How to improve LinkedIn engagement in 2019

How to improve LinkedIn engagement

Quick tips to multiply your profile and post views on LinkedIn

The actionable advice here has helped my LinkedIn profile views and engagement to increase massively since the start of 2017.

Date Avg profile views* Avg post views
2017 Jan90100
2018 Jan8001500
2018 Nov18002250
* Total profile views for the previous 90-day period.

Introduction

This post is a follow-up to How to increase LinkedIn engagement, an article I wrote for Social Media Examiner in summer 2017, which has now been shared more than 10,000 times.

My LinkedIn profile views have gone from around 90 views every 90 days to 1800+ views in the same period – that’s more than 20 times more people looking at my profile since the beginning of 2017.

The effect has been even greater for views of my posts. I used to average around 100 views per post, but my current average is more like 2000 views. These figures aren’t amazing in absolute terms, but the percentage changes are pretty good.

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Steve Phillip

Steve Phillip
LinkedIn trainer
Linked2Success

Success is not a spectator sport.

To make LinkedIn work, you must have a plan and implement that plan consistently.

Terminology: posts and articles

The best engagement on LinkedIn is likely to come from your posts. To make sure you’re clear on what posts are on LinkedIn, here are a couple of definitions.

Posts

LinkedIn posts are equivalent to status updates on Facebook or tweets on Twitter.

They’re the short individual messages that fill up your timeline when you view your LinkedIn account either in a web browser or via the LinkedIn mobile app.

LinkedIn post character counts:

  • ✏️ LinkedIn posts: up to 1300 characters
  • ✏️ LinkedIn comments: up to 1250 characters

Articles

LinkedIn articles are equivalent to blog posts on your website.

You may have heard of LinkedIn Pulse and LinkedIn Publisher. These are terms for the part of LinkedIn where you can publish your own articles.

Articles on LinkedIn can be LONG:

  • ✏️ LinkedIn articles: up to 100,000 characters

It used to be the case that your connections would receive a notification whenever you published an article.

These days, a small proportion of your network may still receive a notification when you publish an article – but most won’t.

That means that if you do write LinkedIn articles, you’ll have to promote them yourself, just as you would for content written on your own blog.

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Lyndsay Cambridge

Lyndsay Cambridge
Web designer
Jammy Digital

In one hour, I learnt more about LinkedIn that I have in the past decade.

John has helped me avoid costly LinkedIn mistakes, and has saved me months of my own research.

Tip 1: Write text-only posts on LinkedIn

Posts tend to get much better engagement than articles (see my definitions above if you’re not sure how posts and articles differ).

My stats show that text-only posts tend to outperform posts that contain images and videos. For more about this, see my real data.

LinkedIn’s algorithm doesn’t like posts that contain links to external sites, because these links take users away from LinkedIn – and that restricts LinkedIn’s opportunity to show you adverts.

The best-performing text-only posts tend to be quite long, so don’t be afraid to use up most of the 1300 characters you’re permitted for each post.

At a minimum, aim to write enough to trigger LinkedIn to display the ‘see more’ prompt.

This means that your post should be long enough to fill at least 3 full lines. Here’s an example:

A sample post showing the 'see more' link

A sample post showing the ‘see more’ link on LinkedIn desktop

Trigger the 'see more' link

Trigger the ‘see more’ link

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Tip 2: Use emojis in LinkedIn posts

Text-only posts work best for engagement, but that doesn’t mean you have to stick with traditional characters.

Emojis can add a bit of colour and personality to your posts. They work well as markers for headings and lists. Here’s an example:

You can insert emojis in almost any text field via these keyboard combos:

  • On macOS: Ctrl-Cmd-Space
  • On Windows: Windows-;
Emoji keyboard shortcuts for macOS and Windows

Emoji keyboard shortcuts for macOS and Windows

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Tip 3: Like your own LinkedIn posts and comments

This isn’t a vanity move. Liking your own content can help it ‘travel’ further on social media (this also works on Facebook and Twitter).

As soon as you post on LinkedIn, hit the Like button. The same goes for comments. I’ve been liking my own content for about a year now and it’s helped to increase engagement on my posts.

