This will surprise you.
But not as much as it will help you get more engagement with your LinkedIn ads.
We recently analysed thousands of LinkedIn posts to see which received the most likes. To ensure a level playing field we compared the results for each company’s post to its average number of likes.
And then we analysed the data to see what factors most influenced the engagement with each post.
These factors included things like:
- Use of questions
- A post’s length
- Tone of voice
- Use of video
What we found was often counter-intuitive.
Take a look for yourself – our full findings and recommendations are here.
But let’s first give you a concrete example of one of the findings.
How your nine-year-old child can help you write more effectively for LinkedIn
Admittedly, readability is not the easiest word to read.
But, then again, nor are the majority of LinkedIn posts that we analysed.
Here’s a breakdown of the US grade level (and age) needed to understand some famous pieces of literature.
So, we have The Gruffalo for age 9-10, Harry Potter for 12-13, Jurassic Park (the book) for 14-15, Hawkin’s Brief History for 16-17, and papers written for academics for 18–24-year-olds.
Have a guess at where most LinkedIn posts appeared on this readability scale?
Have you guessed yet?
Last call – we’re about to reveal…
Posts on LinkedIn are four times more likely to be written at the level of academic papers than any other readability level combined. And, following these in number, are posts written at the level of a popular exposition on theoretical cosmology.
So, we like to sound clever on LinkedIn – what of it?
Take a glance now over at the number of times each readability-ranked post is liked.
What you will see is an almost perfect inverse relationship between posts written at a higher readability level and those at a lower.
Specifically, posts written at the reading age of The Gruffalo (age 9-10) get 60% more likes than the rest.
Here’s the surprising takeaway for your next LinkedIn post
Next time you have written a post for LinkedIn, pause before you post.
Ask yourself how would a nine-year-old look if faced by this block of text – and then do all you can to make your young proof-reader feel more at home.
- Keep your sentences short – If you are wondering if it is punctuated correctly, it probably should be two sentences not one
- Avoid long words and jargon – If you can say it simply, do so
- Use the active voice, not the passive voice – ‘John hit the ball’ not ‘the ball was hit by John’
- If it’s a long post – Break it up into short paragraphs
- Use images or videos – To make your post more engaging
Help from Hemmingway
Writing readably is not dumbing down: it is ensuring your post is engaging.
And help in achieving this is at hand.
Ernest Hemmingway – that most adult of writers – typically wrote at a readability age rating of 10-11.
In his honour there is an app that runs any piece of text through a readability assessment. Why not run your next thought leadership piece on LinkedIn through it before you post?
For instance, here’s the assessment of this page:
To keep things readable, then, just copy the style of this post!
For more LinkedIn insights, download the full guide here: 5 Laws to Highly-Effective LinkedIn Ads