LinkedIn is the single most powerful business and networking resource ever created in social media or anywhere else. You can use it to help make meaningful business connections, whether within your own city or around the world. Everyone there has a personal profile, but you can also create a LinkedIn Company Page, from where you can highlight your job openings, showcase your company’s work, and build your overall brand.
Until recently, I always focused my time on my personal profile, choosing to dedicate my limited time on doing one thing well. However, I recently decided to start building my LinkedIn company page and yes, I would be delighted if you’d like to follow me there!
As I have been getting my company page set up, I was surprised to discover that LinkedIn does not separate my activity in the back end from whatever is happening on the front end. (The back end is your admin area. There you can create posts, review the stats for posts you’ve created in the past, and edit your overall page settings. The front end is what the public sees from you whenever they look at their feed, or when they look at your company page.)
As you can see in the photos, in the back end LinkedIn provides four pieces of very helpful information for each post:
Impressions: how many times each post is seen on LinkedIn.
Clicks: how many times people clicked on your post so that they could actually view or read it.
Interactions: how many times people liked, commented on, or shared your post.
Engagement: how many times people clicked, liked, or shared your post, divided by the number of impressions.
Every time someone sees one of your posts or visits your LinkedIn company page, that is an impression. If you are taking the time to create quality content, each impression should help grow your business. This is especially true if your content is compelling enough for people to share with their own contacts. On the other hand, your visits to the back end are not impressions; they are simply the times you go there to edit your company page or add a post. Yet every time you visit the back end, LinkedIn increases the number of impressions for all past posts that are listed there. Also, if you click on any of those posts while in the back end, LinkedIn adds that to the number of “clicks” for that post.
This means that the numbers you see for each post do not accurately reflect the impressions or interactions that post is earning. They are just some meaningless combination of those numbers plus the number of times you visited the back end. You don’t need to be a social media consultant to see that this information will be of little or no use to you.
I first noticed this on a day I was editing my company page while also working on a few other projects. I would make a change and save it, then cut away to work on other things. I noticed each time I came back, no matter how briefly I had been away, the impressions on all my previous posts had increased by the same amount. I could even keep increasing those impressions simply by refreshing my browser while in the back end.
It could be argued that the numbers are indeed correct, since you are indeed seeing your posts each time. However, as marketing and social media metrics the numbers are absolutely useless. We would need to go in and separate the number of times our posts are seen by others, from the number of times we visit the back end. Even if we assume we have somehow kept track of each and every visit we made, it would be an arduous task to see what should be an easily available number.
I have reported this issue to LinkedIn and will post an update here on any replies I receive. In the meantime, best wishes as you explore how to grow your LinkedIn company page. And remember, while the numbers are important, what is far, far more important is the quality of your engagements and the relationships you build. Give them your very best efforts; don’t all our relationships deserve that?