On LinkedIn (indeed, most social channels) there’s an obsession with audience reach. I get it, we’ve all fallen foul of this vanity metric at some point.
But unfortunately, when we focus on pure reach, it can sometimes blind us to what’s really important, and that’s reaching (and resonating with) the right people – those in your desired target audience group/s.
Now, I’m not pooh-poohing reach as a metric. Far from it!
It’s important to keep an eye on, of course, because as business owners, we’re always wanting to build awareness with new people (prospective clients and customers, and those who influence them).
But focusing purely on reach in an algorithm-fuelled world can lead to incredible frustration as it makes us slaves to the platforms and we end up chasing every trick and hack in order to get our numbers up.
We all know people who are engaged in a constant battle with the algorithm, only to lose sight of what’s really important, which is ensuring we are reaching the people who matter most to the success of our business.
For me personally, it’s owners/leaders of service-based businesses. Ideally, they fall into one of two buckets size-wise: (a) solopreneurs/under five employees or so, or (b) between 15-50 team members. I do my best work with people who fit both of these bills.
Oh, and while I do work with clients internationally, if I can maintain a strong domestic skew, that works for me.
Example #1 – 1200 reach
Which brings me to the LinkedIn stats below for a post that reached about 1200 people (NOTE: several months ago, this same post would have probably reached 2-3 times that number, but my posts have taken a hit across the board recently, thanks LinkedIn 🙂
I’m pleased to say my content is reaching the right ‘job title’ organically (founder / MD / co-founder / owner), and that 40% work in the two sizes of business I’m after. Plus, 55% are located in eastern seaboard Australian cities.
So I’m hitting my mark in several respects, which is a ‘tick’.
Can I improve upon these results (the answer is “yes”) … how?
For starters, I can either increase the reach of my posts and hope these figures remain steady, or I can improve upon these percentages with consistent reach.
Bonus points for doing both! 🥂
Example #2 – 82,000 reach
BUT …what about if my post reached 82,600 people, which I managed to achieve recently.
It made me feel good, of course (who doesn’t mind a dopamine hit!). But did it hit the mark for my business?
Let’s look at the titles of those reached with the post – they were definitely in the right ballpark according to LinkedIn’s analytics, albeit tracking well under example #1 (smaller reach) in percentage terms.
So far, so good. Sort of.
The size of companies they worked for skewed very much enterprise level, and were located in London, New York City and San Francisco (although, to be fair, Melbourne and Sydney were well-represented too) – SEE BELOW
It’s terrific to see your LinkedIn posts go far and wide in terms of reach, but the chances are, the greater the audience you’ve reached, the more ‘mixed bag’ they will invariably be in terms job titles, company size and member location.
Not the end of the world, and no doubt you will also be hitting your target audience as well.
So the message is: Just because your posts aren’t ‘knocking it out of the park’ in terms of reach, doesn’t mean you’re not reaching people in your preferred audience group/s.
The goal, of course, is to chip away at building and maintaining sustainable growth and relevance on LinkedIn. For me, that is reaching (and hopefully resonating with) the right people i.e. those running the right-sized businesses, in the right locations.
P.S. I want to stress: This is not an anti-audience reach post; I just tend to rail against the prevailing popular wisdom that more views are better, and while that might make us feel good, it’s not necessarily the best thing for our business 😎