LinkedIn has evolved into the go-to social network for B2B brands.
From finding top-tier talent to flexing your industry influence, a staggering 79% of marketers say that the platform is a prime source of new leads.
However, growing on LinkedIn requires a totally separate strategy from what works on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Not only does LinkedIn demand more professional and polished content, but the platform also relies on a unique set of metrics.
Listen: your LinkedIn analytics represent a treasure trove of marketing data.
But making sense of that data starts by understanding the dashboards and metrics at your fingertips.
How to turn your LinkedIn analytics into action
Totally overwhelmed by LinkedIn at a glance? Don’t panic.
For the sake of simplicity, we’ve broken down three areas of analytics to keep an eye on:
- Company updates
Throughout this guide, we’ll break down the LinkedIn analytics platform piece by piece to highlight how you can translate your numbers into action.
Breaking news. Company milestones. Off-the-cuff announcements from your team.
Growing your LinkedIn following means understanding which types of content resonate with your audience.
The good news is that LinkedIn gives you a ton of freedom when it comes to what you can publish. For example, text-based posts, videos, infographics are all fair game.
From the company updates section on LinkedIn, you can track the following:
- Impressions: The number of times a post was shown to LinkedIn members.
- Clicks: The number of times your company name, content or logo has been clicked.
- Interactions: The number of engagements (reactions, comments or shares) on your post.
- Followers Acquired: The number of new followers you gained from a sponsored update. If your post is organic (non-paid), this will be empty. You can use tools such as Sprout Social’s LinkedIn Reporting to find out more information about your organic followers.
- Engagement: The number of interactions divided by impressions.
The engagement section breaks down the types of interactions your posts have received. There, you can see how many clicks, likes, comments and shares your posts won. You’ll also see your engagement percentage and how many followers you gained from sponsored updates.
Below is a snapshot of what LinkedIn metrics for engagement look like side-by-side in Sprout dashboard:
Quick clarification: engagement rate is broken down by impressions and uniques.
What does LinkedIn consider an impression? Simply put, impressions represent the total number of times your posts were seen. Uniques only count the number of unique users that saw your posts.
For example, if one person looked at your post twice it would count for two LinkedIn impressions and one unique view.
Takeaways from company update data
The correlation between your company updates and engagement data can clue in on which types of updates are working and which aren’t.
And if you’re struggling, there are actions to take based on what we know about the LinkedIn algorithm:
- Instead of just dropping links, users should publish posts that encourage a bit of back-and-forth between you and your followers: this includes question-based posts, industry advice and hot takes
- The platform does not (allegedly) favor a particular content format, although image-based posts and videos anecdotally have higher engagement rates on LinkedIn
- Although conventional wisdom tells us to keep our LinkedIn posts short and sweet, you should craft captions that come off as personable rather than corporate
You should obviously put your engagement data into context as well. For example, look at posts that spark a debate or a flood of positive reactions (see reactions below) as a sort of template for the types of content you should produce moving forward.
Oh, and also mind how often you’re posting to LinkedIn. Like any other social algorithm, LinkedIn can be somewhat fickle as some posts blow up while others don’t seem to get much reach at all. As highlighted by the heat map below, timing and consistency can help you maximize your reach to grow your following:
Your LinkedIn metrics can also tell you which company updates might make strong strong content for LinkedIn ads in the future. Whether it’s lead magnets or a free trial, LinkedIn’s ad platform can put your best posts directly into the feeds of your prospects.
Of course, a key component of your content strategy is simply reaching the right people.
The follower section of LinkedIn analytics provides insight into your audience on the platform. Here you’ll see your total number of followers, audience demographics and trends in your follower growth.
For follower demographics, you can view your audience by:
- Seniority: This information is critical because, depending on your brand, you may be trying to reach lower, mid or high-level employees. The seniority demographics let you know if you’re attracting the appropriate audience.
- Industry: If you’re targeting a specific industry, you’ll obviously want to keep an eye on this data. Not only will you see if you’re appealing to your key audience, but you might get ideas for new industries to target as well.
- Company Size: Do you want to reach SMB’s or enterprise-sized companies? This data breaks down your audience by how many employees the companies have.
