Your LinkedIn Company Page Going Nowhere? Here’s Why

Not getting any oomph out of your company page? Your Company Page content going nowhere and getting zero engagement?

There are two reasons for that. There’s the “what happens when you post” and the “what” you post.

There is a lot to unpack here, but I promise both parts are worth taking into consideration.

The first thing we need to cover is that LinkedIn does not really distribute company page content organically. Okay, what the heck does that mean? Well, when you post something on your personal account, LinkedIn will put it in front of a small percentage – like 5 to 8% – of your connections and followers and see how it does. If it does well, that is, if it gets lots of engagement, LinkedIn will distribute it further and so on.

So most people assume that LinkedIn does the same thing with company page content and most people would be wrong.

For all intents and purposes, LinkedIn does not distribute company page content at all. You’re on your own. If you follow any companies, when was the last time you were notified of what they had published? If you are like me, you can’t remember a single instance. Now would you be surprised if I told you LinkedIn had a bunch of cool tools for seeing the content of companies you follow? And that those tools are in Sales Navigator for only $70 or $80 bucks a month? And what type of Sales Navigator users follow company pages? People who either want to sell to your company or people that compete with your company. So the only people that can actually easily see all your company page content are people you are sure not writing that content for.

So if your company page content is not easily seen by your followers, what can you do about it? Well, the first thing you have to realize is that under these circumstances, your company page is more about establishing credibility than it is about increasing your reach. But there are a couple things you can do.

1) Enlist your company employees. Let your team know when you’re publishing. Get them to share or comment if – and this is important – they are regular LinkedIn users and have a decent sized network. When they share or comment, the company post will then get seen by a small portion of their networks. This can help with your reach.

(I think Liking is too easy and the effects are poor, so I recommend you avoid Liking your company page posts)

2) While enlisting company employees is obvious, no one thinks of this one: enlist your suppliers. Your suppliers have a vested interest in your company’s success, and there are two people at each of those suppliers who should be keen to help you out: the salesperson who is your main point of contact and their company page manager who is likely to be more sympathetic to your efforts than most people in your own company.

Okay that covers the “what happens”, so let’s turn to the “what” in what you should post on your company page.

My suspicion is that as with Facebook, LinkedIn is killing organic distribution of company posts to encourage companies to buy sponsored InMail or advertising. But that means that for the most part, people are not seeing your company’s content unless they actually search for and discover your company page – either through a company search, a hashtag search or a content search.

In each of those cases, your reader is discovering you for the first time. They have discovered you because they were searching LinkedIn and using it as a resource.

What are they looking for? Answers to their questions. They arrive at your company page and ask themselves, “I wonder if these people can help me with my problem?”

What are they not looking for? Someone trying to sell something to them.

So what does your company page and your content need to offer these people? Solutions. The benefits they will receive from working with you. If you can answer their questions they will want to talk with you. If you come across as just interested in selling them something, you won’t get very far.

When you offer people answers to their questions and information they can use, they will want to return to you Company Page.

When all you do is advertise, why would someone every want to come back a second time?

Having people see you as a resource is a good position to be in.

The obligatory disclaimer: I do not work for or have any association with LinkedIn, other than being a user who pays them for his Sales Navigator subscription every month.

Want more like this? I publish three weekly email newsletters on LinkedIn for Sales, LinkedIn for Marketing and Advanced LinkedIn Strategies and Tactics. Each is typically a two or three minute read, free, and and you can unsubscribe anytime. Here’s a link to the sign up page: https://practicalsmm.com/contact/

How I Decide Whether To Publish LinkedIn Posts Or Articles

Back in the day, it took a lot longer to write a post or an article. 

 

Most people I speak with have an “either or” attitude as to whether they should Post or Publish Articles on LinkedIn. I think this is the wrong way of looking at it. 

The way I see it, you should look at the strengths and weaknesses of each format and figure where they fit within your overall strategy. 

First of all what are the key characteristics of posts? 

  • Posts have a limited shelf life – they are part of your activity feed and disappear over time. LinkedIn says they are visible for ninety days
  • Posts also have no real formatting options, unless…
  • you can do a document post, which effectively embeds slides in your post. 
  • Posts tend to be short. The limit is 1300 characters, which is 200 words or thereabouts

And how about Articles?

