It’s almost the end of my month-long experiment of posting an update every weekday on LinkedIn.
There’s a growing spreadsheet of data ready to analyze for conclusions and implications. I’ll share them in an upcoming blog post.
In the meantime, I found an interesting data point in a book released this month.
Seth got his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard, worked as a data scientist at Google, and writes for the New York Times.
He makes the case that “we no longer need to rely on what people tell us” in things like surveys or social media or casual conversations.
He provides compelling data telling the story that big datasets of how people search for information online reveals what’s really on their minds.
Seth writes about “text as data” and how sentiment analysis can identify how happy or sad a piece of content is.
He shared the most positive 3 words in the English language: happy, love and awesome. The 3 most negative? Sad, death and depression.
And what content gets shared more often? Positive or negative stories?
If you agree that “news is about conflict” – summed up by the journalistic sentiment “if it bleeds, it leads” – you might conclude that negative content gets shared more often.
And what was shared the most?
As the professors said, “Content is more likely to become viral the more positive it is.”
The second reaction was to turn to my own data from this month’s LinkedIn experiment to see if it held true.
Here I’m measuring engagement by the number of views, rather than by the number of shares.
I’m fairly new to this daily posting routine, so the first change I’ve seen over the past 4 weeks is an increase in views of my content, rather than any significant shares. And I’m finding shares more challenging to measure so far.
What were my most-viewed posts?
- How to be a super mentor – 1482 views
- Honoring service on Memorial Day – 1202 views
- Your brain can only take so much focus – 929 views
The first 2 posts make sense to me as highly positive content. The third made me pause. On the face of it, it seems like a negative that our brains are limited in the amount of focus they can handle.
But as I thought about it and revisited the comments on the post, I realized that many people might have found this information to be happy news. In other words, it’s okay and even desirable to NOT focus your brain all the time.
How about the least-viewed posts?
- Option B and adversity – 11 views
- Data giving rise to a new economy – 12 views
- What separates goals we achieve from goals we don’t – 239 views
But since it began from Sandberg’s husband’s death, one of the saddest words in the English language, that puts the topic in the negative zone. (I still recommend reading the book, because it’s full of uplifting advice about grit and resilience.)
The second was a special report in The Economist about how “data are to this century what oil was to the last one: a driver of growth and change.” Because “change” is not something many people eagerly embrace, perhaps this story was seen as more negative than positive.
The third was a Harvard Business Review article about what distinguishes goals we achieve from those we don’t. My takeaway here? Maybe thinking about goals we haven’t achieved brings up negative thoughts.
Could other factors have impacted which posts were the most and least viewed? Perhaps. Day of the week would have been the most likely. However, the top and bottom views were each for the most part posted on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Another factor could have been posts during the beginning of my daily posting experiment vs. those closer to the end. This certainly could be a factor. Posts later in the month are getting more views in general. From the first week of May to the last, views of my posts have increased more than 6 times.
One conclusion could be that the consistency of posting daily is increasing engagement with my content. Of course, it’s still a small dataset at this point. In the months to come, I’ll continue tracking it and adjusting my strategy. (Opinions expressed in this blog are my own.)
How are people engaging with your LinkedIn content? What’s attracting the most interaction?