Highlighting Guy’s results from the image he shared.

Guy Kawasaki recently shared an image highlighting one of his experiments with posting styles to drive more viewership and engagement. This is what he discovered — NOT including previews, images and even links in the posts drove more engagement for him! This got me thinking as to why that might be and whether everyone can get more views using his methods.

So here is my theory. We’ll look at two scenarios, as described by Guy.

  • Preview vs No Preview (No preview drove more engagement)
  • Link in post vs Link in the comments (Link in comments drove more engagement)

First let’s tackle posts with no preview getting more engagement than posts with a preview. I think when you give people a quick summary, in any way, a majority will get their kick and move on, they will read the title of the post, look at the picture, make conclusions, get their gratification and keep scrolling. Here is my personal example, I’ve been following Guy for some time now, but for the first time I actually clicked on something he posted. Flow with preview posts -

*spot his post*

Ah, smart guy posted something.

*read the headline, jump to a conclusion*

Really!? That’s cool, I’ll use it in my life somehow.

*keep scrolling, next post*

Here I received instant gratification and moved on, LinkedIn took it as low engagement (comparatively speaking) and did not push the post as widely. However Guy changed the game when he delayed his follower’s gratification. Flow with no preview posts -

*see his post*

Ah, smart guy posted something.

*can’t see any headline, picture or summary*

What could it be, let’s find out!

*click*

And LinkedIn takes that click as a good sign to push those posts wider, creating even more engagement! So the answer could be that delayed gratification leads to more engagement with each post, and thus more push from LinkedIn’s algorithms.

But then what about Guy’s observation about not including links in the post, but as a comment below. This needs another supporting explanation, and that could be in how LinkedIn displays posts on mobile (app).

On desktop you see the first comment below the post, thus you only need one click to open the article, however on mobile you don’t see the comments, you have to tap on ‘Comment’ and go the the first comment to find the link, a lot more ‘engagement’ as far as LinkedIn’s algorithms are concerned. So on mobile, gratification is delayed even further, leading to more engagement with each post, for someone with an already sticky audience this could be a great way to bring in much more activity.

Now two further comments related to my theory.

  • This does not necessarily mean more people are now reading the content linked, a majority will still get thier kick and move on.
  • For this to work your followers have to be interested enough in what you post to put in this extra effort, thus everyone will not see these results, quite the opposite actually.

Here’s a graph that summarizes this post. Comment below with what you think.

This artice was originally posted on LinkedIn.