For months now, I’ve been an enthusiastic, bordering on evangelical, supporter of LinkedIn Pulse – the blogging platform open to anyone with a profile on the world’s largest professional social network. “You get more views” I’ve beamed. “You get views from better people” I’ve added. “And you get way more engagement” I’ve signed off with.
All well and good but the thing is, I’ve been largely making these claims based on gut feeling rather than evidence. So, I decided to dip into some analytics and uncover the statistical truth.
LinkedIn Pulse vs WordPress – who wins? Let’s find out!
It’s important to note that I’ve planning this experiment for a while – all year in fact. Everything I’ve posted on my WordPress blog in 2016 has also been added to my LinkedIn Pulse feed. For each post I’ve tweeted links to both WordPress and LinkedIn in equal numbers. It was a conscious decision as I knew I would want to compare the two at some time.
That time is now.
The headlines – my gut was right
When it comes to the stats, my instinct served me well. For views and engagements, LinkedIn Pulse crushes WordPress. I’ve written 34 blogs in 2016 so far. On WordPress, each post gets an average of 34 views and less than 1 engagement. On LinkedIn, each post averages 95 views and 12 engagements. That equates to 180% more views on LinkedIn.
One hundred and eighty per cent!
That’s even more than I expected it to be. And look at that difference in engagements – not only do more people read my posts on LinkedIn, but more of them are interested enough in the content to get involved in some way, which probably suggests they are the ‘right’ sort of people too.
I should point out one anomaly. In my WordPress stats, I’ve not included the views for my piece about why the rugby referee Nigel Owens is a great communicator, despite it being my most-read piece on WordPress by a considerable distance.
The thing is, practically all of that traffic came from the fact that Nigel Owens tweeted a link to the piece on my WordPress site and posted it on his Facebook page. He has a huge social media following and him sharing a link would have generated a huge spike regardless of which platform he linked to, so it didn’t seem fair to include in my comparison.
Beyond the stats
These stats are all very interesting, but I also wanted to see if there was anything to learn from my experiment about what content works well on the two platforms. Will something that soars on LinkedIn do equally well on WordPress?
Digger deeper, it seems I have been able to come to a few conclusions…
LinkedIn readers like reading about social media
Of my top ten posts on LinkedIn, five of them were about social media. Ranging from a case study about Yik Yak, an opinion piece about the new Instagram logo or a post asking whether or not I still hate LinkedIn (I don’t, by the way – honest!), that content all seemed to go down well.
On the flip side, only two of my top ten posts on WordPress were about social media, and these were my ninth and tenth ranking ones.
LinkedIn readers like reading about LinkedIn
I wasn’t surprised to find this, but it’s worth noting nonetheless; three of my top four posts on LinkedIn were about LinkedIn. People on LinkedIn – at least, those I’m connected with – like talking about and reading about LinkedIn.
Interestingly, my WordPress readers really don’t like LinkedIn; those same three pieces that killed in on my Pulse feed languish in the bottom ten of my WordPress posts. Point taken WordPress!
Conference roundups do well everywhere
If I attend a conference – or unconference – I always write a blog post-event reflecting on what I’ve learned. It’s a brilliant exercise that I would fully recommend you doing…even if you don’t share the post, it’s a great way to go through your notes and pick out the important bits.
Anyway, I digress. My conference roundups feature in my top tens on both platforms, which I guess makes sense. Probably the people who I actually talk to at these events and then connect with later will see my piece on LinkedIn, while those fellow delegates who I aren’t connected with might pick up a link to WordPress via the event hashtag?
Or maybe people just generally enjoy those posts as a form of learning. Either way, it’s interesting to know.
LinkedIn readers don’t care for learning about podcasts
This one really surprised me, because podcasts are undergoing a serious boom and I would have thought my LinkedIn audience would have been interested to find out more, which is why I put together a short series of posts about podcasting – a series I was really pleased with.
However, LinkedIn thrust a dagger to my heart; my six posts on podcasting make up my six worst performing posts on LinkedIn, whereas two of the six made it into my top ten on WordPress.
I guess my LinkedIn following just doesn’t care about podcasting. I also wonder if I damaged my own series’ chances on LinkedIn too; the first five posts in this series were posted on consecutive days, which seemed to have an adverse effect on LinkedIn – a platform where I normally post once a week. While people seem to like what I write on LinkedIn, they obviously don’t want me in their timelines all the time – especially writing about podcasts!
My monthly roundups tend to sit in the middle
At the end of every month, I curate a list of great articles I’ve read and share them with my networks – it’s a great way to share learning. Also, my lists often feature articles written by people I’m connected with on LinkedIn, so I can tag them when I share my updates.
However, that doesn’t seem to have too much of an effect in terms of performance; none of my roundups made it into my LinkedIn top 10, but two of them were in the bottom 10. However, two of my roundups did make my WordPress top 10.
Generally speaking though, these roundups sit in the middle on both platforms. Which is fine – so long as people find them useful!
This little experiment does seems to hint at a few ways I can get the most out of my articles – especially those I post on LinkedIn.
The biggest takeaway has to be to be selective about what you post on LinkedIn – I know that anything I write about social media platforms, especially LinkedIn itself, will work really well on Pulse. However, something niche like podcasting is probably best left on my WordPress site.
It’s also useful to know that conference roundups work across the board, so I can legitimately share them on both channels.
All that being said, it’s also difficult to ignore the stats around views and engagement – even those that performed the worst on LinkedIn generally did better than on WordPress. Out of the 34 posts, only 6 gathered more views on WordPress. When it comes down to it, I want people to read my posts, so maybe I should just abandon WordPress all together?
Hmm, maybe one day, but for now I’ll continue using both – perhaps just with a bit more thought behind what I’m adding to LinkedIn.
Do you blog on LinkedIn Pulse and another platform? Have you noticed much difference between them? Let me know below!
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