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Statistical proof that sharing doesn’t work on LinkedIn for executives

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The share.

It’s a powerful thing in social media marketing circles. It’s the holy grail of social media actions–and one we, as social media marketers, spend a lot of time trying to convince customers to hit.

We want our customers to share. More sharing means more reach. And most of us are graded out on how much reach we’re driving through our social media activities.

But, for executive leaders, is the share as powerful? Should leaders be sharing other people’s posts–and their brands’ posts–on LinkedIn?

Based on my research, the answer is a decided ‘no.’

Let’s just look at a few examples.

Take Geoff Martha, for example. CEO of Medtronic. Very active on LinkedIn and one of THE case studies for larger companies in Minnesota about social media done right by a senior leader.

Geoff shares other people’s posts from time to time. He also shares the Medtronic posts from time to time. If I look at the last 10 shares he’s made on LinkedIn, they averaged 379 engagements per post.

If I look at the last 10 organic posts he made on his own, they averaged 1,258 engagements per post.

SHARED POSTS: 379 engagements
ORGANIC POSTS: 1,258 engagements

That’s a 300+% increase.

Let’s look at Corie Barry–another wonderful example of a leader on LinkedIn and doing great things on the platform.

Corie is a liberal sharer of Best Buy account content. Her last 10 posts where she shared Best Buy’s content, or someone else’s, resulted in an average of 162 engagements per post.

On the other hand, her last 8 organic posts averaged (shockingly, she’s only had 8 organic posts to LinkedIn since she’s been CEO!) 1,192 engagements.

SHARED: 162 engagements per post
ORGANIC: 1,192 engagements per post

That’s a 700% increase!

One more, and let’s look more global. Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.

His last 10 shared posts on LinkedIn have averaged 5,042 engagements. Wow.

But, his last 10 organic posts have averaged 10,755 engagements.

SHARED: 5,042 engagements per post
ORGANIC: 10,755 engagements per post

100% increase.

Finally, let’s look at a local exec with a bit smaller following. If you’re reading this and your exec has a smaller number of followers, this will be more relevant.

Shelly Ibach, CEO at Sleep Number, has just a tad over 5,000 followers. So, not as big as Martha or Barry above, but also not nothing either.

For Shelly’s last 10 shared posts she averaged 37 engagements per post.

For Shelly’s last 10 organic posts she averaged 126 engagements per post.

SHARED: 37 engagements per post
ORGANIC; 126 engagements per post

That’s almost a 350% increase.

Now, that’s just four execs. Hardly a conclusive study. But, I can tell you, from the many other execs and leaders I’ve followed on LinkedIn, it’s pretty consistent.

Shared posts generate FAR less engagement than organic posts.

Now, that’s not to say execs shouldn’t be sharing brand posts or other people’s posts from time to time. I believe they definitely should.

There’s value in the CEO sharing the brand post from time to time (it should see more engagement when the CEO shares it, unless your name is Walmart or Microsoft).

And, CEOs sharing employee posts is always a win. It’s leadership 101–lift up those around you who make the organization so successful!

However, there has to be a balance. And,I would argue a balance that’s pretty heavily titled toward organic posts vs. shared posts. There’s no magic formula here, but it most likely should be in the 7/8 organic posts vs. 2-3 shared posts per 10 post range.

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Statistical proof that sharing doesn’t work on LinkedIn for executives

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