LinkedIn Analytics: The Creator’s Field Guide
Imagine standing amidst a bustling city. The city is LinkedIn, a dynamic professional network teeming with millions of interactions, posts, and updates. You’re not just a bystander; you’re a player in this city, aiming to navigate its complex terrain and make your mark. But how do you get started? This is where analytics come into play. Like a compass, they direct your journey, turning a trove of raw data into actionable insights you can use to improve your performance.
Studying your analytics has to involve more than just buying a tool; it has to be a back-and-forth process between posting and commenting, then going back and reviewing performance, then rinsing and repeating.
Understanding LinkedIn Analytics
LinkedIn analytics, at their core, are about understanding your LinkedIn profile’s performance. They’re the pulse of your LinkedIn presence, telling you about your raw volume of interactions and engagement. You’ll want to pay attention to:
Leading Indicators (Content KPIs):
- # Post Views by Type of Post
- % Post Engagement Rate
- # of Total Followers
- # Comments & Likes Received
Leading Indicators (Engagement KPIs)
- # of New Connections
- # Comments Left
- # People Messaged
Each of those KPIs is like a piece of a puzzle, providing a different perspective on your LinkedIn presence. They don’t quite form a complete picture when put together, because they lack the main metrics that matter most to you (see below for those!), but they do give you an in-depth understanding of your profile’s raw performance and engagement.
The ‘lagging’ indicators, named so because they are only noticeable after noticing growth in your leading indicators, are the ones we care about most from a business perspective:
Lagging Indicators (Pipeline & Revenue KPIs)
- # Qualified Leads and $ Pipeline Value Created from LinkedIn Presence (if you are a B2B seller)
- $ of Closed/Won Sales from LinkedIn Presence (or sponsorship/affiliate revenue, if you are a Creator)
Cause we care about the money, right?! Or at least, you should 🙂
Let’s talk about each of the KPIs and how they fit together.
Ah, content. The dopamine-producing (hopefully) currency of social media. Trust us: content matters. A lot. First, the vast majority of LinkedIn’s several hundred million users don’t produce content. Some people post other people’s content, but they don’t post their own.
Only a tiny fraction of people post content at all, so if you do post your own original content regularly, great work – It’s what sets your voice apart from the rest.
If you have Creator Mode turned on, LinkedIn’s out-of-the-box content content analytics look like this:
I find that somewhat helpful as a starting point. Over a period of time, you can easily see your top performing posts, and what they were about. This will give you a high-level glance at what your audience is enjoying hearing from you on.
You can also see a bit more about your viewers on each post, such as the top employers whose staff who viewed it, or their locations:
However, you’ll want to focus on these metrics when it comes to your content performance:
# Post Views by Type of Post
You can get Post Views data in a lot of places, but ideally you see it in two ways. One, in aggregate vs the prior period (to see if you’re improving!). Two, by type of post.
That’s the best way to tell, at a glance, if you’re posting more or less than the prior period in the date range, and whether your posts are getting more or fewer views.
% Post Engagement Rate
Stay on the same Performance tab of Aware, but look to the right, and you’ll see this graph:
The main thing I want you to keep in mind about the Engagement Rate is this: after a certain point, the more Views you get, the lower your Engagement Rate will typically go.
It’ll look a bit like a bell curve. For posts that don’t go anywhere at all (e.g. 0-4 reactions), you’ll have a terrible engagement rate. For posts that get some traction but not a ton (10-50 reactions), you’ll have a solid engagement rate of 1.5-3%. But for posts that get 100+ reactions? Your engagement rate will likely go down, because that means LinkedIn’s algorithm showed your post to a far wider variety of people, once it had done well with the initial cohort of viewers.
So don’t worry too much about your engagement rate overall.
# of Total Followers
The number of people who Follow your profile is an incredibly important, but also misunderstood, metric.
LinkedIn is primarily a networking platform, so your posts aren’t just seen by your followers! They’re seen by some of your followers, but also your “2nd Connections”, aka people connected to your connections. Sometimes, even your 3rd connections see your posts.
There are LinkedIn users with 100k+ followers that get far less engagement than those with 5-10k.
However, in general, more followers does correlate to better reach.
# of Comments & Reactions Received
Probably the most important leading indicator and content metric is the number (and quality, let’s be honest) of comments and reactions your posts receive.
- If you’re averaging 5-10 reactions per post: keep it up, you’re just getting started!
