By the Numbers: The posts that get the most engagement on LinkedIn

The data may surprise you.

LinkedIn benchmark data

LinkedIn is red-hot right now.

Brands are posting 10% more frequently on the social platform this year than they did last year, and engagement across the board is up a whopping 44% YOY, according to benchmark data from social media analytics provider Socialinsider.

Amid all this opportunity — and competition — how can you best stand out?

Socialinsider’s research shows that visuals go a long way, even on the traditionally buttoned-up, professional social network.

Content with a video attached tends to get the highest number of shares, the research found, especially if it’s shared with a large audience (more than 100,000 followers). Images, especially more than one, can also boost your share rate, though you might be surprised that the median number of shares on a LinkedIn post is just three.



The popularity of video doesn’t mean you should go all TikTok on LinkedIn, of course. But it does mean that this is an opportunity to highlight thought leadership in a new way. Can you get your executive to sit down for a two-minute video opining on a topic that’s meaningful to your audience? Can you grab employees to show what a day in the life in your workplace is like for an employer branding play?

Further underscoring the importance of visuals on LinkedIn, the research found that multi-image posts see the highest rates of overall engagement. Again, this effect becomes even more pronounced the larger the audience is. Overall, the median number of likes on LinkedIn content is 45; the median number of comments is just four.

You’ll also want to keep the captions that accompany those images short and to the point: the data showed that the ideal number of words in a caption is 19 or fewer. That’s not a lot of real estate. You’ll need to choose the pithiest, most concise captions to thrive.

LinkedIn benchmark data from Socialinsider

If you want to boost your overall impressions on LinkedIn, however, you’ll want to turn to polls. The Socialinsider data found that polls are served to the greatest number of people. While this content might not be as effective at spreading your brand messaging, it is an important way to reach more people, potentially boosting your like and follow rate. Think of some creative ways to get users involved in polls: ask about topics that are hot in your industry, ask them to vote on new product or service names, or use it as a way to playfully share your organization’s point of view.

But remember: Content is about more than an algorithm

You might see this research and feel the urge to throw your carefully planned thought leadership campaign in the trash. “All they want are videos and pictures!” you might rage.


This data merely gives us insight into what is most popular, not what is most effective. In social media, engagement is rarely the goal in and of itself.

Yes, plenty of people might interact with photos of your March Madness potluck lunch or a video of your team doing the “I’m an account, of course I (insert humorous observation on the profession here).” And these are great kinds of content that can impact the business in positive ways.

But they won’t establish your executive as a thought leader. They won’t help show customers that you understand their pain points. They likely won’t catch the attention of a journalist boredly scrolling the platform, looking for their next story.

There’s still a place for text-based posts that are longer than 19 words. There’s a place for longer-form videos of an executive discussing an important topic. There’s a place for images that are fun and silly and those that are robust and filled with actionable data.

The best social strategy has a mix of content that keeps your audience in mind, not an algorithm.

Use the data from this study (and others you’ll see in our By the Numbers feature) as a guide — but not the be all, end all.



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