are probably more comfortable with one medium over another. The page here gives me a chance to interact not only on LinkedIn but Twitter and Facebook as well. This certainly makes my life easier.
CONTENT LONGEVITY – One of the great things about having LinkedIn Groups functionality during an event is that attendees and participants discuss issues in real time and can continue to do so long after the event. Their exchanges come out on the website.
Here is a what it looks like.
LinkedIn Group API offer incredible value for those individuals and organisation that implement them on their websites. The value is increased when a holistic view is taken view of social media to get full exposure across all the platforms. I believe the LinkedIn Group API will be a game changer with regards to how websites are integrating LinkedIn onto their pages.