Hello and welcome to another episode. I discussed dwell time briefly in the last episode but given more time to process the news and answer various questions about it, I thought the subject was worth featuring in more detail this week.
Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week
The article published in the LinkedIn engineering blog has created quite a lot of debate and many questions about how it impacts what we post.
I have studied the article more since last week and I’m of the view that dwell time requires little change in the way we post but there are a few things that I think are worth considering.
There are different types of dwell time, the first is what happens when we spot a post – the pause in scrolling. This has always been critical for a video view (a 3 secs pause) but now it seems that the algorithm will consider this factor in distributing a post further – this makes me wonder whether many post views will start to drop and come closer to the numbers we see for video views.
The second type of dwell time is the amount of time spent on the post after a click on the ‘see more’, image clicks (multiple images), video clicks (unmute, pause etc) and document posts (move to the next page). This changes very little – I have always advised writing posts that trigger the see more and use much of the 1300 characters allowed.
The third type is a recognition that a quick reaction is less valuable than a comment. LinkedIn are measuring the time we ‘dwell’ after clicking on an action such as a reaction, comment or share. So those people that quickly scroll through their feed casually liking posts will be adding less value to the distribution and organic reach of that post. This means that now, more than ever, we need to focus on making a post comment-worthy.
I have seen some people state that they interpret the ‘click’ described in the article as a click on an external/internal link, therefore the dwell time includes the time spent reading the article. I can imagine this may be true for internal links (articles) but highly unlikely for external articles. The theory has been enhanced by the new ‘read time’ feature added to links to articles on and off LinkedIn. I also believe some people are experiencing an external link now opening up inside LinkedIn – I don’t have this yet (other than on mobile) but it could be rolling out.
The failure of external links to gain traction mostly continues but it’s worth keeping an eye on this. I think it’s possible that LinkedIn no longer suppresses external links, certainly, they publicly deny they have ever done that and there are many features on the site to support this.
I think the problem is that the algorithm will always favour posts that attract engagement and external links don’t because it’s rare the person clicking on it also clicks on a reaction or comments.
This is the main reason why links fail to achieve organic reach.
I think Cat is completely missing the point of tagging here. It’s not something to do to get more views – although there is nothing wrong with that! It’s a technique to allow someone else, who may add value/have a different perspective to join the conversation. This will likely add more views and engagement and from a very relevant audience – which is kinda the point in posting Cat!!
“If it’s of interest to someone I’ll have told them” – this is valid if she means, send a direct message with a link to the post but that is a slower (although more effective) way of bringing others into the conversation.
The comment ‘If my post only has 39 views then so be it. Maybe the perfect 39 people saw it’ shows considerable faith in the algorithm and I think even LinkedIn wouldn’t argue it’s capable of being that precise!
I have two this week seeing as I was away last week.
Last week followed mental health week and there were many really good posts about mental health but this one was my favourite;
What a fantastic, authentic message from Craig – who is well worth following by the way.
This weeks post of the week is this one from Tom Wood. A great post because it’s amusing, relevant to the current weather (of his audience), and the current working from home situation.
Charlotte Steggal wrote to me with this question;
Now there are polls, is there a benefit to doing voting posts such as this?
Well with over 102,000 ‘votes’ I think it shows that this type of ‘poll’ is much more effective than the official feature!
The problem with polls is that they have no organic reach unless you can get people to comment or react – the reality is that most viewers will either ignore it or vote.
This type of post requires an action that will lead to much greater organic reach.
That’s all for this week. Stay safe and have a fantastic week.