LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network on the Internet, has over 120 million members as of August 2011. These individuals are browsing the internet and when they come across good onsite content, they have the same urge many of us do – to share what they have found with others in their network. A simple snippet of code, typically added to a section of your website near other buttons such as Google’s +1 Button, Twitter’s Tweet Button, and Facebook’s Like or Share Buttons is all that is needed for set-up. You can build a LinkedIn Share Button through LinkedIn’s Developer Network. The buttons come in three basic designs: No Count, Vertical Count, and Horizontal Count (example below). No Count is simply the button without a numerical count of how many people have clicked the button to share the content. Vertical Count places the numerical bubble count above the button and Horizontal Count places the bubble count to the side of the button.
Upon clicking of the LinkedIn Share Button, the count (if shown) will increase by one and a pop-up will appear (if you have pop-ups allowed).
The pop-up box has three options of how you can share the snippet: Post to updates, Post to group(s), and Send to individuals. The first option, Post to updates, allows you to add a personalized message to the snippet, post to Twitter at the same time you post to LinkedIn, and adjust the visibility of the post (anyone or connections only). The second option, Post to group(s), auto-completes a group’s name as you type it into the Group(s) field. If there is a grey lock symbol next to the group name, this signifies that the group is Members Only and that posts will only be visible to members. If you are posting to an Open Group, note that the post will be visible to everyone on LinkedIn. After selecting your preferred Group(s), you can also add a subject and details to the post, both of which are optional fields. The third option, Send to individuals, allows you to share with people who you are not currently connected to by entering their email address in the To: field. You can also include a personalized message and check a box to disallow the recipient from seeing your name and email address (the default for this box is checked – where those you are sending the post to would see your name and email address). Once you have decided how you would like to share the snippet of content (and you have the option of using any combination of the three options) you can click the blue “Share” button.