If anyone criticises you for doing this, feel free to point them to this post.

Like your own posts and comments

Like your own posts and comments

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Tip 4: Share and embed your own LinkedIn posts

You can copy links to your LinkedIn posts and then share those links on other social media platforms. This is a good strategy if you have a large audience elsewhere and want to increase your engagement on LinkedIn.

To go one step further, you can also embed your LinkedIn posts on your website or blog. This is great for repurposing content and driving more engagement on your posts.

Copy the link to a post or grab the embed code for your site

Copy the link to a post or grab the embed code for your site

I’ve used this method extensively in my blog post about advanced LinkedIn tips.

Bonus tip for link copying

Rather than copying the link to a LinkedIn post, you can instead copy the link to a specific comment.

Copying a link to a LinkedIn comment

Copying a link to a LinkedIn comment

This is a useful feature if you want to point people towards a specific comment, especially because comments aren’t shown in date order.

There’s little point in telling someone to ‘look at the fifth comment’, because LinkedIn may change the ordering as it decides which comments are most relevant.

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Tip 5: Comment on other people’s posts

Don’t use LinkedIn as a broadcast channel only: like and comment on others’ posts and articles.

This will keep you on those people’s radar, and they’ll be likely to reciprocate when you write your own posts and articles.

Some people advise not to post anything of your own before commenting on several posts by others. I’m not that formulaic in my approach, but perhaps this might work for you.

LinkedIn won’t send a notification to the poster when you share their content (I think this is nuts), so make sure you tag them when sharing their content. Here’s an example:

Tagging a LinkedIn user in a shared post

Tagging a LinkedIn user in a shared post

If you want to check whether someone has shared your content, try this tip.

Make sure you check your post stats regularly so that you can thank those who have shared your content. Aside from being the polite thing to do, this is a great way to encourage those posters to keep sharing your updates.

For lots of other tips, check out LinkedIn advanced tips.

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Tip 6: Use LinkedIn native video

If you share video on LinkedIn, make sure you upload it directly to LinkedIn rather than pasting in a link to YouTube or another video site.

Native videos – that’s videos uploaded directly in the LinkedIn app or via the browser version of LinkedIn – perform much better than external videos.

LinkedIn native video details:

  • 🎥 Maximum length: 10 minutes
  • 🎥 Maximum file size: 5GB
  • 🎥 Maximum resolution: 3840×2160 pixels (4K)

Here’s a sample native video:

Good news: LinkedIn supports the addition of captions to your native videos.

When you upload a video to LinkedIn, look for the pen icon in the top-right corner.

This lets you add captions that have been created as SRT files.

If you need to create such captions, try a service such as Rev. They create video captions for $1/minute.

Learn more about video-captioning here: Create video captions

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Bonus video tips

Square videos take up 78% more screen space than landscape videos do.

The square (1:1) format therefore gives you the best chance of catching people’s attention, especially on mobile devices. Buffer describes square video as having more ‘thumb-stopping power’.

Remember that a lot of people use LinkedIn in offices, and that means they often have the sound turned off. Your videos may be more useful to them – and to those with hearing impairment – if you include captions (subtitles).

Here are mobile apps that can add automatically caption your videos as you speak:

What’s next for LinkedIn video?

The next innovation is likely to be LinkedIn Live – that’s where you can run a real-time video session where connections and followers can interact with you.

LinkedIn Stories is to be rolled out to students in the US. My hope is that a LinkedIn live video feature might appear in 2019.

Tip 7: Share occasional non-business updates

It doesn’t hurt to share the odd update that has nothing to do with work. (LinkedIn is a business platform, though, so don’t go nuts.)

There’s an old saying that people do business with people. Show others of your human side and you’ll stand out.

When I’m not posting writing advice or other techie tips on LinkedIn, I like to drop in the occasional post with a bit of humour.

It’s funny that some of the most popular content can be off-the-cuff posts and articles that aren’t part of any strategic plan.

In 2016, I spent all of 15 minutes writing a no-hoper’s guide to LinkedIn – it still gets views.

