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That’s it? 102 impressions after all that work?

Posts used to be the big kid on the LinkedIn block. My rule of thumb five years ago was that a post would get 9 or 10 impressions for each click to open an article would receive. For example, my post one day would get 9,000 impressions and my article the next would get 900 click-to-opens.
In mid-September, for the first time in I think two years, I published a post on LinkedIn as an experiment. The next day I published my regular newsletter on LinkedIn. Here are the results.

For my Post on Tuesday September 12th:
After 30 minutes I had 22 impressions and exactly 1 like.
After 24 hours, I had 979 impressions and comments from 10 people (thank you all), almost all of whom I would consider LinkedIn power users with large networks.
Seven days later, my impressions had reached 1,521.

For my LinkedIn newsletter published Wednesday, Sept 13th:
Over the next week it received 1,912 impressions and 12 comments.
Here’s the Big Kahuna though: The newsletter has subscribers too. Another 6,000 people opened it.

I posted again on September 19th and got very similar results to my post of a week earlier: 1,200 impressions after a few days, and a dozen comments.

Now I will be the first to say that impressions are at best an unwieldy statistic. LinkedIn even says an impression means a post was “displayed on screen” without further defining what that means and that “this number may not be precise.”

Posts used to be the bread and butter content on LinkedIn. I remember being vaguely disappointed when a post wouldn’t hit 10,000 impressions. That was five years ago, pre Creator mode and when a lot fewer people were posting. It’s a lot more competitive now, and who knows what LinkedIn is doing with the algorithms or why.

So here’s my working suggestion for now: if you haven’t already, set up a LinkedIn newsletter and get it in your publishing rotation. For example, if you are posting once a week, set up a newsletter, and publish it once a month. Use your posts to drive people to sign up for the newsletter. Once the newsletter starts getting around the same engagement as the posts, stop the posts and increase the newsletter frequency.

If you go back and look at my post examples above, the impressions for my newsletter were bigger than the impressions for my posts. If I had taken my post and published it as a newsletter, I think I would have gotten more impressions AND 6,000 people opening it.

I will continue to post from time to time on Linkedin in the spirit of experimentation, but with my subscriber base, posting appears to be largely a waste of time. And that seems to be the key. Once you build a newsletter’s subscriber base, it seems to me to make less sense to continue posting.


At Practical SMM, we pride ourselves on delivering highly effective LinkedIn strategies.