LinkedIn’s publishing platform has been an absolute gift to a lot of people in the B2B (Business-to-Business, for those, like me, who had no damn clue until a few weeks ago) world. If you’re on LinkedIn (we’ve been over this… if you’re a lawyer, you’re on LinkedIn!), you’ve seen the updates come through when one of your connections posts something new.
While I particularly enjoy my WordPress platform, there’s a lot to like about LinkedIn’s publishing system (as I’m learning – a version of this post will be my first LinkedIn article!). However, what really caught my eye this week was a recent update to their already impressive (but not yet Google Analytics-like) trackers.
A good analytics program will give you information about what happened in the past. A really good analytics program will thoroughly educate you about why those things happened in the past. But a truly great analytics program will tell you all those things, and give you the tools to be even better tomorrow.
Wow. Ok, motivational speaker mode OFF. Here are 5 Tools LinkedIn is Giving Away for Free:
1) View performance statistics for each post you’ve published
There’s only one real way to know what your connections are interested in. Try a bunch of different things, and see what gets the best response. There are no guaranteed winners, and frequently you’ll be surprised by what makes the biggest splash. (My biggest post, by far, was a relative afterthought on a Sunday afternoon).
LinkedIn Publisher’s update allows you to view analytics for any of your old posts, with data and stats going back six months. Oh, that’s just in the graph you see, which looks like this:
Don’t worry, that other data is still available. Much like Google Analytics, mouse over any day and get the daily viewing figures for each post. One of the best uses for the view graph is to identify your “evergreen” content. Most of your posts will see a spike in views when you publish it, then fade away. Evergreen content fights and sticks around. That’s the post that gets you noticed (as in the example I mentioned above).
2) Get demographics data on who has viewed your posts
Don’t get overwhelmed with the stats, though. Remember, this is LinkedIn. This is a social media site that specializes in allowing you to expand your professional network. So you know data about your posts, how about the people reading your posts?
For each post, LinkedIn Publisher now shows a performance summary of likes, views, comments and shares… and a list of the LinkedIn members who did each. If you’ve never tried to figure out the analytics of a blog before, you might not completely understand how big this is.
Every logged-in LinkedIn member that views your posts appears in the report. Send a thank you note to someone who has shared your posts. Find out what topic is most interesting to your most important connections. All valuable information for your professional network.
3) Identify your posts’ key traffic sources
One of the most difficult things to do is to figure out the best way to get your content in front of the most people. The best way to do that is to find out where most of your traffic comes from. Does it come from Google search? If so, that sucks, because they don’t tell you anything anymore!
However, if you’re getting information through LinkedIn Publisher, information is a bit easier to come by. Are most of your views coming from LinkedIn groups (mine do!)? Maybe you’ve nailed down the best way to get views from LinkedIn Pulse. Maybe you have no idea.
Check out what posts generate traffic from what sources. This will let you know not only the best place to share your content, but also give you insights about the best content to send to different channels. Who prefers your list-based posts? Do video posts get more hits from LinkedIn Pulse or your news feed? It’s all important, and the more information you have, the better.
If you’re looking for more hits from Google, then I guess you need to boost your SEO!
4) Identify potential connections based on comments to your posts
You are also now able to get a large amount of information on the people who comment on your post. Across most of the internet, commenters are generally something you deal with as a necessary hassle. However, on LinkedIn, you’re going to get a whole set of comments from people genuinely interested in your post.
(As an aside, that actually wasn’t sarcasm. Some of the most interesting interactions I’ve had with readers of my blog have come through posts on LinkedIn.)
If a LinkedIn member has commented on one of my posts, I can view their profile, or even send direct messages right from the analytics page. Again, this may seem like a small thing, unless you’re using LinkedIn for it’s best use – networking.
5) Gain actionable information by analyzing this data
None of this information matters if you can’t do anything with it. I’ve mentioned several ways the information in the new LinkedIn Publishing analytics can help. There are several more great ways you can put this data to use on LinkedIn.
Are you reaching your intended audience?
Check your data to see if your actual audience aligns with who you’re trying to reach. If you’re not getting the information in front of your target audience, you probably need to do some soul searching. Are you missing the mark with your content, or are you targeting the wrong people? You’re the only one who knows!
How can you increase traffic to your posts?
Where is your traffic coming from? Knowing where your posts are getting their best traction is your biggest clue to figuring out how to get more eyes on your content. Use that information to write targeted posts or change your promotion strategy to drive more traffic to your posts.
What does the data say about your viewers’ behavior?
One of the more deflating parts of writing for online publication is the inevitable decline that your posts get in views. It can be some of your best work, but in the harsh reality of the internet, what’s new is always better. Unless you know how your audience works!
Patterns of behavior among your audience can give you insights about how to keep your posts alive – maybe for that short time they need to truly catch on. Share further when traffic ebbs, or send to different places like different groups, and see if that content can truly be evergreen.
How can you leverage your posts to expand your network?
Let’s all be honest, the real goal here is to demonstrate your genius, right? Or at least let the rest of your colleagues know what you’re about, right? Good. Engage with those who have read, shared, and commented on your posts.
Expand your network. That was the point all along, right?