  • Articles have more formatting options. It’s more like blogging.
  • Length limits realistically don’t exist for articles. I have seen 40,000 and 120,000 mentioned as the limits. There aren’t many people who are going to write seven or ten thousand word articles on LinkedIn.
  • All of your past articles are saved and can be retrieved and viewed by visitors to your profile, or readers of your current article. LinkedIn says they save articles for two years, but I have articles that are going on five years old that are still there. 
  • Articles can be found by Google. I have been fortunate enough to have three of my articles show up at the top of Google search results. This has resulted in tens of thousands of views, hundreds of comments, and several  work contracts. I receive LinkedIn notifications every week about likes and comments on articles I wrote three and four years ago.

Note that from having published hundreds of posts and articles:

  • Engagement is a wash. I find a good post will get the same engagement as an article and vice versa. 
  • Views are counted differently for each and shouldn’t be factor in your decision 

While I articles can be used to increase my reach (those ones Google likes has people constantly discovering me) their main purpose is to showcase my expertise. And while posts will demonstrate my expertise, the main purpose there is to increase my reach. 

With all of this in mind, when I am going to write on LinkedIn, what form it takes is usually guided by one simple observation: 

Articles educate, posts start conversations.

Taking Apart Your LinkedIn Profile Dashboard

If you look on your LinkedIn Profile, underneath your photo and headline, and your About and your Featured sections (if you use either of these), you will come across “Your Dashboard ” which is private to you. “Dashboard” seems like a pretty exotic term to use for three statistics but there you go. Here is what mine looked like today:

In theory, I am guessing that LinkedIn uses these three statistics as some sort of gauge for how visible your profile is, though searching LinkedIn help results in no articles on this topic. But the unspoken thing here is that by presenting these statistics, LinkedIn is implying that you should want then to get bigger, or at least that they are important. So I thought I would take each one in turn and discuss why two of these are crap and should be ignored, and one should be taken seriously.

Part 1: Search Appearances

What this statistic supposedly does is to provide you with some clues as to how well your LinkedIn profile is performing for you. It is updated weekly.

The Search Appearance related statistics that LinkedIn shows are as follows:

The number of times you showed in search results during any given week

While it is a nice ego boost to think I am showing up in a lot of searches, without any context I am not sure that knowing this number helps me much. That’s because LinkedIn quite helpfully does not tell us how a “search” is defined. Here’s a good example: if someone I know types my name in the search bar and hits enter, they find me. Does this constitute a search? And if so, should I be excited that I turned up in their search results?

The statistics screen then lists the top places your searchers work

I am not sure what to make of this. Last week on my report there were three companies listed. This week there are two. Those two from this week were both there last week too. Apparently, over a two week period I landed in more searches performed by people at Oberlin College than anywhere else. How can that be? Does Oberlin College have a “Find Bruce Johnston on LinkedIn” course that I don’t know about?

Even if I put the nice people at Oberlin College aside, that leaves Intel as the next company. Now how can I use that information? Maybe I can send messages to my three connections at Intel asking if it was them. Or maybe I can send InMails to the 5,600 second degree connections I have at Intel.

So once again this information is interesting but not useful.

What your searchers do

Now this is data that helps. In my case, I show up in more corporate trainer’s searches than anyone else’s. And these are the type of people I want to meet so I know my profile is doing its job. If I was job hunting, I would hope to see Recruiters and Human Resources people as my top searchers.

What these statistics don’t do for you

They don’t tell you where you ranked in the results and that is a big deal. If you don’t rank highly in a set of search results then who cares? I regularly perform LinkedIn searches that get thousands of results. I don’t look at them all. When was the last time you performed a Google search and reviewed all the results? When was the last time you performed a Google search and got even halfway down page one of the search results?

In a lot of ways, these statistics make me think of views you would get for a post on your LinkedIn Homepage screen. A thousand views means it was on a thousand screens. But you don’t know how many people actually saw your post and then read it. In the same way, appearing in a thousand search results is nice. But it doesn’t tell you if the people searching even saw you in the search results, let alone clicked on and opened your profile.

