With LinkedIn, Measure Quality of Engagement not Quantity

provisorslipostLike most people who share content on LinkedIn, whenever I post something, I start to focus on how many views the post has had.  It is a fun way to see if my messaging is having any impact and in a small way, it is a measurement of whether my marketing is working.  I do the same when I send out newsletters.

Anyone who posts on Facebook or Instagram knows the feeling.  You get a little rush of dopamine when you see the “likes” adding up.  But focusing on the quantity of views on LinkedIn may not be a very good measure of how much impact you are having with your target audience.

I was speaking with Micah Sifry over the weekend and I told him I was excited that some of my recent posts had over 4000 views on LinkedIn.  In addition, for the first time ever, one of my posts was “trending”.

Micah knocked me down to earth and offered some great insights about this.  In a nutshell, Micah emphasizes the importance of the quality of engagement you get on LinkedIn and other social media, not the quantity. He told me to look at how many comments I had, how many likes I had and how many of those likes and comments were from repeaters (i.e. people who have “liked” or commented on other posts).  He also told me to be responsive to those individuals (i.e. look for ways to continue the conversation with them either on LinkedIn or better yet, in real life!)  He told me that rather than looking at “vanity metrics”, I should look for ways to engage.

Of course hashtags and tagging people in your network can help a lot.  So can attaching yourself to existing networks.  I’m sure my recent post about the Provisors business networking group got a lot of views, likes and comments because I tagged people who encouraged me to join and I used several hashtags.  In addition, Provisors is a very strong network.

Micah also pointed out that joining other people’s conversations and being generous in pointing to other good content is a great way to engage.

Micah is co-founder and Executive Director of Civic Hall, New York City’s community center for civic tech.  He is a thought leader in the ways that technology is changing politics, government and civil society and he was one of the first people I knew who understood the web, social media, blogging and electronic communication.  I remember speaking with him in the early 2000s and asking him what blog was.

While Micah focuses on the political and civic realm, his comments are very relevant to lawyers and other professionals who are trying to get visibility through social media, blogging and newsletters.  If you are a lawyer who serves businesses or other institutional clients, you don’t need to get the attention of a lot of people.  You just need to get the attention of the “right” people.

Posting regularly on LinkedIn is a simple way to remind your clients, prospective clients and referral sources that you exist.  But if you are going to use LinkedIn or other social media as part of your marketing efforts, focus on really connecting with people. The number of “views” may make you feel good.  But if you want to keep the lights on, try connecting in person.