- 10-50 reactions per post: you’re starting to make more of a real impact, and are reaching more people. Well done.
- 50-500 reactions per post: Done properly, your revenue from LinkedIn will be well into the five figures per month, at this rate.
- 500+ reactions per post: you don’t need to be reading this article, do you? 🙂
Let’s talk about how to analyze this metric.
First, you can easily see directly on LinkedIn how many reactions and comments each individual post has gotten, on the post itself – even without Creator Mode turned on.
That’s good information, and it provides you with plenty of data on who individually is reacting to your content. This is helpful information for networking and selling.
You can also scroll down to see who commented on your post. Commenting is a much more ‘engaged’ reaction than just ‘Liking’ something:
It’s also helpful to analyze your inbound comments and reactions as a whole, over time.
Let’s look at the combination of Posts, Views, and Comments/Like Received:
Funny thing is, even though Views went down for me over this period, Comments and Likes went up!
This tells me that the reduction in Views is likely to do with LinkedIn’s algorithm, whether to do with the way they display or count Views, or the actual number of Views themselves. But what do I care about Views? I care about engaged conversations, pipeline, and revenue.
Comments are king here. Likes and other reactions are good, too – but not as good as comments.
Optimize for conversation.
Next, let’s talk about Engagement metrics. Wait, didn’t we just already? Nope – we talked about inbound marketing metrics. Content metrics.
Another way to describe growing your LinkedIn presence is “social selling”. So we need to talk about your outbound engagement with others. Remember, LinkedIn is a networking platform, not a content platform!
# of New Connections
Here’s where LinkedIn itself falls totally flat. They give you almost no way to track the growth of your connections over time, nor a good way to manage them.
As usual, it’s better to look at your connections activity over time, vs “your past self”, aka the prior period:
Think for a moment too about how Connections play into your strategy.
Are you a B2B seller, trying to establish Direct Message channels with your target audience? If so, new connections will be a much more important metric for you.
If you’re not, and you’re purely a Creator monetizing your attention, then you won’t need to care as much about Connections.
However, for most people, until you hit the Connections Limit Per Profile (30,000 connections is still the maximum number you can have), new Connections are a primary driver of Follower growth.
So go ahead and mash that connect button 🙂
Thoughtfully, of course.
# Comments Left
Without a doubt, the most-overlooked metric of all is how much YOU are commenting on OTHERS’ posts.
It’s far too common that new creators and social sellers focus on their own content, without thinking enough about how they’re providing value and supporting others on this platform.
Don’t be selfish.
If you do, you won’t perform as well. After all, not only is LinkedIn’s algorithm a “karma system” (meaning that profiles that engage with others have their own content seen by more people), but it nurtures goodwill, too.
As usual, tracking your performance over time vs the prior period is the best way to monitor your overall outbound commenting behavior. (It’s okay to track outbound reactions, too – but these aren’t as important as comments, because they don’t leave nearly as much of an impact on the person you engage with as a thoughtful comment does).
# People Messaged
The number and quality of your outbound messages is an underrated metric of growing a LinkedIn account. I’ve mentioned this a couple of times, and it bears reminding: LinkedIn is primarily a networking platform!
But it’s not just about outbound messaging for the sake of it. People you’ve conversed with in the DMs (“direct messages”, if you’re unfamiliar with the lingo) are more likely to see your content.
Track the number of people you’ve messaged with, and try to keep this number high! Especially if you’re in a B2B sales role, you’ll need to be having casual, low-pressure conversations with a lot of prospects.
Pipeline, Sales, and Revenue Metrics
This is the good stuff. How do you know you’re doing well on LinkedIn? You’re making money.
How do you analyze the metrics that matter most – the lagging indicators of success on LinkedIn?
Make CRM your friend. Integrate it into your LinkedIn analytics.
Here’s a screenshot of the Salesforce report from just one of my businesses, a B2B marketing services company, showing the revenue we’ve earned from 129 Closed/Won deals with the Source marked as “LinkedIn”:
That doesn’t even include sales of my other products, such as Aware or my online course.
Because at the end of the day, LinkedIn activity must track back to revenue (otherwise what’s the point?).
But the problem is, so much activity happens outside of LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
That’s why it’s important to have inbound and outbound Comments, Connections, and Messages automatically logged to CRM.
Of course, when you get leads from LinkedIn and they’re entered into CRM (whether by Aware or by another process you have), you’ll need to make sure that whatever Lead Source attribution field your company uses, is marked correctly.
