How to Post on LinkedIn: 10 Tips from Analyzing 3000 Posts

How to Post on LinkedIn: 10 Tips from Analyzing 3000 Posts

This is a post by Paul Shapiro. Make sure you check out his blog, Search Wilderness and follow him on Twitter.

***

LinkedIn has opened the floodgates to a world of content with their new publishing platform and it’s an amazing way to expose your writing to a highly-professional network of readers.

Top influencers are already publishing on LinkedIn, so people are seeking out content on the platform to read. This cannot be said about your typical WordPress blog.

Despite its awesome content marketing potential, The LinkedIn Publishing Platform is still new and understanding what makes a post on the platform perform well is relatively unknown.

(Read to the end to access bonus tips for LinkedIn Publishing Posts)

Therefore, it is imperative to understand what type of content performs best, and how to replicate that magic formula for LinkedIn content success in your subsequent posts.

There are already a number of posts on OkDork about viral content, effective headlines, and how to create great content that drives traffic.

But so far there hasn’t been a guide to what kind of posts perform best, specifically, on LinkedIn.

That’s why I took it upon myself to analyze ~3,000 of the most successful blog posts on the platform in an attempt garner some insights about what makes a long-form post on LinkedIn successful. (Click to tweet)

These posts received on average 42,505 views, 567 comments, and 138,841 likes.

Pull up a chair, a taco and let’s jump into the data!

1) Make your titles between 40 and 49 characters long

40-49 character length titles receive the greatest number of post views overall.

linkedin title lengths

2) Make your posts on LinkedIn visual! Add 8 images.

number of images in linkedin publishing posts

You should have at least one image in your post.

Including 8 images when you publish on LinkedIn is associated with a greater number of LinkedIn shares, likes, comments, and views.

header-image

Make sure that 1 of those 8 images is at the top of the post. Many people include an image in the very beginning to act as a sort of header image.

3) Don’t add videos or other multimedia assets to your posts

number of multimedia embeds to include in linkedin posts

Images aren’t the only aesthetic you can add to your posts.

LinkedIn also allows you to include multimedia assets (YouTube, SlideShare, TED, Getty, Vimeo, or Lifestream are supported).

Unfortunately, the data indicates that the inclusion of multimedia assets are associated with fewer post views.

Be wary of adding them to your posts.

4) Use "How-to" and List-Style Headlines

A headline can make or break a LinkedIn blog post.

Before I discuss what the data says about headline usage on LinkedIn, I’d like to take the time to make a few general comments on the matter...

Headlines are often considered the most important part of a blog post. Websites like BuzzFeed and UpWorthy have built their business around crafting content with headlines that entice click-through. A good headline can make or break a post when you post on LinkedIn.

On my personal blog, I’m a fan of crafting a dozen or so headlines, and then split-testing them.

Want more marketing tips, like LinkedIn growth strategies? Check out my podcast

Now, you can’t do this as easily when you write a post on LinkedIn, but there are some alternative options if you’re really interested in crafting the best possible headline:

  • Poll your social media audience or email subscribers. You can easily set-up a poll with Title Tester or your survey program of choice. Simply list out several headline options and ask people to click the one they feel most compelled to read.
  • Buy some AdWords ads and use different ad copy to see which one is clicked more.
  • When you write a post, publish with one headline, and Tweet the post with varying headlines along with different unique Bitly links. Then edit your post headline to use the version that had the greatest click-through rate.

edit-post

Back to the LinkedIn data...

Don’t write Question Posts—LinkedIn posts where the headline poses a question perform poorly.

performance of question posts on linkedin

Do write "How Posts"—These posts perform best across the board in terms of LinkedIn Publishing metrics.

performance of how posts on linkedin

Do write "List" posts—These posts perform well, getting slightly more post views, post likes, LinkedIn post comments, and LinkedIn Shares than non-list posts.

performance of listicle posts on linkedin

So...

Don’t write headlines like:

"Do Business Schools Breed Arrogance?”

Write them like:

"Business Schools Breed Arrogance”

"12 Reasons Business Schools Breed Arrogance"

"How Business Schools Breed Arrogance"

5) Divide your post into 5 headings in order to attract the greatest number of post views.

linkedin performance by number of skimable sections

Using headings (H1, H2, H3 tags, etc.) to break your post into easily digestible (and skimmable) sections will help your post perform.

headlines

6) People like to read long-form content on LinkedIn—1,900 to 2,000 words long

performance by word count on linkedin

On average, the longer the post, the better.

