Over the years, LinkedIn has developed into a digital mecca for the professionally minded. As it has grown from online Rolodex and résumé database to a fully-developed business social network, opportunities for brand messaging and advertising have grown in equal measure. And with marketing opportunities come analytics. Here, we’ll delve into LinkedIn’s analytical tools and how to use them to improve your presence on the network.
First, let’s dive into the LinkedIn analytics landscape, which can be found under the Analytics tab on your company page. LinkedIn launched a reboot of their Company Page analytics last July, and now offers a breakdown of company page analyses according to three main categories: Updates, Followers, and Visitors.
With each LinkedIn analytics section, the metrics are displayed graphically, so trends in engagement, follower growth, and visitor traffic can be viewed over time. For our visually wired brains, this graphical breakdown is great for pinpointing which pieces of content positively contribute to the growth of your company’s LinkedIn presence. Note that the timeframe for each graph can be adjusted via a drop-down menu, so the graphs are customizable to suit your analytical needs.
The updates section offers a content-level analysis of what’s resonating with your followers. In the LinkedIn lexicon, an “update” is the equivalent to a post on Facebook or tweet on Twitter.
Both sponsored and organic updates are broken down by their impressions, clicks, interactions, and number of followers acquired, as well as a cumulative engagement score.
Keep an eye on shifts in engagement that correspond to variations in your content and targeting, such as updates with and without images, sponsored versus organic updates, and updates targeting specific audiences. Company updates that contain links, for example, show up to 45% higher engagement than those without, so minor tweaks in the format of your updates can result in higher engagement.
The followers section breaks down your company’s LinkedIn followers by type (organic vs. acquired) and by professional demographics. Using the follower demographic drop-down menu, you can see the breakdown of your page’s followers by seniority (director, VP, entry-level, etc)., industry, company size, function, and employee (i.e. your employees vs. non-employees).
These demographics provide a nice snapshot of how well you are engaging with your buyer personas. If your buyer personas center around individuals with purchasing authority at large companies, for example, then you should endeavor to target and build your LinkedIn following around those demographics. Only by targeting your ideal demographics will your LinkedIn content move leads through your pipeline.
For marketers with a competitive bent, the follower analytics section also offers a snapshot of how your LinkedIn following compares to that of a few competitor pages. As this table only deals in total follower numbers (not engagement or demographics) it’s simply a macro view of your company’s potential reach on the network versus that of your competitors.
The final LinkedIn analytics section zeroes in on your page visitors. Both Page Views and Unique Visitors are displayed graphically over time, and again, the date range is customizable.
But perhaps more helpful is the visitor demographics breakdown. As with the follower demographics, visitor volume can be viewed according to seniority, industry, company size, and function.
LinkedIn’s Dynamic Duo
Earlier this year, that would have been the end of the LinkedIn analytics tour. But in March, LinkedIn turned its attention to proactive content analytics with the launch of two new metrics. Citing research from the Content Marketing Institute regarding B2B marketers’ tepid confidence in their own content marketing effectiveness, LinkedIn announced two new resources to analyze your content marketing influence: Content Marketing Score and Trending Content.
First, let’s start with the Content Marketing Score. According to LinkedIn, the Content Marketing Score “quantifies and benchmarks the influence companies have on LinkedIn through their content marketing.” The score is a ratio of unique member engagement across all of your LinkedIn properties (Sponsored Updates, Company Page(s), LinkedIn Groups, employee updates and Influencer posts) divided by the total number of active LinkedIn users in your company’s target audience. In short, it puts a number on the portion of your potential audience that you’re reaching so that you can benchmark against your competitors and your own past performance. To supplement the launch of the new content metric, LinkedIn released an infographic breaking down the companies with the top Content Marketing Score, just to get some competitive content marketing juices brewing. Take a look at LinkedIn’s Top Ten Movers with the greatest Content Marketing Score increase from January to February 2014:
It looks like we could all learn a think or two about LinkedIn content from Conan O’Brien – his quest to conquer LinkedIn has placed him among the top three company page Content Marketing Scores. (And in case you haven’t seen his profile, here’s a peek).
The second content-centric analytical tool that LinkedIn launched last March is Trending Content. This ranking gives a snapshot of the topics trending with audiences across LinkedIn.
While the Content Marketing score is specific to your company or brand, Trending Content is based on a network-wide analysis of the most talked-about topics. Comparable to the trending features on Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn’s Trending Content is a way to see which topics matter most to the 300 million members of the network. The trending topics are also broken down by audience segments, so you can see which audiences are doing the most sharing of any given topic.
For a snapshot, take a look at LinkedIn’s trending topics from December 2013 through January 2014, below. Unfortunately, neither the Content Marketing Score nor the Trending Content are readily available on the company analytics page – yet. Access to these custom metrics must go through a LinkedIn account executive or account manager. That being said, the launch of these tools reflects an emphasis on the value of data driven content distribution on LinkedIn. Combining the collective analytical tools available on your LinkedIn company page offers an opportunity for proactive marketers to get ahead of the curve on the world’s largest professional network.
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