Thanks to a series of recent updates concentrating on content and usability, LinkedIn is becoming a more important part of the social marketing mix for many companies.
In order to more efficiently prove the value of company pages, the business network has recently rolled out a new series of company page analytics that allow you to more accurately gauge the impact of your content.
Let’s take ‘em for a spin...
The analytics pages are divided into a few neat subsections.
First of all, let’s look at the on-page analytics:
LinkedIn has provided these for a while but they’re still pretty handy, and they show that the interested audience on LI are (at least in our case) easier to reach than those over on Facebook. Where ‘Reach’ on Facebook tends to average around 20% per post, on LinkedIn, ‘Impressions’ are often closer to 60%.
In addition we’ve found that LinkedIn traffic tends to convert more readily than visits from other networks. This is perhaps not surprising given Econsultancy’s product range, but where Facebook can be extremely valuable for consumer goods, LinkedIn’s audience is often in a frame of mind that benefits those businesses with a higher entry price point or longer sales funnel.
There’s also useful info on click-through rates, so you can have fun figuring out if LinkedIn’s figures match your own analytics more accurately than Twitter’s (clue: nope).
Anyway, onto the new stuff!
First up, there’s a simple overview of your recent posts.
In addition to CTR’s and impressions data, there’s also a breakdown for those of you experimenting with sponsored stories, with clear figures showing new followers acquired via a sponsored post.
This makes sense for LinkedIn, which is clearly keen to increase time on site and has made pains to push a more content/publishing-orientated model in the recent past.
It’s worth noting that impression numbers account for “The number of times each update was seen by LinkedIn members”, so this may include users who saw your update as a result of a share from the page.
Next we have a closer look at reach and engagement. It’s nice to have this all in one place as previously it involved scrolling down your home page and manually totting them up as you went. The date range is definable to an extent from a dropdown but it would be handy to have more control over this.
Again, there’s a simple switch allowing you to separate out sponsored content from organic shares. Something that is missing is the ability to drill down a little further.
Currently we’re only provided with number of interactions per day. It would be nice to be able to click and see which posts these actions related to, rather than having to scroll down your homepage to locate them. A small point, but one that would speed up reporting and give a more intuitive overview.
Next we come to the followers section, allowing you to easily see how your page audience relates to your targets:
You can divide your followers in a number of ways, including job function and industry, so it’s easy to see if you’re reaching the right audience. While LinkedIn has suffered an increase in spam recently, it’s not yet subject to the masses of irrelevant followers which plague other platforms.
Again, there’s no drill down. Instead, you’ll need to head back to the top of your page and hit the follower count:
This will take you to a list of your followers which you can scroll through. Again, there’s no option to auto-extract this data, so you’ll need to put some time in to extract those leads.
You’ll also notice here that there is a link to ‘more insights’:
Hit this and you’re delivered to a more in-depth audience breakdown page:
This is far more useful as an overview, enabling you to easily spot trends in content engagement, click through to see recent followers, and track follower acquisition over time.
Finally back to the overview page, where we’ve got a follower acquisition timeline, and a few competitor comparison figures:
Unfortunately we’re hardly a competitor for Google, and the listed agencies aren’t really a fit either (though to be fair, what Econsultancy does is fairly unique, so this may be more accurate for other users. Do let me know in the comments).
These seem to be based on the 'people also viewed' figures LinkedIn provides, which while useful, could be made moreso if you could manually select businesses you wanted to compare yourself to.
Overall this a big step forward for LinkedIn, which seems to have accepted/embraced its destiny as ‘Facebook for business’ and is making some clever moves to increase its monetization process.
There’s still a few tweaks that I’d like to see, but I’m well aware that I’m pretty fussy. What do you think, is this useful or is there a need for deeper drill-downs and increased functionality?