Not all LinkedIn views are equal.
On LinkedIn, not all views count the same way. Let’s look at how they differ and what sort of views really matter.
- Impressions versus views
- Post views
- Article views
- Video views
- Profile views
- Let’s wrap up
Here’s an audio version of this post:
Impressions versus views.
An impression means some piece of content was loaded on the page such that it could have been viewed. It’s a bit like opening a newspaper to a page full of ads: all of the ads on that page have been “loaded” and are ready to be read.
A view means the content was viewed. For videos, the count happens after only 3 seconds, so we can’t be sure it was a meaningful view. In other words, you really did glance at a specific ad on the newspaper page – but perhaps not for long enough to take it in properly.
For other post types, judging whether content has actually been viewed is tough: LinkedIn needs to rely on things such as clicks of “see more” links to assess whether the viewer has taken real interest in the content.
Potentially, they might measure how long the content was visible for by recording your scrolling activity. The technology exists to do this; whether it’s used on LinkedIn is another matter.
Posts are the short (up to 1300 characters) status updates shown in the LinkedIn home feed.
LinkedIn counts a post view every time a post is presented in someone’s home feed.
That means the content might not have been read – it was just shown.
If you’re thumb-scrolling through your feed at a million miles an hour, you’re adding a view to each of those posts even though you haven’t stopped to read them.
Because of that, post views aren’t a great indicator of engagement from your audience.
Why do text-only posts perform so well on LinkedIn?
I’ve seen that text-only posts tend to perform better on LinkedIn than other content types.
This confuses people who are usually taught that posts with images will perform best. That’s true on other social media but not so much on LinkedIn.
Here’s why I think LinkedIn like text-only posts so much:
Text-only posts take up less room onscreen than other types of content, so LinkedIn can fit in more content in the same space.
That gives them more chances to hook you in with an interesting-looking post.
Text-only posts use less bandwidth and are therefore easier for LinkedIn to serve to their users.
Bandwidth seems less of an issue on other platforms, but on LinkedIn we see an environment where not everyone has access to live video, and that could be because of the strain it would put on their system.
Text-only posts may feel more “professional” for people to be consuming and interacting with in a shared work setting.
Perhaps don’t want work colleagues looking over their shoulder and seeing them checking out lots of images and videos all the time.
Articles are long-form pieces of writing (up to 100K characters) that are LinkedIn’s equivalent of blog posts.
Article views are counted only when someone clicks through to the article.
This could be via a link in your profile or in a post, but also from links in emails, Google searches or even direct traffic.
Unlike post views, article views are the result of a conscious decision by the viewer. No one views a LinkedIn article by accident.
LinkedIn treats articles as though they’re the same as external content. If you want eyeballs on your articles, you need to promote hard on LinkedIn and elsewhere. Without promotion, don’t expect your articles to get a lot of views.
However, because articles are weightier than posts, even a small number of article views can help build your authority and earn new leads into your business.
So, don’t discount articles just because they rack up fewer views than posts.
To date, I’ve published 36 articles on LinkedIn, with an average view count of 237. If I ignore older articles, my average is a little over 500. Nothing special but it’s OK.
Videos here means the movies/clips shared directly in LinkedIn posts. These are called “native video” posts.
In contrast, “external video” posts contain links to third-party video sites such as YouTube and Vimeo.
The net result of both looks about the same – you see a post containing a video.
But LinkedIn’s algorithm doesn’t like links to external content – so it’s much better to post native videos rather than external videos.
Native video views are counted after the content is played for 3 seconds.
That means a quick thumb-scroll past a video isn’t going to count, but if you pause and give the content even brief attention, that will count.
The 3-second rule means that video view counts will almost always be lower than normal post view counts.
Still, these video views are a signal of attention and therefore could be seen as more valuable views than post views.
How much are video views really worth?
Some LinkedIn trainers say that a video view is worth the equivalent of between 3× and 5× of a post view.
In other words, a video receiving 3K views might be comparable with a normal post that receives 10K+ views.
Marketing expert Tony Restell has found that the enhanced video analytics on LinkedIn company pages back up the assertion of there being a 5× multiplying factor when considering the true extent of video views on LinkedIn.
(It would be nice to see these analytics come to personal profiles. I guess LinkedIn want more companies creating content so they can convince more of them to buy Sales Navigator accounts!)
In my experience, anything over 1K is good for video views. Go beyond 5K and you’re really doing well.
While video view counts might look low at first glance, there are things that these numbers can’t reflect:
- brand awareness.
- tone of voice.
- emotional connection.
Video has the power to cut through and really reach people in a way that text alone can’t, and it’s made a big difference to my success on LinkedIn.
Why can’t I see video view counts on some people’s videos but not on others?
Video view counts are shown on other people’s videos only when the videos have been viewed more than 500 times.
You should be able to see video view counts on all of your own videos, even if they’ve performed terribly. Once your videos receive more than 500 views, others will be able to see the view counts on them.
Do shared video post views add to the original post’s view count?
I don’t think so. I’ve seen separate numbers reported on other shared posts, which makes me think that those numbers wouldn’t also be added to the original video’s view count.
LinkedIn don’t confirm the way it’s meant to work, so I’m taking my best guess on this one.
This is where view counts get interesting.
A profile view is one where someone has consciously opted to look at your public profile. They might already be connected with you or not. Either way, getting more profile views is a good sign.
On other platforms, this could be a bit of a vanity metric, but on LinkedIn, people are apt to do business.
If someone’s there checking out your profile, that could mean that they’re interested in what you sell or what service you can provide to them.
On the Home feed of LinkedIn, there’s a link that lets you see Who’s viewed your profile. Premium members get more data than free users, though there’s a little trick here that can help you get around this:
LinkedIn profile views are like lottery tickets – the more you get, the more chance you have of winning the prize (doing more business).
And that’s what I’ve seen for my copywriting services. I’m now getting 45× more profile views than I did at the start of 2017, and that’s meant a lot more leads into my business and ultimately more money in the bank.
So, of all the view types I’ve mentioned, profile views are probably the most important to keep an eye on.
When you load your home feed in LinkedIn on the desktop, look at the left-hand panel to see a count of your profile views over the last 90 days.
Let’s wrap up.
Not all views count equally on LinkedIn, so it’s not right to compare, for example, post views with article views.
As with all things on LinkedIn, you can improve your stats by:
- writing a good profile headline and summary.
- showing up consistently with helpful posts, articles, videos and comments.
Profile views matter most of all the view counts – they’re the lottery tickets you want to maximise, so that you have a greater chance of doing more business.
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I write the words that go on B2B websites. I also offer LinkedIn consultancy and profile reviews.
My book is Content DNA.