At the end of February LinkedIn announced the launch of a new feature that is already proving a hit. The new feature enables you to add a “follow company” tab on any web place.When you follow a company, updates come by e-mail, meaning people can elect to get all the latest including jobs from prospective employers, and they don’t need to log in to LinkedIn to do it. It’s a great feature, and one you should be adding to all your internet places.

Increasingly the channel are looking at more and more ways that people can interact and use the channel without logging in.This is an inevitable move in response to user behaviors. Increasingly, users are spending more time in Facebook, and less time anywhere else. They are looking to use the features of the channel, in particular using LinkedIn profiles for social sign in’s and populating information fields required by third-party applications. The users see LinkedIn as their professional reference site, a kind of default C.V.

Increasingly the channel is also becoming a powerful news source. There’s lots of sharing going on, when you consider the average network size is 220 connections. The top shared post last week on the LinkedIn follow button launch was shared 805 times. Next on the list was a post titled “Winners and losers in the great recession” was shared 754 times, and the post entitled “Guess which 10 countries think they are the luckiest professionally” was shared 205 times. Thats a lot of reach when you multiply it by the average network size. My own post on LinkedIn recently was my most viewed post in a single day, and my last 3 posts aimed at my LinkedIn network have trended in the top 10 shared recruiting posts in the respective weeks. LinkedIn has proved to be my biggest referer, and the LinkedIn posts have come out top in my SEO figures. Writing with the network in mind makes all the difference to traffic.

There’s a few things you need to think about when writing for this section of your audience. Start with looking at the make up of your connections. You can find this by looking at your connections page. You get a break down of industries, locations and companies. You probably know this data already, but it’s worth looking at. Next look at the most active groups you belong to. Which are the most active with comments and what are they talking about? It’s worth considering the hot topics when considering your content. Writing with groups in mind helps to get shares.

Whilst you probably already have the WordPress or blogger application installed on your profile that automatically updates your profile each time you post, you need to do a bit more to get the real benefit from the channel. Add your blog post to the update section of your profile. Write a twitter style update to your profile to grab the attention and attach the post. This will add the opening paragraph and image. Once you’ve updated, you can share in groups and to targeted individuals.

You don’t need to go in to the individual groups to post. Select each group by entering the first letter of the group name in the group section. You need to do more than just share the post. Start a discussion around the blog topic asking for comments. Give an outline of your opinion, your post will be automatically added. You can also elect to send your post to specific individuals by LinkedIn messages. To do this just click on “send to individuals” and use the search options to add up to 50 people within your network to send it out to.

If  you are posting a discussion in groups, make sure you are answering any comments. You don’t need to go in to the groups to do this. Open your settings to get updates by e-mail. When you get an e-mail notification, you can reply back by e-mail.Finally, monitor which groups get you the most shares. The analytics on your blog will show your referrals from LinkedIn. Open up the list to see which individual groups are opening your post the most. The groups which open or comment on your post the most will give you an indication of future content.

Despite changing user habits, operating more outside rather than inside LinkedIn, the channel remains the number one referer to this blog. Keep the channel in your mind when writing, and use titles that will stand out when the e-mail updates land in your connections in-box.