Jill's Thoughts

The Truth About Pulse Articles?

In reviewing the analytics from my personal LinkedIn posts over the first two quarters of this year, I’ve noticed a trend that has remained consistent over the first half of this year. In reviewing the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2018 in comparison, the same pattern exists. The number of data points I’ve collected over the last year that contribute to this trend demonstrates this is not a fluke, and outlier, or a coincidence. This review of my LinkedIn analytics has caused me to ask the question, “Should I be publishing pulse articles on LinkedIn?”

LinkedIn, as you should already know, is a social media platform designed to facilitate networking in the business world. On the platform, user can post links to content, pictures and graphics, or publish their articles through LinkedIn’s Pulse Article function. Everyone from recent graduates just starting their career to powerful influencers like Simon Sinek can and do utilize all of these methods for communicating and networking on LinkedIn. As for the Pulse Articles, publishing is easy with a process similar to posting on a personal or company blog. Once the article is written, a short blurb can be attached to introduce the article to all of you connections on LinkedIn…or so you would think. 

When I write an article to publish on LinkedIn, I always post the same article on my company’s website for our customers or prospects investigating ANS to read. My typical process includes posting the article to the blog, then publishing it on LinkedIn directly with a link back to my company’s website. Aside from writing a post linking to the Pulse Article on LinkedIn, I’ll share the link on Twitter (@datagek) as well. After a few days, I’ll typically share the article again on LinkedIn and Twitter, but this time with a link to the article on my company’s website instead of the Pulse Article. It is the LinkedIn analytics on these two posts that caused me to reflect on the value of publishing directly on LinkedIn.

Posts that link to the article published directly on LinkedIn had an average of 25 impressions. Twenty-five. That’s it. Conversely, the same posts with links to the same article on my company website averaged 283 impressions per post with a high of 447 on one post. 

On average, a link to an article on an external website receives 1032% more exposure to my LinkedIn connections than a link to the same article published on LinkedIn. Does this seem a little backward? Shouldn’t LinkedIn be promoting links that keep users on their platform over links that take them off it? This begs the question: “If publishing directly on LinkedIn performs worse than posting to a website and linking posts there, why publish on LinkedIn at all?”

Why publish on LinkedIn at all? Well, there is more to the data that just vanity metrics like impressions. Total engagement for posts linking to the Pulse Article on LinkedIn averaged 9.8 engagements per post. That’s a 39.2% engagement per impression rate. So while LinkedIn inexplicably suppresses Pulse Articles from displaying on your connection timelines, those that see them engage with them at an exceptionally high rate. In comparison, the same posts linked to the article on my company’s website saw an engagement per impression rate of only 3.18% or an average of 9 engagements per post. Despite reaching far more connections, these posts performed far worse than their Pulse Article counterparts. 

After a thorough analysis of the data, my personal decision is that I will continue to publish articles directly on Linked. I am working to crack LinkedIn’s algorithm to increase the impression rate for my articles, but engagement rates dictate that publishing Pulse Articles is a valuable exercise as a business owner and entrepreneur. After seeing this data, will you continue (or begin) publishing articles on LinkedIn? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. 

Find me on LinkedIn here.

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