The Blue Dog Scientific Blog: The Shocking Truth About LinkedIn.

The Shocking Truth About LinkedIn.

Opening Statements.
Statement 1. We the people provide LinkedIn it's content for free.

Statement 2. It is important for LinkedIn that we keep generating this free content.

Statement 3. LinkedIn needs to encourage us by telling us that by Posting, we will generate revenue or reward for ourselves.

Statement 4. If simply posting to LinkedIn generates us revenue or reward then we don't need to buy premium services. So it can't be made easy.

Statement 5. On the other hand if it was easy to generate large numbers of views on posts, but these views clearly do NOT translate into revenue or reward, then the whole premise would be seen to be falsified.

Statement 6. There is a conflict of both interest and of logic. LinkedIn needs to encourage us to keep posting, but if it's as easy as they say, then we would all win easily and walk away. If it's actually too hard and we were all getting very many views but not getting our rewards, we would all figure its non-viable quickly and walk away.

Statement 7. The only logical thing LinkedIn can possibly be do is to keep us striving away at posting is the hope that there is some possibility that we are almost there, that it's worth keep going, that eventually we will get our reward or revenue.

Statement 8. The only logical way to play this balancing act between too easy and too hard is simply to artificially manufacture post viewing figures at just the right level of hope.

The Facts About Posts.

Every blogger knows that the ratio between "engagements" and post views is a very strong function of subject area on which one is talking about, amongst many other things, including luck. Even the same person on the same blog can get very different "engagement" levels on some subject areas compared to others. The reasons that people view blog posts but do or do not engage in large numbers on specific themes is complex, depending for example whether a subject is sensitive or not or competitive or not. It is entirely feasible to get high view counts with very low "engagements".

Only on LinkedIn is there a very direct, very similar correlation between comments and views on all Posts across the board of subject areas.

Every blogger knows the importance of the graphic for driving views of blog posts when shared externally. You can read about this at great length and find the evidence. It is very important to note that whether or not a blog post has likes and comments on it is already is immaterial for views being driven in from external sources. Views on posts drive comments and likes. The graphic-title-snippet combination is well known to be the key driver for views to posts. Yet on LinkedIn posts the graphic is immaterial. You can change these and the title and reshare and it will have no effect. We need to ask ourselves why in the new look Pulse would they take away the thumbnails? I contend the independancy on whether you have no graphic or a standout graphic is too obvious. 
Every blogger know that comments and views are not cause and effect. There are very many, very successful bloggers out there who even turn off comments or moderate them heavily. You can find for yourselves plenty of blogs out there with very high view counts but very low comments. It is entirely false premise that comments and views go hand in hand. Here's a proof with real data. This blog has 25,000 post views and just 1 comment. This is not abnormal. Why is it only on LinkedIn Posts that the fact that 0 comments is directly correlated with low views. Why is there such a universal correlation only on LinkedIn, but nowhere in the blogosphere? This very blog you are reading  right now has 100,000 post views now and hardly any comments. I don't allow them through very often as they are usually spam. It hasn't harmed my blog in the slightest.
Every blogger knows how powerful sharing of their posts into LinkedIn is for driving views back to external blog posts. On this very blog you are reading a very significant number of the views are driven by sharing the posts to the LinkedIn newsfeed or to groups. Again the number of comments on these posts simply can not affect the decision to come and view this post from LinkedIn, because no-one coming from there can possibly know about the comments until they've clicked thru and read the post! So why when we share LinkedIn posts internally on LinkedIn do we never see anything like this success? Why do we only ever see our views jump up when there is another comment or like on the post internally on LinkedIn. How can it be a sensible result that it is easier to drive external views than internal ones by order of magnitude like this?

A while ago I found a whole bunch of tweets of my own blog posts I missed because they didn't name me. I found them by searching for my blogs; URL. I immediately went through and retweeted them all at once. The effect was massive, obvious and immediate. Here's the data. I've had the exactly the same opportunity with LinkedIn posts too, and in that case it made no impact whatsoever on my post view count. How can this possibly be?
This man below writes on a touchy subject in ways which inform but does not seek comment. The very same posts you see below, shared in exactly the same ways, received the 25,000 views in under two months, with one comment (see above). He has 18,000 twitter followers. He has 15,000+ LinkedIn followers. He has shared these LinkedIn versions of his blog posts on LinkedIn and has tweeted them. As have I. Like on his blog, he has very few engagements. Yet only on LinkedIn, unless his posts get comments or likes, the view numbers do not move. Is it feasible that this is possible? 1500 views compared to 5 or 6, like-for-like?
This man below is John White. He is very good at driving engagement on his own  posts. He has 25,000 LinkedIn Followers. So why whenever John has been kind enough to engage on my posts, can this leviathan only drive the same handful of views per comment/like that non-entities on LinkedIn also do? How can this be? It is impossible to distinguish the LinkedIn post of my own on which John has engaged from those that he hasn't. It should be very obvious. Shouldn't it? Yet all engagements are equal impact on LinkedIn. Try correlating not just the commentators numbers on a LinkedIn Post, but add up all their LinkedIn followers/connections too. If engagement drives views then there must be an obvious correlation with the total number of followers of the engagers. Musn't there?
So we are just starting to build a  picture that something is very wrong and abnormal with LinkedIn Publishing. We now have to start asking why. The answers are at the top. There are very many more examples we can give showing that LinkedIn Posts are, in fact, getting far more views than LinkedIn  report.

Now given this overwhelming evidence, in the next post we will look back at the history of the changes since early 2015. We will see quickly how the fog lifts with this new understanding and that all the questions about why each change was made becomes starkly obvious.

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