Post with large word counts perform well.

Posts between 1900 and 2000 words perform the best and gain the greatest number of post views, LinkedIn likes, LinkedIn comments, and LinkedIn Shares.

7) Don’t get your audience all fired up

linkedin performance by post sentiment

Posts written in language reflecting a positive sentiment tend to get the most LinkedIn shares and likes.

However, neutral language posts tend to see more comments and post views than both positive and negative sentiments.

For example, the following text is from a post written in a neutral tone:

"Aside from the military, real estate agents, especially those selling high-end homes, use drones to fly over their listed properties and capture aerial footage of the grounds and surroundings. Likewise, professional photographers use them to capture unique photographs that would be hard to get by walking…"

About the topic of drones, it is neither positive nor negative. It is neutral and all about stating the facts.

If the sentiment of your post is not inherently clear to you, there are a number of free sentiment analysis tools you can use to assess your writing.

A positive sentiment score will be greater than 0, a neutral score will not have a score, and a negative sentiment will be less than 0.

using alchemyapi to detect sentiment

So, if you’re looking for feedback from your posts, or traffic, go all Switzerland with your writing and keep it neutral.

8) Make your content readable for an 11-year-old

flesch-kincaid reading ease of linkedin posts

For those of you that are unaware, the Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease test is a means of assessing the comprehension difficult of English text. Readers Digest for example, is know to be written in a Flesch-Kincaid Readability Score of around 65, which is considered “Standard” difficult, easily read by 13-15 year olds and by 80% of adults. (Click to tweet)

flesch reading ease explanation table

Despite what conventional wisdom might say about the LinkedIn audience being more educated, an “Easy” (Flesch-Kincaid Readability Score 80-89) readability level attracts more post views, LinkedIn shares, and LinkedIn likes to the LinkedIn publisher post.

9) Promote your LinkedIn publisher post on other social networks!

If you are planning to use other social networks to promote your LinkedIn publisher post, which you should, Tweets have the highest correlation to LinkedIn success metrics.

correlation between tweets and linkedin post views

For the data nerds reading:

  • 0.81 Spearman R for Tweets to LinkedIn post views (R-Squared is 0.65)
  • 0.83 Spearman R for Tweets to LinkedIn Shares (R-Squared is 0.69)
  • 0.81 Spearman R for Tweets to LinkedIn Likes (R-Squared is 0.66)
  • 0.69 Spearman R for Tweets to LinkedIn post comments (R-Squared is 0.47)

Whenever you write a blog post, on any platform, it is important to promote it.

The LinkedIn publishing platform is no exception. I adhere to the 80/20 rule. Spend 20% of your time crafting content and 80% of your time promoting it. (Click to tweet)

A part of that 80% time should be spent branching out to other platforms for promoting your LinkedIn post, like Twitter—which the data says supports its success.

Tip: You can use a tool like Twitter Analytics or Tweriod to determine the best times to promote your posts.

10) LinkedIn likes get you views, shares, and comments

LinkedIn post likes are the common denominator between the other LinkedIn metrics. More post likes will also get you LinkedIn shares, post views, and comments according to correlation data.

correlation between linkedin likes and views

Again, just for us data nerds:

  • LinkedIn post views are most correlated with LinkedIn post likes (0.77 Correlation Coefficient)
  • LinkedIn Shares are most correlated with LinkedIn post likes (0.94 Correlation Coefficient)
  • LinkedIn post comments are most correlated with LinkedIn post likes (0.84 Correlation Coefficient)

Tip: Adding a call to action at the end (or beginning of your post), encouraging people to click the thumbs up and like the post is likely a very effective way of gaining more views and shares.

thumbs
If you enjoyed the post, please click the thumbs up icon above and let me know!

The effort required to like a post is less than adding a comment or even sharing it, but it can lead to both!

