Here’s a great reader-submitted question:
What is more valuable, a Like, a Share, or a Comment, particularly as it relates to a company page post?
If you've read my blog on sharing content from a LinkedIn company page, then you should already understand the basic mechanics of how to like, share, and comment on content on LinkedIn. But what happens when you actually perform these actions? Is one way better than the other?In this article we'll review what happens when you comment, like, and share on LinkedIn.
How Your LinkedIn Feed is Determined
Andy Foote, LinkedIn Brand and Content Coach, contends that content that generates discussion is preferred, and subsequently rewarded, by the professional social network platform. Go here to read his take on the LinkedIn Algorithm.
This is why commenting is going to propel your post further and faster than a like or a share.
The most very basic way that I can explain how your LinkedIn feed is determined is this: LinkedIn wants to show content to its users that is high-quality and applicable to their interests. Likes, shares, and comments act as signals to LinkedIn that content is good.
To understand how LinkedIn determines what's in your feed, check out the Hootsuite article "How the LinkedIn algorithm works."
Let's examine what likes, shares, and comments look like, how they're similar, and how they behave differently in your LinkedIn news feed.
To Like or to Share on LinkedIn
Let's take a quick dive into what happens when you like or share — and how these actions signal to the LinkedIn algorithm that there’s something interesting to see, extending the reach of a post. We'll also take a quick look at the new emoji reactions introduced last year.
LinkedIn Likes and Shares
One of the biggest differences between a like and a share is that with a like, you are passing along your approval without comment. With a share, you have the ability to give your own comment and to even @mention people you want to see the post.
Here is a great visual comparison:
Example of a LinkedIn Like
When content is only liked, you don't have the ability to pass along any comments.
A big advantage when liking, especially for the original post, is that a liked post will pass along the social activity of the original post. Your connections who like the post that you liked will be adding a like to the original content. (Note the 47 likes on the above "liked" post versus the 3 likes on the shared post below.)
Example of a LinkedIn Share
As you can see, these appear similar. But in the share, a comment is passed along with the post. This allows the person sharing to @mention someone, such as in the example above, in which the author of the piece receives a shout-out.
It also lets you add your thoughts on the article that you're sharing: why someone should read the article, your general opinion on the piece, why you found it helpful, etc.
Reacting on LinkedIn with Emojis
In 2019, LinkedIn began rolling out more expressive ways than a like to respond to posts. They created reaction emojis based on the most common 1-2 word comments being used on the platform.
A poster can use these new reactions to better gauge the impact their posts are having on their social community.
Which reaction a user chooses matters not, Foote says, as these emojis are measured in equal weight and the algorithm only cares that someone interacted.
In the TSL Marketing post below, you can see where 6 readers felt that a post about a marketing strategy eBook deserved more than a like, giving their approval through the celebrate emoji.
The popularity of a post could be defined by the amount of time people spend interacting with it, and nothing proves this more than a long thread of comments underneath a post.
Yes, it takes much more effort to leave a comment than it does to hit the Share button, but doing so yields big payoffs.
Posts are sorted based on what the LinkedIn algorithm thinks is most relevant, so adding valuable, thought-provoking commentary can help position the post at the top of the list.
Comments can include thanking the user for sharing or asking them a question, but lengthier comments add even more value to the conversation.
It’s also of benefit to the commenter. When you comment on a post generated by your company or shared by a co-worker, you have a chance to show off your knowledge and experience as related to the topic, positioning yourself as an expert in your subject matter. The approach can lead to making new connections through the value of your comments.
Some tips for commenting:
- Add your opinion on the post topic
- Mention relevant experiences and facts
- Bring relevant people into the discussion with tagging
- Include bonus links or screenshots that give readers more information
Below, you can see how our team used commenting to generate interest in one of our case studies that detailed the marketing journey of one of our MSP clients.
For best results, keep the conversation going.
To Like, Share, or Comment?
So which is better? Hands down, comments really do dominate the algorithm, and there is really no question that comments alone are superior to even likes and shares combined.
And Foote agrees:
"Comments provide more data than likes and re-shares; they also generate engagement. This is why many successful authors end their post with a question. They understand the importance of generating a discussion."
But all three are instrumental in extending your marketing reach. I certainly encourage the TSL team to like, share, and comment on any content that we're trying to promote on LinkedIn.
All three activities send social signals to the LinkedIn algorithm that the content has passed at least one user's approval. But the actions aren't just for the algorithm — the people seeing the liked and shared posts and comments will see social media proof that what was passed along was deemed worthy by at least one of their network connections.
Have other questions about social media marketing? Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.
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