OptimalBI is a data company, we love measuring and base our decisions on evidence. Recently one of our blog posts got a LOT of views on LinkedIn, which didn’t translate to what Google Analytics was saying, and it got me thinking: How does LinkedIn count how many people read our content?
The problem of how to count things
How does LinkedIn know if you read something or not? The simple answer is it doesn’t. So, LinkedIn gives you a metric called Views as an analogue for people reading your content. So, how is a View counted by LinkedIn? LinkedIn counts how many people ‘have seen your update’ and calls that a View. However, It turns out that there are two different ways that LinkedIn counts this.
Share vs Write, why this difference is important
- Share an article, photo or update – this is when you put something on your LinkedIn page as a Status Update.
- Write an article – this is when you write a blog for which is then published on LinkedIn Pulse.
This is an important distinction. ‘Write an article’ creates a separate web page with a distinct URL. However, ‘Share an article, photo or update’ places your content on your home page with the same URL as all the other content on your home page. LinkedIn can’t count what you read, it counts what you do.
When you open your LinkedIn homepage and scroll through your feed it counts which status updates you scroll over. This takes no account of whether you are paying attention. When you click on an article that someone has posted on LinkedIn, like one of Shane’s 3 AgileBI posts, then LinkedIn counts that you clicked on that post. This means that you saw the article and found the title or picture or both interesting enough to click on the article to be taken to the article page.
LinkedIn counts both of these as Views because in both cases the content is ‘seen’. They are different because in the case of Status Updates people are passively scrolling through their feed but in the case of Articles, people are actively clicking on content they want to read.
Tips for you
- A ‘View’ of a Status Update means that it appears in someone’s feed, expect the number to be high
- When you post content as a Status Update the Like, Comment and Share metrics are more useful to indicate that people are paying attention to your content.
- A ‘View’ for content you post on LinkedIn Pulse means someone decided to click on that post. This shows engagement even if they didn’t Like, Comment or Share. If you can, re-post on LinkedIn Pulse.
- LinkedIn provides the best analytical tools for company pages. Post your content there also, but note that company pages usually get less engagement than personal pages.
These are the blogs I read to come up with the answers in this post:
Success is preparation meets opportunity – Jack
Jack blogs about community, social media and how all this data stuff impacts the rest of us.
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