The Science Behind Effective LinkedIn Posts
LinkedIn post effectiveness is somewhat of a mystery. As my guest in this new episode of The Social Business Engine podcast, Scott Ayres of Agorapulse, notes:
“LinkedIn is like the Uncle who always comes to the family reunion with a great casserole, but you forget is there.”
To provide some insight, Scott and his team decided to conduct an experiment to see exactly which post types are most effective on LinkedIn.
As noted, Scott is a Content Scientist for Agorapulse, where he runs experiments as part of the company’s 'Social Media Lab'. During our conversation, you’ll hear how Scott runs experiments using different content across the various social media platforms, verifies it through the expertise of an actual data scientist, and publishes the results.
Scott’s findings from a recent experiment about LinkedIn posts is the special topic of interest for this episode.
Sales Professionals Need Social Best-Practices Based on Data, Not Anecdotes
Any Google search for “How to post effectively on LinkedIn” or “LinkedIn best-practices” will provide hundreds of results - but how do you know which of those reports are actually trustworthy?
The leadership at Agorapulse, a social media scheduling tool, dedicated to allocate a significant portion of its monthly budget to run data-driven social media experiments through what they're calling “The Social Media Lab.” Scott leads that team in carrying out all kinds of tests.
Their experiments and trials are based on this pattern:
Problem -> hypothesis -> research -> findings
With the help of an actual data scientist who is on staff at Agorapulse, the team is seeking to uncover best-practices and publish them publicly for anyone to learn from. For this podcast, I asked Scott to elaborate on the findings from a recent SML experiment about the kind of LinkedIn posts that perform best - and you may find the results surprising.
Text-Only Posts on LinkedIn Are Viewed Massively More Than Others
One of the principles you hear touted about using social media effectively is that it’s a visual medium, and as such, posts which include images, GIFs, videos, etc. are generally more effective. Scott wanted to test that hypothesis, especially as it has to do with LinkedIn. His team at the Social Media Lab used three accounts with large followings to test the following the hypothesis that text-only posts would garner the lowest amount of views.
The team posted a variety of content types over a specified period of time, and tracked the engagement for each.
So what were the results?
“Text-only posts on LinkedIn had an increase of 1,069% views.”
That’s the type of data that helps those of us in sales and marketing understand how to garner better engagement for the sake of establishing relationships and uncovering needs. Listen to this podcast to hear more about how posting on LinkedIn create more sales conversations.
How Effective Are Hashtags on LinkedIn?
It hasn’t been around for long, but LinkedIn now supports the use of hashtags. It’s easy to forget that the functionality even exists on LinkedIn, but those who are utilizing hashtags are seeing great results - and the data Scott and his team have been able to compile from their experiments prove it’s not just anecdotal.
The Social Media Lab found that LinkedIn posts which included at least one hashtag saw 29.59% more impressions, on average. Based on those findings, Scott also discusses the ways in which hashtags can be used to coordinate sharing efforts by a sales or marketing team, and how searches can be conducted using hashtags. Get more insights on this in by listening to the podcast.
Featured on This Episode
- The Social Media Lab Podcast
- Agorapulse website
- Agorapulse on Facebook
- Scott on LinkedIn
- Scott on Twitter
Outline of This Episode
- [0:43] The fun job Scott Ayres gets to do for Agorapulse
- [2:55] What is Agorapulse? - An amazing social media tool and a social media lab
- [6:53] The criteria behind choosing social media experiments to run
- [10:12] LinkedIn Post types: Is LinkedIn like the other sites?
- [13:13] The hypothesis behind the text-only post advantage
- [18:23] The new hashtag experiment Agorapulse has run recently
Resources & People Mentioned
- LinkedIn experiment discussed on this episode: https://www.agorapulse.com/social/linkedin
- Melonie Dodaro’s book: The LinkedIn Code
- Measure your LinkedIn Social Selling Index
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