Every once in a while I share a post that gets tens of thousands of views, but most often they range in the high hundreds to low thousands. What’s difference between posts that burn bright and those that fizzle out? What do the numbers mean and why you shouldn’t put too much emphasis on views, likes, or shares? In this post we’ll dig into each of those points, I’ll also share how to use Linked In to create top of funnel engagement and build your network.
Follow me and you’ll witness frequency of posts, quick response to comments, connecting people, and building groups.
It’s true, your network is your net worth.
Linked In is less about YOU than you think, it’s all about them. Who’s “them”? It’s the people in your niche that make decisions today as well as those that will make decisions tomorrow. It’s potential connections in your extended network both laterally as well as vertically that you want to be seen by. It’s true, your network is your net worth.
Ready to increase your Linked In interactions? Provide value, new perspectives, and create the opportunity to begin a dialogue. Here are the top three ways to do just that.
1) Niche down.
– Identify your niche and focus on sharing valuable information.
– Have a point of view within your niche.
– Become an expert.
2) Be a source of information.
– Be the first to connect the dots for others.
– Share content that asks questions.
– Don’t try to be the smartest person in the room.
3) Be responsive.
– Answer your DMs.
– Respond to comments.
– Identify thought leaders in your niche and connect.
How did a packaging design post about Carlsberg’s new paper bottle get so many views?
I check my news feed at 10pm and at 4am (sleeping isn’t my strong suit), this gives me an opportunity to get the scoop over most people. I used to use many apps for this, but today it’s mainly Alerts and Feedly. Alerts and Feedly seek out stories, hashtags, and post that focus on my niche – packaging design and sustainability.
This schedule allowed me to share a story that would resonate with packaging designers, sustainability concerned readers, and beer drinkers earlier than many media outlets. Once posted it’s also reshared to all of my groups drawing on the largest audience possible.
As readers interact with your content on Linked In it is shared with their network. Responding to comments at various times throughout the day also reshares the post with your network and theirs again. Commenting exposes new viewers to content they may have missed and gives them an opportunity to engage with the original post, or respond to your comments.
Once content gets picked up by news outlets or has a high volume of shares by others, LI may choose to feature it in their “Today’s News and Views” posts. That was the case with the Paper Bottle post further compounding its reach and number of views.
What’s a view?
Views are just that, your post loaded on someone’s screen and they scrolled past it. It doesn’t mean they interacted with it or even put eyes on it, it just means it loaded on their device. Do views equal conversions? NO. Conversions equal conversions. Conversions are what you define them as, did your post get someone to interact with it? That may be a conversion for some. Did that post get someone to click your link? That may be your conversion. You define a conversion, but don’t confuse it with views. Views are meaningless vanity metrics, so stay focused on providing value within your niche.
If you’re curious, I count interaction as a top-of-funnel conversion. This means reviewing each person that interacts with the content to see how it fits into their profile. If you can identify them as a resource, see opportunity to collaborate, or find that you share similar points of view, send a message thanking them for seeing the value in your posts. Offer to help should they have any questions, but also leave it so they don’t have to respond if they don’t see value in it. Never ask for a connection, it’s better to engage first then connect if it makes sense to. You’re building a network, not collecting people.
You found something worth sharing, now what?
I post frequently, so not every one of them is going to be a home run, but that’s ok. You miss all the shots you never take. So take a lot of shots throughout the day, you’ll get the chance to knock a few out of the park that way. The two biggest differences between posts with high view counts and those without is timing and the copywriting. Scheduling when to post will be determined by your lifestyle, availability, and timezone. Copywriting is only limited by your inventiveness so let’s see why this Carlsberg post worked so well.
Create an opening line that paints a picture with personality.
“Bar fight scenes are gonna get weird with Carlsberg’s new paper beer bottle.”
Seriously, how ridiculous is that? But it’s an easy visual for anyone swiping up on the mobile Linked In app on the bus, the toilet, or in bed.
Include details of the article to inform and validate your content.
“Developed in collaboration with Coke, Absolut, and L’Oreal the bottle is currently being tested in 2 variants, PET lined or bio-based lined.”
The first press release I read about Carlsberg’s paper bottle did not include this much detail, requiring me to search out more details and confirm who was involved before posting this. Also, I can’t stress enough, make sure you read the whole article before sharing. You share it, you own it.
Pepper in your opinion, facts, and your POV.
“Though glass is recyclable, it’s not recycled as widely as paper. Brown kraft paper is also in higher demand than colored paper.”
Read a book, volunteer, asks questions of experts in your network. All of your facts don’t need to come from the internet. This bit of info yielded 3 DMs asking or more info about sustainable materials, several comments, and a phone call. All are considered top-of-funnel conversions.
Ask questions and include a call to action. Let readers know what you want them to do, either leave a comment, like, share, or whatever. Set expectations.
“How’s this hold up in a cooler full of ice? Would you drink out of a paper beer bottle? Leave a comment with your thoughts.”
These three lines were also responsible for several comments each, a few DMs, and an angry phone call from someone concerned that I was not supporting efforts to clean up our industry. All are considered top-of-funnel conversions, especially that call.
Lastly, deploy hashtags. Target a specific audience beyond your network. Make your niche apparent by the hashtags you use. For my friends and family south of the border I always include hashtags in Español.
Hashtags can be a variation of terms; #packaging #design and/or #packagingdesign
Because not everyone is going to be following all of these terms, you want to increase your chances of showing up in their feeds by breaking up the terms.
Knowing that this article may not make its way into the industrial design feeds I include that as a hashtag as well. There’s value in reaching laterally across to industries that may find your content interesting as well.
OK, I’ve shared it. What do all of those numbers mean?
We’ve already discussed views so we’ll move on to the rest.
Reshares: Reshares, means just that. Out of nearly 14k views only one person thought the post was valuable enough to share. That share is important, find out who is sharing your content and connect.
Reactions: These are likes, thoughtful emojis, etc… someone took the time to let you know how this post made them feel. Look at each of their profiles and identify the group within your niche to reach out to.
Linked In provides a lot of data around who is interacting with your content on your page. It won’t provide this information for content you’ve shared within groups or data you’ve reshared. Makes sure to always post content on your profile page first, then link-out from there.
Companies: Linked In provides the companies with the highest concentration of interaction with your content. In this case we got 3 beer companies all looking at the same content, that makes sense. But why it’s important to review who is looking at your content is so that you can continue to build your network. Is there anyone within those companies that it makes sense to connect with? If there is reach out, if not don’t sweat it. You decide how you build your network, and what success looks like to you.
Titles: You also get to see the titles of the people that have viewed your content. This helps cross reference with the companies to narrow down the field of who may have seen your posts. Seeing 500+ recruiters on here makes me think of this…
Location: Same as the previous two data points from this Analytics deck, you can use all three of them to triangulate people within companies or locations that you may want to connect with. Don’t worry about the numbers, focus on people.
Do these numbers matter?
No, not really.
If you’re getting tens of thousands of views but not actually connecting with real-life humans, the numbers don’t matter. Of the 40 comments listed in the analytics, I responded to each one meaning that there are only 20 actual comments since half of the comments counted are mine. What these numbers don’t show are the phone calls received, the DMs, and the emails that have either led to stronger relationships, connecting people within this network, a speaking gig, and even an upcoming packaging project. All of these count as conversions and if you count them all, we’re talking about 10 conversions out of 14k views. Meaning this single post had a conversion rate of less than 1% thus far.
Don’t stress about the numbers, focus on providing value to your niche and build your network one valuable connection at a time. And in the meantime if you’re curious about how packaging can help build your brand, feel free to reach out.