Why Commenting Is Better than Sharing on LinkedIn

By Nigel Cliffe

Read Time

How to share a post on LinkedIn:

If you are wondering how to share a post on LinkedIn, you simply hit the ‘share’ button underneath the post you wish to Share. You can either leave the post as it is and click ‘Post’ or add your own words/thoughts and hashtags to the post before Sharing it.

If you do insist on Sharing a post even after reading this blog post, I’d at the very least urge you to add your own valuable thoughts to the post you’re Sharing! And, no, adding “Really important article, please read” doesn’t quite cut it as Suicide Prevention and Workplace Well-being Advocate, Steve Phillip points out.

What is wrong with Sharing on LinkedIn?

Surely, it’s a win-win for both parties? Well, no…

This topic comes up very frequently in conversation. It often goes like this:

“LinkedIn provides it as one of the key options underneath each post. Surely it’s what they want us to do?”

“Surely, it’s a win-win for both parties? We can’t always have the best ideas. I have always believed in giving credit by Sharing a great idea by someone else without stealing the spotlight from them.”

“Nigel, you’re always telling us to engage on LinkedIn. Surely that means sharing other people’s posts if I come across something my network will find interesting…”

Well, I believe all the above arguments are wrong. Let me explain why:

  1. For reasons largely unknown, LinkedIn does not amplify ‘Shares’ from your own posting of them. They reach a very limited audience. (Go and check this out on almost ANY Share if you don’t believe me…)
  2. Secondly, people rarely engage with a Shared piece of content versus an original piece of content. I believe this is somewhat psychological. Somewhere in our brain, we think this is less worthy of our time to read when it has been Shared. (Again, go and check this out on almost ANY Share if you don’t believe me…)
  3. It’s not easy to notice who has shared your post. The favour is paid little attention, as LinkedIn Profile Writer and Designer, Karen Tisdell highlights.

So, What SHOULD We Do?

If you value the content you are inclined to Share, consider instead:

Commenting with value on it.

This way the discussion around it stays where there is already some attention. Sharing a LinkedIn post might make the author of the original post feel positive BUT Sharing it takes it away from where it is already ‘successful’!

When you Comment on a popular post (say), the number of people who have already contributed by Commenting will be notified of your Comment too. They are much more likely to go back in and see new Comments, including yours, and to see other people’s contributions to that post. That will not happen if you take the post away from its source where it has little or no engagement.

The writer of that post also benefits from the increased engagement on it too. That makes Commenting your way to ‘pay-it-forward’.

Exceptions to the Rule

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. If an ‘influencer’ shares something, the share might get a lot more attention than would be considered ‘normal’, for most people. But how many of us are influencers?

Where Sharing a Post CAN Be Helpful…

Although Business Development Manager Joe Lander agrees with me on the whole, he makes a valid point:

“I’ve often thought that sharing can be the first tentative step someone takes from being a passive viewer on LinkedIn to more of a contributor – people don’t suddenly go from the odd like here and there to writing a LinkedIn article every week, there are baby steps in between, of which sharing is probably one. So whilst the best practice is that commenting is king, sharing does have its place on the platform and shouldn’t always be looked at as lazy or unimaginative posting. If someone is sharing a great piece of content, it doesn’t concern me whether they have given their own view on it first or not (though this may be preferable), I’m just thankful that they’ve shared it.”

The Opposing View

LinkedIn Trainer Mic Adam disagreed with my reasoning that Commenting was more valuable than Sharing.

He published a post on LinkedIn and asked his network to Share the post and not Like or Comment on the post.

He found/argued that:

  • Post Views were far fewer on his post that was ‘Shared’ compared to his other posts where people pressed the ‘Like’ or ‘Comment’. However, the number of Post Views combined with the Views of Posts that Shared his original Post was nearly double the views he believes he would have gotten if the Shares would have been Likes or Comments instead. Note – he had to directly ask everyone who Shared his post how many Post Views they got. Usually, we are not aware of this number unless we ask directly.
  • When people Share your post you gain much more visibility in your 2nd-degree network than when people Like or Comment on your Post. (He admits that when people Like or Comment on your post, LinkedIn shows the post more to your first degree Connections).
  • People who tell you they don’t share, really care about their own vanity view metrics.

I’m all for providing a balanced argument. Here is Mic’s article about why he maintains that Sharing is Really Caring About the Content Creator.

Now you know how to share a post on LinkedIn. But is it the best option? If you really want to make an influence and offer gratitude to a person’s post you have enjoyed reading, consider adding a valuable comment over the inclination to ‘Share’ it.

Find Out more

On how I can help you turn your Linkedin profile into multiple opportunities in a few hours.

    Interested in