  • Be personable
  • Be memorable
  • Don’t be a robot 🤖

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Tracey Tait

Tracey Tait
Chatty, Tea-loving Content Marketer
TranscendYou

John helped me to create a LinkedIn profile not only to be proud of, but one that now helps me to be found more easily by my audience.

The video review of my profile, and accompanying document John provided, made it simple for me to update my profile and to see where my old profile had been going wrong.

Tip 8: Choose the right posting time

Post at a time when most of your followers are online. For me, that’s 7am–10am in the UK.

Posts at other times can occasionally do well, so don’t assume that your ideal time is the only slot in which to post. I’ve had posts do well in the evenings and on weekends.

Generally, posting earlier in your day will usually work best.

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Tip 9: Encourage engagement in the first hour

Likes and comments – the main types of post engagement – in the first hour after posting are particularly valuable to the organic reach of a post.

Be present when you post (rather than scheduling), so that you can respond to comments and encourage further engagement.

In my experience, I know that if a post of mine receives 500+ views in the first hour, its total views will usually be above 3000.

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Tip 10: Don’t reply to all comments at once

You can keep the engagement fire burning longer if you don’t respond to all comments immediately. However, because engagement in the first hour matters, it’s best to respond to early comments as soon as you can.

After that first hour, leave some comments unanswered for a little while, then go back and add responses. If you’re really disciplined*, respond to small batches of comments every few hours.

* I’m terrible at this. I hate keeping people waiting and tend to respond to everything as soon as I see it.

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Tip 11: Don’t post too much

The half-life of a LinkedIn post is about 24 hours. If you post too often, you might dampen the reach of each post. If you’re just starting out, posting once or twice a week is fine.

I post 6–10 times per week. That’s more than enough for most individuals and small businesses.

This is not Twitter: posting several times per day (especially if you’re repeating posts) is a really bad idea on LinkedIn.

Every time you post, you risk someone clicking the Unfollow button. Once they do that, you’re never getting them back. Be careful and make sure each post has some value.

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Tip 12: Include a hashtag on every post

Hashtags help you build your personal brand and track shares of your posts.

I use hashtags to categorise my posts. For example, I’ll tag language posts with #NoPainerExplainer and LinkedIn posts with #LinkedInLearnerLounge.

Searching for my own hashtags means I can see when people share my posts. Shares aren’t always easy to see, especially on LinkedIn desktop, so this is a good way to track them.

Don’t just use popular hashtags. Think about developing your own brand language with a custom hashtag. I’ve written some tips on how to do this below.

Read now: How to create a branded hashtag

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Tip 13: Tag people – but sparingly

Tagging people on posts can be a good way to bring them into relevant conversations.

Beware not to overuse this practice. Tagging too many people too often could be counterproductive. Those who are tagged a lot will be more likely to ignore tags, and they could unfollow you if you constantly tag them in your posts.

How to tag a LinkedIn user in a post

  1. Type the @ symbol.
  2. Start typing the name of the person you want to tag in your post.

A dropdown menu of people appears. If it doesn’t, try typing a comma (,) after the name.

  1. Tap the person’s name in the menu and it should appear in the post with a light blue background.

Tagging can be a frustrating process and you might need to try it a couple of times before it works.

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Tip 14: Use the ‘follow first’ strategy

This tip is best for you if you have a popular account.

You might receive many requests to connect from people who would be better as followers (you want them to see your content but you don’t necessarily want to see theirs).

The default button people see when they look at your LinkedIn profile is Connect. So, how can you encourage those people to follow you rather than to connect? Well, there’s a setting for that.

In November 2018, I experimented with switching my settings to display the Follow button by default on my profile.

This change led to:

  • no change in connection requests.
  • an increase of followers.

This means the change led to an overall increase in the number of people seeing my content. More eyeballs, more engagement.

Here’s how to make Follow the default option on your LinkedIn profile:

  1. Go to the Followers settings page.
  2. Set the dropdown to Everyone on LinkedIn.
  3. Set the slider to Yes.
Make Follow the default option on your LinkedIn profile

Make Follow the default option on your LinkedIn profile (view settings page)

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Tip 15: Create an Experience item for the job title you want

If you’re looking for employment, your LinkedIn profile needs to display a work position that contains the job title you want.

