If you are using social media for business purposes the chances are you’ll be sending out marketing messages. Whether it’s through tweets, Facebook posts or status updates and Pulse posts on LinkedIn, the aim is to share useful information, thoughts, ideas and experiences to get the reader interested in you, your business and your products or services. To get your content read.
That means you are communicating and whenever you are communicating there is one key rule to remember:
Listen twice as much as you speak. Now when broadcasting marketing messages over the likes of LinkedIn, it’s not like a face to face conversation. You don’t immediately hear the response. What you have to do is go look for the response. Look at the analytics and listen to what they are telling you.
Let’s look at one of my posts on LinkedIn:
Let’s look at the information that LinkedIn can tell me about that post. If you click on the “View Stats” button on the posts area or your profile to see the stats for your posts. Here’s what comes up for my post:
It shows I had 478 views, 76 likes and 27 comments. Not too shabby! The graph shows a steady stream of views but with a huge spike in March/April. This tells me that my social media activity on other platforms to drive people to reading my posts on LinkedIn delivers steady results. But when I talk at events about posting on LinkedIn as I did around the end of March/beginning of April, I get a spike of activity.
Scrolling down I get more information on who’s viewed my post:
From this I can see that the talks I gave in Guildford and Leatherhead (comes under Kingston) were equally effective. But I can also see the types of audience my posts are attracting. That can help with tailoring your material to your audience and tell you whether you are even hitting your target audience. The categories could also help you to target the right prospects with LinkedIn searches by industry, job title or geography.
Scroll further down and you actually get to see who’s commented on the post – I’ll save my readers the embarrassment here.
Now, if you are following good practice, you will be responding to every comment with a personal message back to the commenter. But this is a great place to see all of them in a grid format and to respond to any you have missed. These people are your real connections. They have taken the trouble to read and engage with you.
You should critically appraise the stats on all your posts. Look at which ones get better interaction and try to identify why. Are particular segments of your audience interacting more with some post types than others. By analysing your stats and learning from that analysis you can improve the content and targeting of your posts.
Keeping front of mind
Many people post and then forget on LinkedIn. The post goes out to their network and gets an initial flurry of activity and then activity and interest dies away.
It doesn’t have to be like that.
The example post I used above is from September 2015, but shows constant low volumes of interaction. That’s because I send out regular tweets linking back to my old posts. Also when I talked at two events about posting on LinkedIn as I did around the end of March/beginning of April 2016, I mentioned the post and drove a spike of interest and traffic. Not all of that was from attendees. Their traffic showed up in their networks and enticed others to read the post too.
So don’t post and forget. Recycle, reuse and redirect to give your profile an extra boost.
On the same page as the stats for your posts are two other sets of information.
The first is ‘Who’s viewed your profile’. Now if you are a free user, you’ll see the graph of number of profile views but will only be able to see the last 5 people to view your profile. Paid accounts can see everyone for the last 90 days. In my view, this is the single biggest benefit of a paid account. The graph shows not only the number of profile views but also the number and type of actions I’ve taken such as comments, shares, new connections made etc. This enables you to see if the interactions you are making are driving profile views and new connections.
A word or caution here. If you clamp down you security settings so that you hide your details then you will not see the details of those who look at your profile. Another good reason not to play hide and seek on LinkedIn.
The third and probably least useful tab is ‘How you rank for profile views’. This is a ranking of you against other professionals like you (as decided by LinkedIn’s own algorithm) or against your connections. LinkedIn also give you some tips on how you might improve your position by making changes to your profile.
That’s a quick overview of the stats available on our personal profile. Company pages stats are another topic for another time.
The keys to getting your content read and generating engagement on the back of it are: