Many people get hugely excited whenever one of their LinkedIn posts goes viral and they get thousands to millions of views. A popularity explosion or so they believe.
A proportion of them even join LinkedIn engagement pods to game the system by liking and commenting on one another's posts to "signal" to the algorithm to surface their content to more people.
It's very common. It happens on other platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest as well too.
On the other hand, there is this other camp of people who stresses this, “The LinkedIn post view is just a vanity metric and not a valid measurement!!”
Coming from a decade of creating and reviewing dashboards, analyzing numbers and making strategic recommendations together with senior decision-makers in huge corporates, that comment irks my ears.
Once and for all, I want to debunk the myths around this topic. And teach the Linkedin community what’s behind the numbers in a post view.
The Ultimate Objective of Using Post Views
Views are a means to an end.
If you want to grow followers, more views mean more people are seeing your content (or parts of it)!
Imagine, you were to open a bakery.
Would you want your shop to be located along a busy street — to get more human traffic? Or a back alley where nobody walks by?
Does it mean everyone who passes by purchases from you immediately?
Passing by doesn’t equate to a purchase. It just implies more people know about your shop, your name or what you sell.
More people coming by >> more visibility >> higher likelihood of buying.
Notice I say: Higher Likelihood!
These reasons could still break a sale!
You sell a low-quality product.
For sure, if someone offers a 50p coffee to me and it’s horrible, I’m not going to buy it. They don’t like you — period.
If customers enter your shop and talked to you. Perhaps you said something that could come across as rude or perhaps patronizing, well — be sure they are not coming in again.
They are not hungry right now!
Not everyone who passes by the bakery would be interested in buying bread right now. Timing is of the essence.
All the above mentioned are determinants in a potential sale.
Leverage On the Linkedin Post View Metric
More eyeballs on your post equate to more awareness about you. If you want your view numbers to go up, you've to understand how the LinkedIn algorithm works.
More appreciation demonstrated by your connections through likes, comments and shares indicate to LinkedIn - your content is appealing to who you are connected to. And this matches the list of criteria to trigger LinkedIn's NewsFeed algorithm.
LinkedIn wants the community to log in often and spend more time on the platform. When there is more compelling content for discussion and interesting viewpoints to consume, LinkedIn peeps will naturally keep coming back for more.
So when your first-level connections and followers appreciate your content, LinkedIn will prioritise your content to their connections and followers.
View numbers are important. BUT it’s NOT the end result.
It's simply an indicator to track your progress - the means to an end.
Use view numbers to track your progress
When there are more people coming by, it translates into more visibility and converts into a higher likelihood of buying!
From the previous example, we now know - why not everyone who passes by your shop buys from you immediately.
So, how do we get from more visibility to a higher likelihood of purchase?
Theoretically, one might assume more visibility leads to regular engagement and naturally transforms into a higher likelihood of buying.
In reality, people may know your name BUT that’s not enough for a purchase.
You need to build trust.
Trust in :
- your expertise/products
- your business approach
- who you are
However, we can’t measure trust.
Do you tell someone you trust them 80% or 30%?
Then, it's not possible to calculate how it would result in higher odds of buying.
But trust can be created. Through regular touch-points a.k.a engagement!
On Linkedin, engagement is either a like, comment or share.
I use views together with number of likes, comments or shares.
Let’s say, you get a high number of views but zero likes, comments and shares.
That means something is wrong.
It could be a number of possibilities :
- Your writing could be confusing.
- Your audience doesn’t relate with your content - the way you say it or they see zero value.
- You are talking to the wrong audience.
Imagine, hundreds of people passes by your bakery daily. No one comes into your shop. And if they did enter, they walk around and leave. Without talking to you.
Sounds disturbing? Yes, I bet.
LinkedIn post views by itself is not sufficient!
To create trust, use like, comments and shares as indicators as a feedback loop.
Lean on them for decision-making. decide if your audience like what you are doing.
If they like it, do more. If not, STOP doing it.
Now we've addressed what's visible to the eye. BUT, there is also the silent engagement that's invisible to us.
People who silently engaged with your post. Or those who lurk in the shadows.
- A like but no comment >> can mean agree, disagree, want to follow the post, like your point of view etc
You can’t tell if they are going to become your potential clients.
- Folks who viewed your post but chose not to comment (yet?).
No tangible numbers to inform you of their identity.
- Or those who might prefer to send you direct messages to your inbox after observing your content in the background.
Awesome, we have absolutely no clue how long that’s going to take.
- “Great post” comments 😂
No idea which parts of the post appealed the most. Was it the selling tip, your personality or?
Will they become clients? Only time will tell.
As you can see, views, likes, comments and shares have their limitations.
Silent engagement is unmeasurable.
How LinkedIn post views/likes/comments/shares work together
Writing posts doesn’t guarantee immediate opportunities. If you get high VLCS for a week, opportunities won’t come knocking straightaway.
Trust takes time to build up.
This is a long-term game - like building up your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to get Google traffic or growing a YouTube channel from zero to 100 subscribers. You don't get onto page one Google or YouTube search results on the first day you implement the proper SEO tactics.
One viral post with high engagement doesn’t result in a “happily-ever-after” ending where all your subsequent posts get equally high VLCS.
It requires building a content strategy around what to post.
Think of what your audience will benefit from reading your posts. No one is interested in zero-value content.
- Not all content gets equally high VLCS.
A controversial topic gets higher engagement because it’s debatable and generates more dialogue. But sharing a tip/hack itself gets only likes, or ends at a “great tip!” comment.
- Let's imagine, you sell a productivity app and post about your controversial political views.
Well, you might likely hit high VLCS. Nonetheless, don’t expect business to come knocking at your door.
Write content that showcases your knowledge, expertise, customers’ testimonials - that’s self-promotion in a subtle manner.
It’s the entire purpose of publishing a post update to your LinkedIn network.
If you are deterred by creating, testing, adapting your content strategy and patiently waiting for results, I can tell you now.
Sharing post updates is NOT for you. Don’t even bother to try. It’s a complete waste of your time.
Beyond engagement on LinkedIn
Creating engagement is awesome. And naturally, it's great to see numbers that show proof of the number of eyeballs and the volume of interaction that indicates interest.
However, if you are a business owner using LinkedIn as a lead generation source, consider engagement beyond LinkedIn.
How can you transform the engagement into sales prospects or even hot leads?
Can you guide those LinkedIn members to your website to check out your resources, read your blog posts or watch your videos?
Or get them to give you their email address in exchange for something of value?
Or maybe signing up for a product trial?
Think: if this engagement is coming from potential prospects with varying levels of purchase interest, how can I nurture them into piping hot leads and eventually close them?
If you recall back in 2019, a famous Instagram star, Arii (whose real name was Arianna Renee) had 2.6 million followers but couldn't even sell 36 T-shirts to them.
It's a classic case study we can learn from.
As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself.”
Facilitate the growth of your LinkedIn network
Building a LinkedIn network organically takes a lot of hard work and patience but you can also opt for a paid approach if you have a sizeable budget to accelerate your network building process.
I highly encourage you to check out my other article: LinkedIn Lead Generation: Organic vs Paid for more options.
In summary, the essence of post updates - written or video is all about outreach, engaging, creating trust for long-lasting relationships. In fact, it's the pre-suading process before prospects contact you.
When you are tracking the progress of your post updates with the VLCS metrics, you'll have a clearer idea if your content works on the new LinkedIn.
Whether it's boosting your career prospects or getting you leads, your content creates the opportunity to initiate the first interaction.
From there, nurture the relationships through a mixture of content and private messaging. And that's how you grow your LinkedIn network and build relationships.
It’s not rocket science. BUT, whoever said relationship building was easy?