LinkedIn: how to improve engagement in 2018

LinkedIn improve engagement 2018

What if you could follow a simple set of tips to multiply views of your posts and profile on LinkedIn?

The actionable advice here has helped my LinkedIn profile views and engagement to increase by more than 1600% since the start of 2017.

Date Avg profile views Avg post views
2017 Jan90100
2018 Jan8001500
2018 Oct18002500

Bonus: all of the tips work with the free version of LinkedIn.

Steve Phillip

Steve Phillip
LinkedIn trainer

Success is not a spectator sport.

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


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 9000 times.

My LinkedIn profile views have gone from around 90 views every 90 days to 800 views in the same period – that’s more than 8 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 1500 views. These figures aren’t amazing in absolute terms, but the percentage changes are pretty good.

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LinkedIn 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.


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


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:

If you’re a Mac user, emojis are easy to insert in almost any text field, via the Ctrl-Cmd-Space keyboard combo:

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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 and share 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

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.

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:

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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).

There are two good apps that can add automatically caption your videos as you speak:

What’s next for LinkedIn video?

Almost everyone has access to LinkedIn native video on mobile and desktop. LinkedIn are also starting to roll out native video support to company pages.

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.

A LinkedIn livestream feature might appear before the end of 2018. (I’m guessing so don’t bet the farm on this.)

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

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.

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.

Here are a few workarounds to share links in posts:

  • 🔗 Add links after posting: publish the post without a link, then edit the post and add in the link.
  • 🔗 Share links in the comments: instead of including links in the main post, add them in the comments. Let readers know by writing ‘see link in first comment below’ in the post.
  • 🔗 Remove the link preview before posting: include the link in the post as usual but delete the autogenerated preview before posting.

Each of these methods should result in your posts being seen by more people than if you include links as normal.

My preferred approach is to use the first method above, though this can mean that links are presented using LinkedIn’s short URL format, so readers can’t see where the link is going to take them. That might make them less likely to click the link.

A workaround to avoid link shortening is to paste in the web address without the http:// or https:// part at the beginning.

Placing links in comments can work well, but if a post becomes popular then readers might not see the relevant comment. That’s because LinkedIn displays comments in order of relevance, and its assessment of relevance may not match yours!

Comments can be displayed in date order but that depends on the reader selecting that option for your post. There’s no global setting to adjust this behaviour for all posts.

Learn more about the right way to add links to LinkedIn posts:

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Why are LinkedIn video views different to post and article views?

A LinkedIn video view is counted when the content has been played for at least 3 seconds.

A LinkedIn post view is counted when the post has been displayed. That means the post might simply be in people’s feeds as they thumb-scroll past at speed. It’s no indication that the content was read. All you can say for certain is that the post appeared in the feed and had the potential to be read.

A LinkedIn article view is counted when the article is clicked and loaded. Unlike posts, you can’t get an article view by scrolling past anything – viewing an article is a conscious decision.

Video and article views are therefore much stronger signals of audience interest than post views are.

It’s not fair to compare the figures directly – they don’t measure the same thing.

So, next time you bemoan small video and article view counts, remember that they might not be that bad at all.

For comparison, some of my posts get more than 5000 views but it’s rare that my videos and articles get more than 1000 views. This does not mean that ‘videos and articles don’t work’.

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

LinkedIn’s official advice for image posts is to use a 3:2 ratio with a minimum size of 552×368 pixels.

I’ve found that 1024×576 pixels is good for native (manual) posts on LinkedIn. It’s also the same size that suits Twitter.

If you plan to share images via Buffer or Hootsuite, opt for 800×800 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.

My current LinkedIn profile photo and banner image look like this:

John Espirian's LinkedIn profile preview

Connect with me on LinkedIn

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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When is the best time to post on LinkedIn?

Long story short: I wouldn’t worry about posting at a particular time. If you’re consistently sharing good posts, they will be seen regardless of when you post them.

The biggest determinant of the success of a post is the number of comments you can get from the first sample of people who are shown the post.

If that first sample responds well to the post, the post is amplified and you’ll get more views than average.

There’s no way of knowing which people are in that initial sample of viewers, but it seems reasonable to assume that LinkedIn will be most likely to pick the people who are online within minutes of the post going live.

On that basis, I’d guess that Tuesday mornings may be the best time to post, as that’s when people in the corporate world are most likely to be online. But note that successful posting strategies usually involve sharing updates at least once a day, so limiting yourself to the mornings only could be counterproductive.

Personally, I almost never look at the time when I write my posts. If I’ve written a text-only post that I think is likely to draw a reaction, I can be confident of getting plenty of views whenever I post it.

It can take a few months to train the algorithm so that it knows you’re likely to be sharing something of value, so don’t be disheartened if you write a decent post and it gets very few views – just like blogging, it takes time to build up momentum.

LinkedIn algorithm robot

The Algorithm
Chilling out
LinkedIn Learner Lounge

I very busy dealing with peoples. You keep posting good things.

I start promote you better in some months, yes? OK.

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Should I post updates on my company page?

I’d say not to bother with company pages. It’s OK to have a presence so that people can look you up and see some information about which LinkedIn members work for your company.

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

LinkedIn are rolling out native video to company pages in 2018, so perhaps that will lead to more engagement. I wouldn’t bet a lot of money on it, though.

LinkedIn algorithm robot

The Algorithm
Chilling out
LinkedIn Learner Lounge

No one care about your company page. Is ghost town.

You tell employees: use personal profiles. Is much better, OK?

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My real LinkedIn engagement data

Here are the real stats for my LinkedIn posts in December 2017. 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
  • 🔗 Link: posts containing a third-party link, with link added after post publication
  • 📌 Share: a share of someone else’s post

I’m including averages so that the table doesn’t take up too much room onscreen. For the full set of data, download this Excel sheet.

Type Average Likes Average Comments Average Views
Text 17 10 1457
Image 12 13 1384
Video 16 7 499
Link* 14 10 1656
Share 5 1 308

* Note that link posts have performed well for me only because I wrote them as text-only posts and then edited them to add the link in afterwards. If I’d posted the links directly in the original posts, I’m certain the viewing figures would have been much lower.

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

Type Average Likes Average Comments Average Views
Text 11 4 1044
Image 5 2 401
Video 4 2 215
Link 3 1 260

You can see that link posts didn’t perform as well in this set of data, and that’s because the info dates back to the time before I knew about the trick of editing posts to add links in after publication.

Overall, the data reveals that there’s been a significant improvement in the performance of my posts between August 2017 and December 2017. I attribute most of that improvement to being consistent with my posts and growing my network (I made about 400 new connections in this period).

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More LinkedIn engagement techniques

Asking questions is often a good way to elicit comments, which are LinkedIn’s gold standard for measuring engagement.

Someone who does this well is PR expert Janet Murray. Janet increases engagement on her posts by giving readers a quick set of options so that they can respond with a single number or letter to indicate a preference.

Giving people quick options can increase engagement

Giving people quick options can increase engagement

Another approach is to turn your LinkedIn posts into little stories, with a compelling opening line. I must admit that I’ve seen too many of these to get excited by them, so can’t bring myself to recommend this approach. Still, it might work for you.

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Let’s wrap up

The tips above have helped to increase my profile views by 800% since the beginning of 2017, and views of my content have gone up even more than that.

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.

Are we connected on LinkedIn? If not, send me a personalised invitation and let's hook up: John Espirian on LinkedIn.

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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.

Status: bored with international football – get the Premier League back on! 🔴⚽️