This post originally appeared on https://www.christopherspenn.com/2022/02/you-ask-i-answer-third-party-analytics-for-linkedin/ and was republished with permission from the author.
What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.
Christopher Penn 0:13
In today’s episode, Musa asks, at what point in a content creators life, should they use third party analytics apps for LinkedIn? Hmm, well, it depends, most third party apps that claim to be able to access LinkedIn and do analytics on them, you’ve got to be very, very careful because a fair number of them, if you read the fine print, probably violate LinkedIn Terms of Service.
That in turn means that if you are caught using them by LinkedIn automated detection software, your LinkedIn account can get canned, right can be deleted, you can be suspended for violation of the terms of service.
And then you don’t have access to LinkedIn at all, especially if it’s a permanent ban, which means that they will do their best to identify you.
And any new accounts that you create will also be prohibited from using the service.
The question really, I think you’re getting out here is, how do you measure the impact of LinkedIn? You do have access to your own data when you post stuff, right, especially if your company page as opposed to an individual person.
But more important, the question I would ask is, what is the outcome? What is the business goal that you’re trying to measure? Are you trying to measure brand awareness, you’re trying to measure lead generation, you’re trying to sell things outright? Generally speaking, most people are probably not going to have a business objective.
Oh, just be popular on LinkedIn.
Right? It’s not like Instagram where, you know, people are going to give you free blenders.
Just for being popular, there’s generally some kind of business outcome.
So the question is, what is that business outcome that you think being effective, and effective content creator on LinkedIn will generate? And then how do you measure that? So, for example, one of the things that I tried to do on LinkedIn is be active and interactive and talk to my community.
But I don’t measure LinkedIn on LinkedIn, I measure LinkedIn in Google Analytics, when traffic goes to my website, because at that point, I want to see if anything that I’m doing on LinkedIn resonates enough with people that they would want to do business with me in some fashion, whether it’s signing up for my newsletter, listening to videos like this, subscribing to my YouTube channel, and most importantly, asking for help.
From my company Trust Insights on all things analytics, and marketing consult management consulting, that’s the outcome really after is people saying, Hmm, you’ve provided enough value about this area that we now know, you’re a subject matter expert in this area.
And the next time we have a need in that area, we know who to call.
One of the things that you will want to take a look at is things like branded organic search, right? If you are going all in on LinkedIn, you’re just hammering the service, and it is your thing, then, not only should you see direct traffic via Google Analytics, from LinkedIn to your website, you should also see increases in branded organic search that are commensurate and timed with big hits on LinkedIn.
So let’s say you put up a post and it goes crazy.
And you know, 10s of 1000s of people are liking it and sharing it.
Do you see a corresponding increase in branded organic search the number of people searching for you by name? If that you do, then you know that LinkedIn is having a downstream effect on your ability to be found, right? People know who you are, and they know to ask for you by name from the search engine of your choice.
So should you use these third party analytics tools? Again, most of them violate the terms of service, I would personally not feel comfortable using any kind of third party tool unless it was explicitly partnered with LinkedIn.
So for example, I use Agorapulse.
Agorapulse is a LinkedIn partner and you could safely use their app with LinkedIn and get data and feedback and stuff about the stuff you’re putting up on LinkedIn.
That’s totally fine.
There’s other tools like LinkedIn helper that runs on your laptop and uses essentially a He built in browser to kind of scrape LinkedIn.
Christopher Penn 5:04
They’re not a LinkedIn partner.
And the way that they’re acquiring LinkedIn data is a violation of the terms of service.
And so if you get caught, if the automated detection algorithms find you, you could lose your LinkedIn account.
So how important is your LinkedIn account to you? How much risk are you comfortable with? Because it’s not like gonna go to go to jail or anything? Right? This is just penalties within the service.
So the question is, can you afford to lose your LinkedIn account? If the answer is yes, you don’t care about that much about it that much, then use as many third party apps as you want.
Because if you get caught no big deal, right, you’re you just move on and, and you do without LinkedIn.
On the other hand, if your LinkedIn account is extremely valuable to you, like it is a pillar of your social media marketing strategy, I would shy away from any third party tool that was not an authorized LinkedIn partner, because otherwise, you risk losing that account.
And that would be just outright bad.
But really good question.
Again, if you want to focus on the impact of LinkedIn, look downstream from LinkedIn, look at what happens to traffic from LinkedIn once it goes to your website or the digital property of your choice.
And if you see growth that is commensurate and contemporary with your LinkedIn activity, then you know LinkedIn is having an effect.
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