Recently a colleague asked if there’s a specific strategy that people are using in social media when they create a post with a link? Instead of putting the link in the main post, they’re putting it in a comment/reply.
It’s a great questions and one that can only be answered with, “well, that depends.”
Sprout Social claims, “In terms of overall performance and how these posts performed on LinkedIn, the link-in-comments posts performed better and had higher numbers from both an awareness and engagement perspective.”
They also offered these LinkedIn tips.
- Design platform-first posts, which means the posts are designed and written for each specific platform.
- Lead with your goals, which means aligning your social media posts with your social media goals. In Sprout Social’s case, it was to generate more organic engagement and awareness.
- Plan to track your links separately. When creating links incorporate extensions so you can easily track analytics on your website or in your CRM.
- Test it for yourself. Just because it worked for Spout Social does not mean it’s going to work for your brand. But you won’t know until you try.
On the flip side, LinkedIn Nerd, John Espirian, feels there are pros and cons for each. The cons are important to note, including the link:
- May get lost in the comment stream of busy posts.
- Does not get carried across if the post is shared, unless the person sharing it adds it manually.
- On its own, does not display a preview thumbnail unless a comment is made via mobile.
He adds, “The case for putting a link in the comments was a lot stronger during the brief period in 2022 when LinkedIn introduced pinned comments. As that feature has been removed and doesn’t look as though it’s coming back, there’s a significant risk of links being buried in a busy stream of comments.”
What about Instagram?
Julia Moore, writes “It doesn’t make a difference whether you add links to Instagram posts captions or the first comments. In the app, users can’t copy text under a post. Therefore, they have to remember the link and type it in the browser address box anyway.”
She adds that post aren’t doomed, however. Adding a neat link is more memorable and helps users to type it into a browser. You could also incorporate a link in your bio that connects to your own content. And finally, you can tag the originating source in the post, but the user will have to search for the content.
Not great options.
What do I do?
I often will put the link on the image and include it in the Alt tag of my posting platform. I also add a memorable and simple link in the text.
9 Reasons why Social Media Guidelines Are So Important
If you run a business, no matter its size, and you are on social media, having guidelines for staff and contractors is essential.
@Hootsuite shared these nine reasons why social media guidelines are essential for any company, including:
- Empower your employees to engage positively on their social accounts.
- Educate on social media best practices.
- Encourage employees to follow your official accounts or use official hashtags.
- Distribute your company’s social media strategy.
- Introduce employees to helpful third-party tools and resources, such as Hootsuite’s social media dashboard or Hootsuite Academy training.
- Protect your employees from social harassment.
- Safeguard your company from cybersecurity risks.
- Clarify what information is OK to share and what violates confidentiality.
- Boost your brand’s reputation on social media
To Link or Not to Link ?
In my 20+ years of experience in social media, I recommend trying multiple posts for a test period to see which ones perform better on each platform. However, the post must be exactly the same with only the link option changed in order to effectively test it. Otherwise, too many factors might come into play, such as the content topic, image, or text.
Has it worked for you?
Tell us, has comment linking worked for your posts? Do tell. We’d love to hear about it in the comments.