For many small businesses, making the leap from posting regularly on social media to actually analysing how those posts are doing can feel needlessly difficult. The analytics sections on social media platforms are often tucked away and easily overlooked, and the slew of social media jargon can be intimidating to navigate.
That’s why last month we posted our beginner’s guide to Twitter Analytics, in order to break down what figures are actually important, why that is, and how to keep an eye on them. This month, we’re giving LinkedIn the same treatment. Here’s how to get started:
Every LinkedIn business page must have at least one ‘administrator,’ a person who has access to the page settings from their personal account and is able to post to it as the company. To get started, you’ll need to be logged in to an administrator’s LinkedIn account.
Once you’ve done this, click the little profile icon in the top right-hand corner of the menu toolbar. This should open a drop-down menu with some options to go to your account settings. Below that will also be a ‘manage’ section where your company page should be listed. Click this, and you’ll be taken to an ‘admin’ view of the page.
Your admin view is broken down into four different main sections, as you can see in the screenshot above. You’ll have automatically been taken to the ‘updates’ section upon clicking on your company page. ‘Update’ is just the word LinkedIn uses for ‘post,’ so this section simply shows you your company’s recent posts in a chronological timeline. It also displays a few key figures about their performance in a box on the left, but for the real insights you’ll want to click ‘Analytics’ on the top menu.
Doing so will give you three options listed in a drop-down menu - ‘Visitors,’ ‘Updates,’ and ‘Followers.’ You’ll find most of your key information under ‘Updates,’ so give this a click first.
At this point, it might be useful to get into some definitions of words you’ll see on this page:
Impressions - This refers to the number of people who actually saw your post/s. Your LinkedIn page could have 1,000 followers, but your impressions may only reach 300 for an individual post. This is because the other 700 of your followers were offline when you posted it, or didn’t scroll down far enough to see it, etc.
Engagements - This is a broad descriptor for any time someone interacts with one of your posts, whether it be by giving it a ‘like,’ sharing it, replying to it with a comment, or even just by clicking on a link or picture you included in it.
Social Engagement % - Sometimes referred to as ‘engagement rate,’ this percentage refers to the amount of time that people, on average, engaged with your post in one of the ways described above. If your social engagement is 1.5% on an individual post, this means that 1.5% of people that the post reached chose to interact with it. (This number might sound pretty small, but don’t be disheartened! Research has actually shown that an average company’s overall engagement rate only ranges between about 0.05 and 1%.)
Organic v. Sponsored - ‘Organic’ simply refers to figures that you reached by posting to the platform as normal. ‘Sponsored’ refers to figures you have reached by paying money to promote certain posts, or to reach certain audiences.
Why do these matter?
Your ‘impressions’ can often look like the most impressive figure, especially if someone with a lot of connections shares your post and suddenly the impressions skyrocket into the thousands. It’s certainly a useful metric to keep track of, as it can help indicate things like when most of your followers are online and therefore when the best time to post is - but it shouldn’t be your guiding figure. Just because your post showed up on someone’s feed and they saw it, after all, doesn’t mean it was a fantastic post.
A post’s engagement figures are much better indicators of how much your content is actually resonating with people. If someone has been moved to comment, like, share, or otherwise interact with your post - then you know that you must have created something of value, usefulness, or intrigue to them. The higher your social engagement percentage, the better!
So, how do you track these metrics on LinkedIn?
Back on your ‘updates’ page of the Analytics section, the first thing you need to do is set your date range. LinkedIn automatically sets this range to the last 15 days, but you may often want to look at a specific month in its entirety or see an overview of a longer period. To do this, click where it says ‘last 15 days’ in the top right-hand corner of the graph at the centre of the page and a drop-down menu will appear.
Unfortunately, LinkedIn doesn’t allow you to set a custom date range like Twitter does, so you’ll have to stick with one of the pre-set options listed here.
From here, it’s relatively straightforward to gather your basic stats. The metric you’re viewing on this page will be pre-set to impressions, and you’ll notice that you can hover over the data points on the graph itself to see how many impressions you got at regular intervals within your date range. To change the metric you’re viewing, you just need to click on the text that reads ‘impressions’ in the top left-hand corner of the graph, and choose whichever figures you’d like to see.
Likes, comments, clicks and shares can all be interesting to look at - although you’ll find that the social engagement percentage gives you a combined summary of all of these. It’s not recommended to give too much weight to impressions for the reasons mentioned earlier, but followers acquired can be handy for seeing if there were any posts strong enough to reach new viewers and get them to subscribe to more of your updates.
Unfortunately, LinkedIn doesn’t give you a total figure on these stats for your date range, so in order to get this you’ll have to hover over each data point on the graph and add those numbers up manually. This can be particularly tricky when it comes to your social engagement percentage, as in order to get your average % for one month you’ll need to add up each day’s percentage and then divide this figure by the number of days in that month. It’s probably the most useful metric to have, though, so worth getting the calculator out for.
It can also be helpful to know what your best-performing post was, as this can be a great indicator of what kind of content your audience responds best to. To find this, scroll down below the graph and you’ll see a table titled ‘update engagements,’ which lists all of your past posts along with some of their key individual stats.
Take a look at the ‘Engagement’ column on the far right-hand side, and scroll down through your posts to find which one has the highest percentage here. This is your top post. Make sure to keep an eye on the dates column as well - this table isn’t organised by a date range so if you’re not careful you’ll end up scrolling months back when you only wanted to look at posts from a particular week.
Aside from analysing your own posts, LinkedIn Analytics also provides some great insights into your audience. To find these, go back up to that big ‘Analytics’ button on the menu at the very top, and click on ‘Followers.’ You’ll be shown a graph similar to the one from the ‘updates’ page, though this one only displays follower gains. What’s below the graph, however, is of much more interest.
This ‘Follower Demographics’ table gives you an overview of information on the people who follow your page. You can use the drop-down menu at the top to examine a variety of categories including their geographic location, industry sector and more. These insights can prove to be a great tool for making your content more targeted. You could use them to create audience personas, for example, or to find key subjects you know will resonate with your following.
You can also find similar demographic information under the ‘visitors’ page of the Analytics section, but we tend to find these details less helpful as they incorporate anyone who might have simply stumbled onto your page by accident.
Checking in on your analytics doesn’t have to be a mammoth task - even just taking a look at your most important stats once a month can be a useful aid in learning how to make your content more effective. Spend some time getting your head around all the buzzwords and you’ll be an analytics whizz in no time.