Understanding LinkedIn Interactions

In this guide you'll learn more about the interactions that take place on LinkedIn which you can work with in your analysis.

LinkedIn actors

The data includes interactions triggered by two types of actors; members and companies.

Members

The people who log in to LinkedIn to share and engage with content are called members. Members create profiles and connect to each other in an online social network. Members can invite anyone to become a connection.

PYLON receives member's activities, augmented with a large set of demographics. This includes information about the member's location, education, profession, and other attributes.

Companies

Companies can create a presence on LinkedIn by creating a company page. Administrators of company pages can share posts, called 'Company Updates'. These are visible to viewers of the company page, as well as in the feed of members who follow the company.

Any member can comment on, like, or share a company update. When a company page administrator comments or likes a company update, it appears as the company commenting or liking the company update.

LinkedIn interactions

Types of interaction

Interactions by members on LinkedIn are divided into two types: activities and events.

Activities are social actions carried out by members and companies. These include shares posted publicly, and the engagement on these shares.

Events are similar to tracking events you may have seen in web analytics platforms. These cover clicks and page views.

Activities

Activity -> Share

A member or company posts a new share publicly.

Activity -> Share -> Post

A share that contains text, but no link.

A share is generated by a member using the 'Share an update' feature. In this example, Emma is sharing a post:

share

Company Update shares differ from member shares. They are generated by Company Page Administrators when they engage directly with viewers and followers of their Company Page. Company Page Administrators are members who have been given permission by a company to post on their behalf. They can post items like company news, promotions, relevant industry articles, SlideShare presentations, and Vimeo and YouTube videos.

Activity -> Share -> LinkedIn Article

A share which contains a link to a LinkedIn article (on LinkedIn's pulse platform).

These shares are generated by members when they publish articles using LinkedIn Pulse, or when companies or members manually include a link to a LinkedIn article in a share.

Articles allow for for blogs to be written with formatted text, links, and embedded videos and graphics. In this example, Emma is writing a new internal article:

linkedin-share

It's worth noting that:

  • LinkedIn does not support article publishing in all geographic locations.
  • Currently the platform only records articles published by members.

Activity -> Share -> External Article

A share which contains a link to a page outside of LinkedIn.

In this example, Emma is sharing a story from the bbc.co.uk website.

external-share

Note that here the company name 'Apple' has been recognised as a company with a presence on LinkedIn. You can analyze mentions of company names in your analysis.

Activity -> Engagement

Generated when a member or company engages with an existing share. Engagements include likes, comments and shares (similar to reshares).

Activity -> Engagement -> Like

Generated when a member clicks the like button on another member's share or comment.

When a share is liked, the like activity is hydrated with information about the root activity (not the intermediate chain of shares and comments).

In this example, Charlie has liked Emma's post.

like

Activity -> Engagement -> Comment

Generated when a member adds a comment to a share.

The comment activity is hydrated with information about the root activity (not the intermediate chain of shares and comments).

In this example, Hugo has commented on Emma's post:

comment

Activity -> Engagement -> Share

Generated when a member 'shares' an existing share with their network.

When a member shares something that has been shared by another member, this is received by PYLON as a new share. There is no concept of 'reshare' being a separate activity type.

As shared content can be shared again many times, the original content share is known as the root activity.

Share engagements are hydrated with information about the root activity being reshared.

In this example someone is about to reshare Emma's external article share:

engagement-share

Activity -> Follow

The follow button may be seen in several places on LinkedIn: company pages, job posts, when notification of a connected member following a company appears in a feed, display ads, or seeing an update that the advertiser has paid to have displayed.

Follow activities are received when a Follow button is clicked on the newsfeed.

follow

Events

There are two types of event available in the shared recording: clicks and article views.

Event -> Click

Clicks are a type of event generated when a member clicks on content shown in their newfeed.

Click events are hydrated with the details of the member who clicked and the root activity that was clicked on.

Event -> Click -> View

Generated when the member clicks to view an item (article or link) in their newsfeed.

*Note that for LinkedIn articles, and some external articles an 'event -> article view' interaction is also generated.

Event -> Click -> Expand

Generated when the member clicks 'show more' to expand shared content and comments that are collapsed in their newsfeed. In this example, Emma has shared a long post and the show more link is visible:

expand

Event -> Article View

These interactions are received when a member views a LinkedIn article or external articles (for some domains).

This could occur from a member clicking on a link in their feed (in which case the click event and view event are received separately) or from someone viewing a LinkedIn Article from a link directly to the content (in which case only the view event is received).

Root share activities and articles

Above you'll have read that engagements and clicks are hydrated with the root share that they relate to. It's also important to note that engagements and clicks can take place on articles that LinkedIn automatically inserts into a member's newsfeed, without a share activity taking place.

For instance if these articles appear in your newsfeed, when you click on an article this will generate a click event, where the article is the root not a share activity.

article-linkedin

Next steps...

The next guide looks at the activities and events that take place on LinkedIn which you can access in your analysis.

Understanding the LinkedIn data model