With over 756 million members in more than 200 countries worldwide, LinkedIn is the preeminent social network for hiring and recruiting.
However, since content creation increased with 60% in 2020 on the platform, LinkedIn is not just an app that connects job seekers with prospective employers anymore, but a powerful marketing tool.
Today, more than 57 million companies are on LinkedIn, so it is utmost important for businesses to develop an effective LinkedIn marketing strategy.
One of the biggest debates we hear from LinkedIn fans who are determined to break the social network’s algorithm is whether or not to place a link in the post or in the comments.
In other words, does LinkedIn’s algorithm favor posts that don’t link off the platform?
Luckily for you, we partnered with Lightspan Digital, a digital marketing agency in Chicago, in an effort to respond to your question based on data.
Without further ado, let’s dive in!
Where to place links in LinkedIn posts in 2021
1. Posts with no links perform better across all types of posts on LinkedIn.
2. Brands with a LinkedIn presence don’t usually post links in comments.
3. The most performing type of content on LinkedIn is image with an engagement rate per post of 0.45%.
Reading this case study, you’ll learn:
- How LinkedIn posts perform when placing the link in the posts itself compared with posts without link
- How LinkedIn posts perform when placing the link in the comments, not in the post itself
- What type of post is the most performing on LinkedIn
B. Key findings
Here’s what we learned after analyzing 86,504 LinkedIn posts from a total of 883 LinkedIn pages:
- LinkedIn posts with no links perform better
- Most brands on LinkedIn don’t usually post links in comments
- The most common type of content on LinkedIn is an image with an engagement rate per post of 0.45%
1. Posts with no links perform better across all types of posts on LinkedIn
There are tons of approaches when posting on LinkedIn. You can write an article directly in the app, share an article, add an image, post a job offer, add a document, post a video, or simply write a text.
And the list goes on.
But what about those situations when you want to share a link? Should you add it in the post itself? Is it better to embark on the new trend and add the link in the first comment of the post? Or should you not include the link at all in your LinkedIn posts?
These are all natural questions that people started asking once LinkedIn became a must in the world of social media.
As our LinkedIn analysis has shown, posts with no links perform better across all types of posts.
For example, a single image posted on LinkedIn with no link can get an engagement rate that’s 70% higher than a post with an image and a link.
While many rumours circulate on the internet, such as how LinkedIn punishes posts which have links in the first comment, the truth is there is no recipe for success.
It’s a trial and error type of situation until you find what works best for your LinkedIn strategy, but we suggest you try posting on LinkedIn with no links and you might be surprised by the results.
Let’s get even deeper in our analysis and see where brands stand when it comes to posting on LinkedIn with the link in the first comment.
2. Brands with a LinkedIn presence don’t usually post links in comments
In an effort to seek clarity regarding what works best when posting on LinkedIn, many marketers made social media experiments and tested the performance of LinkedIn posts with or without link.
Interestingly, most of the experiments came to the same conclusion: LinkedIn posts with links in the first comments got a better reach and more clicks than the ones with no links. But let’s not forget that the pages who made these experiments were individual LinkedIn pages.
Now, to see what type of social media behavior brands have on LinkedIn, we analyzed 86,504 LinkedIn posts from 883 LinkedIn pages and the results were at least surprising.
Our LinkedIn analysis indicates that 99.8% of companies that use LinkedIn for business don’t usually place links in comments.
This could be explained based on the fact that most brands are using scheduling tools which limit their options to add the links in the first comments of the LinkedIn posts.
We all know that for social media marketing to be effective and deliver good ROI, you need to be consistent.
And this is why most brands choose a scheduling tool for their social media presence. Scheduling tools not only have the role of managing multiple platforms at once, but they automate social media on business accounts and can help extend your reach.
3. The most performing type of content on LinkedIn is image with an engagement rate per post of 0.45%
There is no secret anymore that people are avid consumers of visual content. Humans are naturally drawn to anything visual because it beats our short attention span and it stimulates our minds.
Just like in Facebook’s case, visual content has taken a significant turn on LinkedIn because as a consequence of the lack of time, people usually prefer seeing rather than reading.
Mana Ionescu, President of Lightspan Digital, explained us why LinkedIn is trying to keep people hooked:
If we think about it, it’s in LinkedIn’s interest to keep people on the platform as long as possible. The longer people stay, the more ads they’ll see, which is profitable to LinkedIn. Keeping people on the platform is a key strategy that’s been theorized for most social networks. It also circulates when it comes to Facebook content and may be behind Instagram’s reluctance to enable linking off the platform.
As our previous LinkedIn study has demonstrated, images are the go-to type of posts brands use on LinkedIn, with a percentage of 49%, followed by articles, with 38%.
Well, our LinkedIn analysis determined that the most common type of content on LinkedIn is an image with an engagement rate per post of 0.45%.
Simply adding just the text with no link, a video, or a link doesn’t increase your chances of getting higher engagement from your LinkedIn content.
So, next time when you want to post something on LinkedIn, try visually-oriented content, whether it be infographics, photographs, quotes, or carousels.
The benefits of using LinkedIn in every marketing strategy are undeniable. LinkedIn for business allows you to build credibility, create a meaningful network, and gather expertise from industry leaders.
As such, posting engaging LinkedIn content is just as important as with every other social media platform.
To help you refine your LinkedIn marketing strategy, we made an analysis and found that posts with no links perform better across all types of posts on LinkedIn, brands don’t usually add links in comments, and the most engaging type of content on LinkedIn is image.
While there is no secret receipt for social media success, one thing is certain: people enjoy visual content more than ever, so give this thought a try. And if you’re wondering what to do with links in posts, go out there, test, and see what works best for you.
To identify the best strategy for LinkedIn content, we analyzed more than 86,504 LinkedIn posts from a total of 883 LinkedIn pages that had an active presence on LinkedIn between January 2020 and June 2021. These pages had LinkedIn followers counts between 100 and over 100K as of the same date.
We define engagement as the measurable interaction on LinkedIn posts, including likes, comments, and shares. The engagement rate is calculated based on all these interactions divided by the total follower count.
The LinkedIn data was also analyzed based on page size, defined as the total number of followers that liked the business pages from the Socialinsider database.
We used Socialinsider to find out the engagement rates, the type of postings, and the link placement on LinkedIn.
Below are the categories of LinkedIn posts that were analyzed in this case study:
- Article - represents content that contains articles
- Image - represents content that contains images
- Job - represents content that contains jobs
- Native document (PDF) - represents content of document file types (most of the time these are PDFs) that are uploaded natively
- Text - represents content that does not contain any media
- Video - represents content that contains videos
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