What’s Your LinkedIn Engagement Rate?

(waiting to engage….with dinner)

 

I track my engagement rate for posts and articles that I publish on LinkedIn. I find that my engagement rate gives me a better idea of which content worked best, and what people want to see more of.

How I calculate my engagement rate

I take the total number of Reactions (what we used to just call “Likes”) + Comments + Rehares + New Followers + People Who Viewed My Profile, divided by the number of views.

I look at all these figures once my content has been out on LinkedIn for seventy-two hours. I typically publish around 8am on Tuesdays, so I just look at all these numbers on Friday morning at the same time. I include followers and people who viewed my profile over this time as almost all of the people who did so follow or view my profile did so based on reading my content.

Let me hit “pause” for a couple disclaimers here: you can argue that some of these types of engagement are better than others. I think we can all agree that a comment is better than a like, but what we will not be able to agree on is exactly how much better it is. Is a comment worth two Likes? Three? One a quarter? Combining all five works for me. You could come up with your own engagement consisting of just comments or comments and profile views. That’s fine. Just as long as you are consistent with it.

The second disclaimer is that yes, I understand that some people will engage in two and sometimes more ways with a post – they could comment on it, then go look at my profile and then decide to follow me. That’s fine too. I still count that as engaging three times because it is obvious that my content really struck a nerve with them.

So that’s how I do it. How do I use it?

Most of the content I use to publish on LinkedIn consisted of articles. Over time my engagement rate on articles has consistently been around twenty percent, that is if I have five hundred views, the sum of my reactions, profile views, new followers, reshares and comments will typically be one hundred.

What I am looking for is outliers, both good and bad. The outliers are always caused by one of two things.

The first is I wrote about an interesting subject, or I have a spin on a subject everyone already knows about, but in an interesting or novel way. The second is that I just happened to be on my game and wrote that article really well. It just came together, had all the elements like the subject line and call to action working, and just flowed.

Those are the good outliers where my engagement can get up to thirty, thirty-five or even forty percent, the ones that short circuit my schedule on Tuesday as I keep coming back to respond to comments, reply to messages from strangers, and look to see if there are people I want to reach out to myself that engaged with my content.

Then there are the bad outliers. The ones where I made a typo, went off track on tangents, forgot to add a call to action, had a bland subject line and in general just want to crawl under a rock because I know I am capable of better.

You need to be able to identify both of these types of outliers, and my engagement rate lets me do that.

Bonus idea: Like I said I write mostly articles, where my engagement rate is around twenty percent. For my posts, it tends to be around two percent or just under two percent, and so far for my LinkedIn newsletter, my ER is around eight percent. As I am the same person, writing about the same topics at the same day and time for posts, articles and for newsletters on LinkedIn, this has led me to conclude that one article view is the equivalent of four newsletter views or ten post views, because that is what it takes to generate the same amount of engagement. Your results may vary, but a handy idea to know.

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/

12 Truths About LinkedIn And Using LinkedIn

Staying focused and headed in the right direction.

“Knowledge is good.” – Emil Faber

If you keep these ideas in mind, you will make better use of LinkedIn and the time you invest in it.