I advise using a source such as “Organic Social”, or “LinkedIn”. Some people like to make the source “Aware”, but that’s not as helpful to your executive team as writing down how the lead was actually generated.
Once you have 1) all of your LinkedIn-sourced leads logged as such in CRM, and 2) leading indicators/activity KPIs logged as well, you can much-more-effectively attribute revenue from LinkedIn within your CRM.
Now, your turn to get to $4.6M and beyond. Many other companies have breached this level, and have brought in $10M or even $100M+ from their LinkedIn presence – I’m just one person and I’m on track to hit $10M within 10 years.
LinkedIn Analytics Tools
There are a number of tools out there that allow you to analyze your LinkedIn performance. We’ve touched on a few of them in this article throughout, but let’s sum them up.
LinkedIn’s Built-In Page Analytics
LinkedIn offers a suite of built-in analytics tools available to all Page admins, primarily centered around the Company Page vs the Personal Profile. This is only somewhat helpful to you unless you’re growing a company page, as opposed to a Profile. Key features include:
- Visitor analytics: Provides insights into the people who are visiting your page, helping you tailor your LinkedIn updates to new visitors and potentially convert them into loyal followers
- Update analytics: Measures the effectiveness of your LinkedIn updates and your followers’ engagement with them. This data can help you spot trends and patterns to refine your content strategy
- Follower Analytics: Highlights the demographics of who is interacting with your page content and updates, enabling you to create content that resonates with your followers
- Competitor analytics: Allows comparison of your page followers and engagement with competitors, providing insights into your social media strategy’s strengths and areas for improvement
- Lead analytics: If you have a lead generation form on your LinkedIn page, this feature enables you to track leads and conversions
- Employee advocacy analytics: Offers insights into how employees engage with recommended content
- Post analytics: Provides detailed metrics for a specific Company Page post, including the number of impressions, engagement, and the demographics of people reached
LinkedIn’s Creator Mode Tools
The features available are:
- Post Impressions
- Total Followers
- Profile Viewers
- Search Appearances
Using Aware for LinkedIn Analytics
Aware, our tool, offers an analytics tool suite that provides detailed insights into your LinkedIn performance.
Here are some ways Aware can supercharge your LinkedIn analytics:
- In-Depth Profile Analysis: Aware provides more detailed post, engagement, and team analytics than LinkedIn’s native ones. Visualizing performance over time helps you see where you stand vs your past performance.
- CRM Analytics: Recognizing that CRM is the organization’s typical “source of truth”, we allow you to push your activity data – comments, messages, accepted connections – to CRM for reporting.
- Team Performance Reports: Aware allows you to track the performance of your whole team, both at the individual level and as a comparison dashboard. This allows you to get a better understanding of who is bringing in results on your team and who isn’t, along with ways each person can improve.
By using a tool like Aware, both social sellers as well as B2B demand gen/social selling teams can gain a deeper understanding of their LinkedIn performance and use these insights to drive growth.
FAQs About LinkedIn Analytics
Q: How do I access LinkedIn Page Analytics?
A: To access LinkedIn Analytics, you must have a LinkedIn account and be an administrator of your company page. Once you’ve logged in, go to your company page and click “Analytics” in the top navigation bar. Note that these are different from Profile analytics.
Q: What metrics should I track with LinkedIn Analytics?
A: The metrics you should track with LinkedIn Analytics depend on your goals. If your goal is to increase engagement, you should track metrics such as views, followers, reactions, comments, and shares. If your goal is to convert engagement to revenue, focus on the ratio of leads generated to post engagements.
Q: How often should I review my LinkedIn Analytics?
A: Usually at least once a month to identify trends and areas for improvement. However, the frequency of review may depend on the volume of your content and the nature of your goals. I often review my analytics weekly.
Q: How can I use LinkedIn Analytics to track the effectiveness of my content marketing strategy?
A: LinkedIn Analytics show you the huge contribution that LinkedIn posting makes to the organic distribution of your message to your market. By tracking these metrics over time, you can identify trends and adjust your strategy to achieve better pipeline and revenue results. Don’t forget, you can use LinkedIn Analytics to identify the demographics of your audience and target your content accordingly.
Analyzing your LinkedIn performance doesn’t have to be complicated. Improve your activity metrics (leading indicators), don’t forget to track your outbound metrics as well as your inbound ones, and above all, focus on how your engagement and viewership is translating to what matters: pipeline and revenue.