I just stopped writing for a moment, hopped on LinkedIn and did a search for people in North America. So congratulations, if you are a LinkedIn member and live in North America, you just showed up in my search results….with 208 million other people.

As it stands, “Weekly Search Appearances” gives us some interesting clues, but not enough context and detail to really be a useful tool.

Part Two: Post Views

Let me show you four glaring problems with view statistics.

1) Views are counted differently for different types of LinkedIn content

A post is considered viewed if it showed up on your LinkedIn screen. You don’t even have to be aware that it was there, you are considered as having viewed it, because you could have viewed it if you looked in the right place.

An article view requires you to click on it to open the article.

Note that even with just these two types of content it is obvious that a view for one is very different from a view for the other. With a post you have the opportunity to see it, while for an article you had to click so you had the intent to see it.

And then if three seconds of a video roll while it is on your screen you are considered as having viewed the video.

So a thousand post views are different from a thousand video views and both are different from a thousand article views. So that’s problem number one.

2) You can’t see who your viewers are

Actually I can see people who have engaged (liked, commented, shared) with my content and you can bet I go review every single one of those lists. But in the case of posts for example, what about the 97% who don’t engage? I would love to know who they are as it would give me clues and ideas as to how I could improve my content.

3) there are no meaningful demographics

I would love to know the split between first, second or third degree connections that view my content. I would also love to see what percentage are in sales vs marketing vs other functions. And company size. And geography. Info that would help me. A raw top line number does not.

4) I have reason to believe LinkedIn can’t count. 

If the same person comes back to your post seven times to comment or look at the comment thread, guess how many times they get counted as new views? Correct. Seven.

Then there are the overall counts. Here is an example from today. I published my latest LinkedIn newsletter. Under my avatar I am told how many times my post (actually my newsletter) has been viewed:

So my newsletter has been viewed 2,442 times so far since I published it. So I go to the newsletter statistics and I see this:

3,325 is quite a bit different from 2,442.

If I can’t trust the figures, how do I make business decisions?

This can all be very depressing, but next we will talk about profile views, and I have some good info for you on how to leverage this one good part of your Dashboard.

Part Three: Profile Views

Profile viewers are worthwhile and you should pay attention to them. If you have a premium account, you can see your profile viewers going back ninety days, otherwise you can see your last five profile visitors.

Regardless of whether you can see five or five hundred, you should check this on a regular basis, starting with whenever you log in to LinkedIn. It should be a regular habit, in the same way you would check your notifications or your messages.

In order for someone to be prompted to visit your profile, you did something – you commented, you wrote, you were mentioned, or they heard about you somewhere off LinkedIn, or they may have even found you in a search. But the bottom line is, they have questions that can only be answered by finding out more about you.

In my opinion a profile view is a valid business reason to reach out to someone.

When you see someone interesting has viewed your profile, you should immediately reach out to them on LinkedIn if you can. When you do reach out, do your research first.

When I send an outreach like this I often ask or guess why they came by (was it something I wrote? If so, which post or newsletter? Was it a comment on someone else’s post?). My goal is to start a conversation, but barring that, any information that someone provides helps give me just a bit more guidance as to what causes people to have a passing interest in me.

When I do this, I am successful getting a response around 65% of the time. Note that there are three parts here: the profile view was the trigger, but I had to do good research, which in turn armed me to write a good outreach message.

If this person is a possible prospect, this is the start to a process that goes: outreach, conversation, discovery, build credibility and then (maybe) sell. But it all starts with that first conversation.

For all intents and purposes, people who view your profile are possible business partners such as customers, suppliers, employees or employers. Treat them that way. And that’s what makes profile views the one valid statistic of the three you’re presented with on your Profile Dashboard.

The obligatory disclaimer: I do not work for or have any association with LinkedIn, other than being a user who pays them for his Sales Navigator subscription every month.

Want more like this? I publish three weekly email newsletters on LinkedIn for Sales, LinkedIn for Marketing and Advanced LinkedIn Strategies and Tactics. This week’s newsletter is actually a combination of three of my LinkedIn for Sales newsletters from a few weeks ago. Typically my email newsletters are much shorter, a two or three minute read, free, and and you can unsubscribe anytime. Here’s a link to the sign up page: https://practicalsmm.com/contact/