  1. Money talks and companies have money. If you have lots of money to spend on lots of premium subscriptions, ads or sponsored updates, LinkedIn will be keen to talk to you. If you don’t have money, LinkedIn is not that interested in you. I have had two people from LinkedIn reach out and take an interest in me and what I was doing in almost ten years. In both cases once they realized I did not have twenty-five thousand dollars a quarter (I’m not kidding) to spend on job or marketing related ads on LinkedIn, I became radioactive and the calls ended very quickly. As an individual, the most interaction you personally will get with LinkedIn will likely come in the form of a survey to complete.
  2. LinkedIn’s primary customers are sales, marketing, human resources and recruiting people. If you are not in one of these four groups, you are not so much a customer, you and your data are the product LinkedIn sells to those customers. LinkedIn makes changes to the platform that will serve their customers, not you. For example, if LinkedIn can persuade us to become more active on LinkedIn, that is good for ad sales.
  3. You are going to be contacted by people you don’t know. Expect recruiters and salespeople to contact you. That’s the price of admission. Be gracious to people who approach you intelligently and respectfully. But if they don’t approach you intelligently and respectfully, all bets are off. Spammers and people who send automated crap messages should be treated with the lack of respect they deserve and reported to LinkedIn with extreme prejudice.
  4. LinkedIn will never be a fabulous user experience. There are just too many different constituencies inherent in seven hundred million users. You have people who use it every day and people who show up once a year. You have people using it for sales, research, recruiting, networking, job search and a hundred other reasons. And each of those groups has a laundry list of features they wish LinkedIn had. As far as the user experience is concerned, “serviceable” is probably the best you should hope for.
  5. If you don’t have a plan, you can waste an awful lot of time on LinkedIn. Plan what you need to do to accomplish your LinkedIn goals, do those things, and leave.
  6. Using automation on LinkedIn makes you less social. You can use automation and go for quantity in your messaging to connections for example. But treating your connections like an email list doesn’t seem very social to me. And if you use automation for things like profile views, connection requests, or messaging, LinkedIn will come after you. Engage one on one with your connections and other people on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a contact sport.
  7. Social Selling on LinkedIn is just like regular selling, in that if you do it well, it works. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of people doing it well (just like regular selling). Remember that LinkedIn is a tool. A good one, but it’s not the Holy Sales Grail. This is mostly because people think LinkedIn is a social network, but it is really a big database with a very small social network embedded in it.
  8. Along those lines, LinkedIn is an excellent people database with good search tools attached, though you need a Sales Navigator or Recruiter premium account to take full advantage of these tools.
  9. LinkedIn can be used to find paths to people you don’t know via people you do know. This is a very underrated and underutilized aspect of LinkedIn.
  10. You get out of LinkedIn in direct relation to what you put into LinkedIn. By all means you can do LinkedIn in ten minutes a week, just expect to get results corresponding to ten minutes worth of effort.
  11. It’s still a give to get world. The minute you start looking at someone’s LinkedIn profile and start figuring out how you can help them, instead of how they can help you, is the minute you will start moving towards effective results using LinkedIn. The single best thing you can do on LinkedIn is invest your time developing your relationships with your connections. Very few people do this.
  12. For B2B sales professionals, LinkedIn is a game changer. What originally attracted me to LinkedIn ten years ago was that it was what I had wished for since I started in high tech sales in 1985: A searchable database of most every customer I could ever want, a treasure trove of researchable material on those people and their companies, and the possibility that LinkedIn itself may be the best method to reach out to them.

If you see LinkedIn for what it is, and not for what you wish it was, you will make effective use of the time you invest in it.

What would you add to this list?

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.

Don’t Let The Perfect Be The Enemy Of The Good

(this photo isn’t perfect – there’s a tiny boat on the horizon – but I am okay with that. Photo courtesy Mark Johnston)

I do a lot of walking, a minimum of two hours every day. It’s my pandemic exercise. To keep from getting bored I have a good set of Bluetooth headphones and I listen to podcasts. 

In one such podcast, there was an interview with Dr Anthny Fauci, who no one had heard of a year ago, and everyone has heard of now. 

And during the course of the interview, Fauci had a great line:

“Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”

The context was Fauci was talking about vaccines and the idea was that the first vaccine that comes out may only protect some of the population, or it may only work for a limited amount of time. But, even a vaccine that only protects some people is better than waiting for one that protects everyone. 

This whole line of thought made me think of blogging and posting on LinkedIn. When you blog or write a post, perfect is the enemy of good. I can write a “good” post in one or two hours. I can polish the heck out of that post in another two hours. But the good version is ninety or ninety-five percent of the polished version. Polishing the post may result in a little more eloquence, but the key in a post or a blog post is the thought or idea that you want to convey. When you have reasonable substance, people will forgive some style points. 

I tend to write five pieces of content each week for my newsletters, my blog and to use on LinkedIn. They take me somewhere between five and eight hours to write. If I wanted to polish those five, my time commitment would jump to fifteen or twenty hours. Which doesn’t leave me much time for my clients, the folks who pay the bills around here. What it comes down to is this: 

I have a max of eight hours a week to write. 

What can I get done in that time? 

There comes a time after you write something, and you give it an edit, maybe put it away for a while and then look at it with fresh eyes, you edit it again, but then it is time to let it go out into the world. Hit publish. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Thanks Doc.