Bonus Tip (#11): Publish your LinkedIn posts on Thursday

Average Total Views by Day of Week

Summary

In order to get the maximum number of post views…

  • Your title should be be 40-49 characters long.
  • Include 8 images in your post.
  • Don’t embed multimedia such as YouTube videos into your blog post.
  • Write How-to posts. They perform the best. You may also write a List post, but they don’t perform nearly as well as How-to posts. Don’t write a question post.
  • Divide your post into 5 sections with headings (h1, h2, h3, etc.)
  • Write between 1,900 to 2,000 words.
  • Your writing should have a neutral tone.
  • Write your post so it can easily be understood by the masses, preferably with in an “Easy” readability score of 80-89 which is easily read by an 11-year-old.
  • Publish your post on Thursday for maximum number of views.
  • Cross-promote your LinkedIn posts on Twitter.
  • LinkedIn post likes are the common denominator between the other LinkedIn metrics. More post likes should also get you LinkedIn shares, post views, and comments according to correlation data. You can encourage people to like your post with a call to action.

A Final Word

The data is there to guide you. These are only suggestions.

Of course, there will be the occasional outlier, exception to the rule, or variable we didn’t account for.

And you may be that representative example.

If you try something here that doesn’t work, test it, or try something different. In the end, you should be doing what works.

Now You Try It

Go forth and dominate the LinkedIn publishing platform and let the data guide you!

Get featured in your channel of choice, get tons of post views, send referral traffic, use it for SEO, or get email list subscribers. The world is wide open.

In addition to the data, I put together a bonus section that shows you exactly how to make content on LinkedIn get more views. You can access the bonus content here.

If you have a question or thought, leave a comment below, and I'll do my best to satiate your hunger for knowledge.

P.S. OkDork is giving away 10 copies of the new book Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success to the first 10 commenters. Leave a comment with the funniest title that describes your job.

Leave a Reply to Carolyn Ball Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

299 responses to “How to Post on LinkedIn: 10 Tips from Analyzing 3000 Posts”

Jeremy Dcruz
July 1, 2020 at 5:42 am

I write to save my skin.

Great piece of information, I will put this to work

Reply
David James Chevalier
June 14, 2020 at 11:33 pm

Great, I am going to install your posting ideas this week. Good read.

Reply
Kegesa Danvas
May 24, 2020 at 10:22 pm

Such a resourceful piece. Many thanks for sharing.

Reply
Cenk
May 20, 2020 at 4:27 pm

Valuable insight and interesting statistics.

Reply
Madhuri Lele
May 13, 2020 at 2:22 am

Hi Paul,
Superb, a great guide to what kind of posts perform best, specifically, on LinkedIn to aspiring ones. Even giving tip on keeping in mind Easy” readability score!

Reply
Sue
April 23, 2020 at 2:48 pm

Great read and thoughtfully put together with stats! Thanks a bunch. Wish I was one of the top 10 but missed it.

Reply
Galaxy Marketing
April 6, 2020 at 3:39 am

I found your post interesting to read. I cant wait to see your post soon. Good Luck with the upcoming update. This article is really very interesting and effective.

Reply
Mary Anne Doggett
February 24, 2020 at 1:48 pm

Great article!!! Question: Any stats on Re-posts of older articles you have written for linkedin that are still relevant?

Reply
Sociflux
January 24, 2020 at 12:08 am

<3 a great post, man! Love it, thanks for sharing. It is very helpful. Surely, I will take care of these things in my next post.

Reply
Marjolein
January 12, 2020 at 12:29 pm

Great article! Thanks for all the research, must have been a lot of work.

Reply
Neil
January 11, 2020 at 4:12 am

This may seem trivial but the title length analysis - was that including spaces or without?

Reply
Sandeep Jindal
December 24, 2019 at 1:17 am

Hi Paul. Thanks for sharing these useful tips. I was wondering if there is also a correlation around the time of posting on Thursdays.

Reply
Shady Salah
December 19, 2019 at 5:54 am

this is so insightful

Reply
Dave Paprocki
December 13, 2019 at 1:39 pm

Thanks for doing the research on this. I found it helpful and clear.

Reply
Writer
December 11, 2019 at 6:45 am

Thank you very much for publishing such a large list of useful tips. I really hope you will continue to publish this type of content.

Reply
Jo BB
November 27, 2019 at 4:03 am

Thanks so much for the tips! I will launch my first blog post on Thursday! 🙂
QQ: How will I know which hashtags to use to add traction?

Reply
Dan
October 21, 2019 at 7:28 am

Love the article, great template for linkedin newbs and ninja’s as based on such a wide sample. I shall be using this advice from now on.

Reply
Ken Schreck
September 29, 2019 at 5:47 pm

Excellent article Noah! I am just having one question which I couldn't find answered in your article. Should we include external links into the LinkedIn article, or is it better to avoid it?

Reply