LinkedIn view counts explained

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LinkedIn post views aren’t the same as article views – and more

On LinkedIn, not all views count the same way. Let’s look at how they differ and what sort of views really matter.

Here’s an audio version of this post:

Impressions versus views

An impression means some piece of content was loaded on the page such that it could have been viewed. It’s a bit like opening a newspaper to a page full of ads: all of the ads on that page have been “loaded” and are ready to be read.

A view means the content was viewed. For videos, the count happens after only 3 seconds, so we can’t be sure it was a meaningful view. In other words, you really did glance at a specific ad on the newspaper page – but perhaps not for long enough to take it in properly.

For other post types, judging whether content has actually been viewed is tough: LinkedIn needs to rely on things such as clicks of “see more” links to assess whether the viewer has taken real interest in the content.

Potentially, they might measure how long the content was visible for by recording your scrolling activity. The technology exists to do this; whether it’s used on LinkedIn is another matter.

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Post views

Posts are the short (up to 1300 characters) status updates shown in the LinkedIn home feed.

LinkedIn counts a post view every time a post is presented in someone’s home feed.

That means the content might not have been read – it was just shown.

If you’re thumb-scrolling through your feed at a million miles an hour, you’re adding a view to each of those posts even though you haven’t stopped to read them.

Because of that, post views aren’t a great indicator of engagement from your audience.

I’ve been posting consistently on LinkedIn since the start of 2017. As I write this in mid October 2018, my average post view counts are around 2.5K.

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Article views

Articles are long-form pieces of writing (up to 100K characters) that are LinkedIn’s equivalent of blog posts.

Article views are counted only when someone clicks through to the article.

This could be via a link in your profile or in a post, but also from links in emails, Google searches or even direct traffic.

Unlike post views, article views are the result of a conscious decision by the viewer. No one views a LinkedIn article by accident.

LinkedIn treats articles as though they’re the same as external content. If you want eyeballs on your articles, you need to promote hard on LinkedIn and elsewhere. Without promotion, don’t expect your articles to get a lot of views.

However, because articles are weightier than posts, even a small number of article views can help build your authority and earn new leads into your business.

So, don’t discount articles just because they rack up fewer views than posts.

To date, I’ve published 36 articles on LinkedIn, with an average view count of 237. If I ignore older articles, my average is a little over 500. Nothing special but it’s OK.

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Video views

Videos here means the movies/clips shared directly in LinkedIn posts. These are called “native video” posts.

In contrast, “external video” posts contain links to third-party video sites such as YouTube and Vimeo.

The net result of both looks about the same – you see a post containing a video.

But LinkedIn’s algorithm doesn’t like links to external content – so it’s much better to post native videos rather than external videos.

Native video views are counted after the content is played for 3 seconds.

LinkedIn video views are counted after 3 seconds
LinkedIn video views are counted after 3 seconds

That means a quick thumb-scroll past a video isn’t going to count, but if you pause and give the content even brief attention, that will count.

The 3-second rule means that video view counts will almost always be lower than normal post view counts.

Still, these video views are a signal of attention and therefore could be seen as more valuable views than post views.

How much are video views really worth?

Some LinkedIn trainers say that a video view is worth the equivalent of between 3× and 5× of a post view.

In other words, a video receiving 3K views might be comparable with a normal post that receives 10K+ views.

Marketing expert Tony Restell has found that the enhanced video analytics on LinkedIn company pages back up the assertion of there being a 5× multiplying factor when considering the true extent of video views on LinkedIn.

(It would be nice to see these analytics come to personal profiles. I guess LinkedIn want more companies creating content so they can convince more of them to buy Sales Navigator accounts!)

In my experience, anything over 1K is good for video views. Go beyond 5K and you’re really doing well.

While video view counts might look low at first glance, there are things that these numbers can’t reflect:

  • brand awareness.
  • tone of voice.
  • emotional connection.
  • memorability.

Video has the power to cut through and really reach people in a way that text alone can’t, and it’s made a big difference to my success on LinkedIn.

Why can’t I see video view counts on some people’s videos but not on others?

Video view counts are shown on other people’s videos only when the videos have been viewed more than 500 times.

You should be able to see video view counts on all of your own videos, even if they’ve performed terribly. Once your videos receive more than 500 views, others will be able to see the view counts on them.

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Profile views

This is where view counts get interesting.

A profile view is one where someone has consciously opted to look at your public profile. They might already be connected with you or not. Either way, getting more profile views is a good sign.

On other platforms, this could be a bit of a vanity metric, but on LinkedIn, people are apt to do business.

If someone’s there checking out your profile, that could mean that they’re interested in what you sell or what service you can provide to them.

On the Home feed of LinkedIn, there’s a link that lets you see Who’s viewed your profile. Premium members get more data than free users, though there’s a little trick here that can help you get around this:

LinkedIn profile views are like lottery tickets – the more you get, the more chance you have of winning the prize (doing more business).

And that’s what I’ve seen for my copywriting services. I’m now getting 45× more profile views than I did at the start of 2017, and that’s meant a lot more leads into my business and ultimately more money in the bank.

So, of all the view types I’ve mentioned, profile views are probably the most important to keep an eye on.

When you load your home feed in LinkedIn on the desktop, look at the left-hand panel to see a count of your profile views over the last 90 days.

LinkedIn profile views are shown to the left of the home feed on desktop
LinkedIn profile views are shown to the left of the home feed on desktop

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Let’s wrap up

Not all views count equally on LinkedIn, so it’s not right to compare, for example, post views with article views.

As with all things on LinkedIn, you can improve your stats by:

  • writing a good profile headline and summary.
  • showing up consistently with helpful posts, articles, videos and comments.

Profile views matter most of all the view counts – they’re the lottery tickets you want to maximise, so that you have a greater chance of doing more business.

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John Espirian

John Espirian

I'm a content writer for B2B websites. I explain how products, services and processes work, to help you build trust and authority with your customers.

I also help business owners do better on LinkedIn.

My book is Content DNA.

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