What’s the difference between likes and shares on LinkedIn?

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This question has cropped up a lot recently and there are differences between the two but mostly they are dependent on the content in question and why you are interacting with it.

VERY simply, a share has more reach than a like and is more likely to be seen by your network.

But let’s look at what each one does…

A Like

A like is a simple acknowledgement of someone’s post which will then be communicated to a proportion of your network.

To show you what this looks like, we posted up an update on our page which Mani then went on to like.

You will see that his like is added to the other like on the original post which you can access directly.

A Share

A share indicates that you have read the content and feel it is something that your own network will also appreciate. LinkedIn then treats it the same way as if you had posted original content yourself.

We got Mani to post a share of the post from our page.

You will see that the likes have disappeared as they belong to the original post, not Mani’s share, and that there is a space at the beginning of the post where Mani could add his own thoughts, possibly even tag people who he thinks might like to read the post.

The other key feature of a share is that other people can comment on it as if it was your own post.

Both likes and shares will show up on your recent activity and it will indicate whether you liked or shared it, so if you did both, it will show up twice. (and more if you commented as well)

So what’s better?

Well in terms of reach, a share is better. It will get more exposure and you offer your network an opportunity to like it, comment on it and also share it with their own network.

BUT…

Yes, there is a BUT

This is when it comes down to the WHY of your interaction.

If this is a random post which you just think will be of benefit to your network then go ahead, share away!

But if you are sharing for the purpose of supporting your own firm, you may want to stick with the like, and encourage the interaction towards the original post.

Lets look at it like this…

You see a post by your company and like it… Excellent!

Some of your network will then see it and be able to also like the post

You then share it.

The post will now appear on your timeline similar to one of your own posts.

Any likes or comments will then be contained in your shared post, NOT the original post. So you may have unintentionally taken attention away from your companies page.

PLUS, any likes on the shared post that are seen by your 2nd connections (those you aren’t connected with directly but share a mutual connection with) will have completely lost the original source content.

So what can you do to counter this?

You could make sure that when you share the content you credit the original page by tagging them.
Or
If you think that it may be of interest to specific people in your network, You could consider tagging them in a comment rather than sharing the post.