This is counterintuitive: how can you display a title for a job you’re not yet doing?

The problem is that without doing this you won’t be found in searches by potential employers looking to fill this position.

The fix is to edit your profile and create an item in the Experience section. Set the title to the job title you want. The result is that you’ll end up with an Experience item that looks as though you’re self-employed in the role you want.

The Experience section of a LinkedIn profile

Add an Experience item for the job role you want to be found for

This tip came from Luiz Carlos Oliveira Junior, who found that job seekers were not showing up in search without having a relevant title in their Experience section.

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Tip 16: Use the write-post-edit method for posting links

You shouldn’t include links to other sites directly in your LinkedIn posts, as the LinkedIn algorithm doesn’t like to promote anything that takes users away from the platform.

Read more: How to share links on LinkedIn

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What do all the view counts mean on LinkedIn?

I’ve written a post about post views, article views, video views and profile views.

Read now: LinkedIn view counts explained

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What’s the best size for LinkedIn images in posts?

Images that are 1024×576 pixels are good for native (manual) posts on LinkedIn. This size also suits Twitter.

If you share images via Buffer or Hootsuite, use 800×800 pixels or 1200×630 pixels.

1024×576 pixels works only if you post direct to LinkedIn – using this size to post via other tools may lead to your images being clipped.

You can add multiple images to LinkedIn posts but I find the result to be messy. Keep it simple: stick with a single image.

What about images in LinkedIn profiles?

I recommend adding a banner image to your LinkedIn profile – that’s the long image that stretches out behind your profile photo (if you haven’t uploaded a good headshot as your profile photo, go and do that right now).

The banner image is an opportunity to reinforce your branding or make a call to action for whichever product or service you’re currently promoting (‘buy my book’, etc.).

The right image size for your LinkedIn profile banner is 1584×396 pixels.

Note that your profile photo will obscure part of the left side of the banner on LinkedIn desktop. On LinkedIn mobile, the profile photo sits in the middle of the banner.

This means the only safe space in your banner is to the right of the image.

Consider adding your email address and/or telephone number to the banner. Use a large, readable font if you do this.

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Should I post updates on my LinkedIn Page?

Don’t expect a lot in the way of engagement with LinkedIn Page posts. Personal posts tend to perform much better, so that’s the route I recommend if you want to stand out.

You might bother why you should have a LinkedIn Page. I’ve written about that below.

Read now: Do I need a LinkedIn Page?

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My real LinkedIn engagement data

Here are the real stats for my LinkedIn posts. I’ve categorised these by the following types:

  • ✏️ Text: text-only posts
  • 🖼 Image: text posts with a single image
  • 🎥 Video: video uploaded direct to LinkedIn, not shared from YouTube or elsewhere
Type Average Likes Average Comments Average Views
Text 46 47 3183
Image 43 38 2292
Video 47 41 1328

Data from August 2018 to November 2018


You can compare the above stats with the figures I submitted to Social Media Examiner in 2017:

Type Average Likes Average Comments Average Views
Text 11 4 1044
Image 5 2 401
Video 4 2 215

Data from August 2017

The improvement in my view stats shows that consistency leads to growth.

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Let’s wrap up

The LinkedIn engagement tips above have helped me to massively increase the views of my content and my profile.

Follow my advice and you too could see much greater engagement on your LinkedIn feed.

Remember that engagement leads to greater awareness, and over time that can translate into more business.

Want better LinkedIn results?

Looking for free advice to build your LinkedIn presence and do more business?

Or do you need 1-to-1 support to enhance your LinkedIn profile and create better social content?

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Who wrote this?

John Espirian freelance technical copywriter

John Espirian – the relentlessly helpful technical copywriter

I write B2B web content, blogs, user guides and case studies – all aimed at explaining how your products, services and processes work. I also offer LinkedIn profile critiquing and rewriting.

I work from home in Newport, South Wales and support the (formerly) mighty Liverpool FC 🔴⚽️