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LinkedIn posts and virality.

Nigel Morris-Co...

Six days ago, on LinkedIn, I posted the following.

"Saw a job ad for "Head of Financial Crime" at an "international bank." Seems that even banks need someone to help them break the law efficiently and effectively now :) Perhaps "Financial Crime Risk Officer" might be a better job title."

It has gained many, many times the views of my more valuable posts. And as a result has provided useful data as to the benefit of LinkedIn for spreading information which, of course, is intended to have some positive benefit on business.

The stats for the post, as at the time of writing are as follows.

1 reshare

Let's assume that the reason for posting is not simply to be seen, in the style of facebook, but to drive interest in the poster, his company and, therefore, ultimately increase business.

LinkedIn tells me that I have 4556 connections, as of today.

It tells me that approx 90% of my views came from outside that "network."

So, given that this is a very rough and ready analysis, what does it tell me.

1. there is more interest in lightweight comment than in valuable information (by factors of some 3,000% against the usual numbers for my posts)

2. Thus LinkedIn readers are using the platform as a Facebook substitute with the professional purposes falling a long way behind.

3. The size of the initial network does not guarantee posts will be viewed

4. The number of comments is not directly related to the number of views (I have other posts with low-views that have generated more debate).

5. Likes translate to distribution outside my direct network and provide viral lift for views but those do not, necessarily, translate to further likes (the data LinkedIn provided on views does not extend beyond the second level.

6. Likes do not translate to shares.

The conclusion, then, is that as a platform to disseminate useful information, LinkedIn fails.

I have posted several items about seminars I will present in the UK in June. Referrals to the page from LinkedIn can be counted in the low tens. The stats for those information items show views in of very small numbers and only one or two likes. As a marketing medium, then, LinkedIn might work for the employment agencies that make up the bulk of my feed in that they can get thousands of replies to a single vague advert, but for high-level content and products, it fails.

Am I being overly cynical? No, another quite rapidly growing number of views (so far as I can tell) is for this:

"People keep posting items about a mixer. Here's mine."

accompanied by a photo of my 1970s Kenwood Chef perched on my balcony wall with several major financial institutions in the background.

In five days, it's got 322 views, almost all from my direct network, no likes, no shares, no comments . What I don't understand is why anyone would view such a vacuous post on a supposedly professional site.

And here's some proof: while writing this article, the views on the job title post went up to 16,704