- Function: Knowing what job function your audience serves will help you share content that resonates with them For instance, comparing targets for marketers versus IT professionals is like apples and oranges.
- Employee vs Non-Employee: Having a lot of followers is nice, but if a majority of them work for your company then you’re basically dealing with a vanity metric. Ideally, your number of non-employee followers will outnumber your employee followers.
Beyond the specifics of your follower demographics, you can also see on your LinkedIn analytics dashboard how your follower count has fluctuated over time.
Here’s what audience demographics look like in Sprout Social, broken up clearly by seniority and job function.
Takeaways from follower data
No huge surprises here. If you notice a negative trend in your follower count, it’s time to dig into your data.
For example, you might have a problem with your sharing schedule or the quality of content you’re sharing. In addition to looking at your trends as a whole, look for sudden spikes, drops or flatlines.
Your audience data also lets you know whether you’re attracting the right types of followers. Again, your follower count doesn’t mean too much if it doesn’t consist of your target audience.
If you’re struggling to grow your follower count, it might be time to consider running some LinkedIn ads. As noted earlier, you can use your best posts as sponsored content to get in front of the right leads. An upside of running ads on LinkedIn is that you can get super granular in terms of who you target based on specific roles, skills and so on.
Also, don’t forget the need to bring your employees on board as brand advocates to give your follower count a much-needed boost. Introducing your business to your employees’ own followers should be a no-brainer, which means encouraging their own activity on LinkedIn in addition to sharing your brand’s content.
The visitor section of LinkedIn analytics gives you data about your company page, not your content. These data points include:
- Page Views: The total number of times your company page was viewed during your specified date range. This also includes views on a career page if you have one setup.
- Unique Views: The total number of unique users that have viewed your company page. This number excludes multiple visits from a single user. If someone comes to your company page, navigates away and returns later, it will count as two page views, but one unique view since it’s the same person.
- Visitor Demographics: Similar to your follower demographics, this section shows who’s viewing your company page. If there’s a discrepancy between the demographics of people viewing your page and your followers, it could mean there’s a disconnect between the content you’re sharing and the information on your profile. Make sure your messaging is consistent across all your social channels.
You can likewise keep track of profile impressions using tools like Sprout, measuring day-to-day changes in addition to averages over time:
Takeaways from Visitor Data
The first step for scoring more visitors is ensuring that your LinkedIn profile is totally filled out in terms of your company details. Over time, this will help you pop up in organic search via Google as well as LinkedIn’s own company search feature.
Being active on the platform is yet another low-hanging way to get more eyes on your profile. This means engaging with other profiles and encouraging your employees and teammates to do the same.
Additionally, make sure that you promote your LinkedIn profile beyond LinkedIn itself. This includes cross-promotion across other social networks (think: Facebook or Twitter) or your email list, as well as making sure LinkedIn is among the promoted social icons on your website.
How to level up your LinkedIn analytics with Sprout Social
Based on all of the above, there’s obviously a direct connection between your LinkedIn strategy and analytics.
And so growing your presence means leveling up your analytics.
That’s where tools like Sprout come in handy. Rather than second-guess what’s working and what isn’t, our platform hones in on your top-performing content automatically. If you want to know what’s clicking with your audience or worth running as an ad, look no further.
LinkedIn analytics come built into Sprout’s suite of reports. With the LinkedIn Company Pages Report, for example, businesses can analyze Page-level data to make strategic decisions.
For example, you can use this report to:
- Analyze multiple Company Pages to understand overall growth and compare individual Page performance.
- Calculate aggregate and compare followers gained by both Sponsored and organic efforts to determine the impact of your efforts on growth.
- Glean insights from data as far back as two years prior to connecting your LinkedIn Company Page in Sprout.
Perhaps the biggest bonus of using Sprout is that all of your Linked analytics (and social media data from other platforms) are all kept in one place. That means you get the answers you need without having to bounce between multiple tools or dashboards. If you’re active elsewhere on social media such as Twitter or Facebook, we’ve got you covered there as well.
Want to see our LinkedIn analytics tools in action? Awesome! Sign up for a free trial to access this report and manage all your social media profiles from a single dashboard. Using Sprout’s features outlined above, your LinkedIn analytics will assist your strategy across the board.
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