How to Make the LinkedIn Algorithm Work for You
The digital world has boasted many benefits for today's consumers. No matter the distance, we can easily reach each other with just the click of a button, we can shop without leaving the comfort of our homes, and we can use our mobile devices to make payments in-store. But none of these systems would be able to function without technology and algorithms.
Like any other social media platform, LinkedIn's algorithms are constantly changing and can sometimes affect your bottom line. Recently, LinkedIn updated their algorithm to prioritize relevant content and promote more engagement. But it won't be long before they change the algorithm yet again. Luckily, there are some tips you can follow to make the algorithm work best for you.
HOW LINKEDIN RANKS CONTENT
To really get to know the platform and how to master the algorithm, you should first know how LinkedIn ranks content.
More than a million users have published posts on LinkedIn and more than 130,000 posts are published every week. And right now, there are over 500 million members on LinkedIn. What do all these stats mean? That the platform is flooded with content, which makes it increasingly difficult to make your posts (and business) discoverable on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn uses signals to filter and rank the posts that show up in people’s feeds:
Personal connections: When it comes to posting content, LinkedIn takes into account your personal connections before showing people your content. The placement of your posts depends on who you've directly interacted with, comments, shares, reactions, etc. LinkedIn's algorithm also looks at information on profiles such as interests, skills, who members work with, etc.
Interest relevance: LinkedIn measures a post's relevance to a particular user based on what groups they're in as well as the hashtags, people, and pages they follow.
Engagement probability: Based on the content you've liked and shared in the past as well as who you most frequently interact with, LinkedIn will evaluate the likelihood of you engaging with a particular post. Also, the more engagement the post has, the more likely LinkedIn will show it to others.
After you publish a post, LinkedIn's bots will label it as either "spam", "low-quality", or "clear". Using engagement probability, LinkedIn predicts how likely the post is to go viral. If users ignore or flag your post, it will count against you when it comes to ranking in the newsfeed. This is LinkedIn's way of filtering out spam or low-quality content.
HOW TO MAKE THE LINKEDIN ALGORITHM WORK FOR YOU
Now that you know how the LinkedIn algorithm works, you can use these tips to make it work optimally for you.
POST RELEVANT, HIGH-QUALITY CONTENT
To create posts that are relevant to your audience, you must get to know your audience by learning their likes and interests. If you haven't already, build personas by doing research, check your analytics, and study competitor's audiences. This will give you an idea of what to post about and what posts are more likely to get engagement from your target audience.
Also, use relevant formats that get lots of engagement such as pictures - receive 2x more comments than text posts - and videos (5x more comments). These formats are popular with LinkedIn users. Therefore, you can score points in "interest relevance" and "engagement probability" because the content is more relevant to users, which means that the content has a high probability of getting high engagement. Whether your post is written, shares an image, or showcases a video, it needs to add value, provoke discussion, or evoke emotion.
GET PEOPLE ENGAGED
The LinkedIn algorithm values and rewards engagement. To get your connections engaged with your posts, inspire conversation by asking questions and encouraging your audience to share their opinions and insights with you. This helps you position yourself as a thought leader in your industry and allows you to really get to know your audience.
To get people engaged, you can also post puns or funny jokes to make people laugh. Useful, career-related tips or relevant industry/company stats also work well to increase engagement.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT TIME TO POST
When it comes to measuring posts on "virality", LinkedIn will demote content if it gets zero engagement. This means that you need to post during times users are most active so that you can avoid LinkedIn's algorithm mistaking your poor posting time for lack of engagement. 5-6pm between Tuesdays and Thursdays is proven to be the most optimal time to post on LinkedIn.
If you post during this time and avoid posting on Mondays and Fridays - which are typically slower than the rest of the week - more people will see your content and you'll have a better chance of ranking in the newsfeed. To schedule your posts in advance to go out at peak times, you can use a social media management service like Hootsuite or Buffer.
PROMOTE YOUR POSTS
Another way to increase engagement on your posts is to increase the number of people that will see it. The following are great ways to promote your content so that it gets in front of more people:
Tag relevant companies and influencers
Use keywords strategically
Include relevant hashtags
Promoting your content shouldn't just be limited to LinkedIn. You can promote your posts outside the platform by sharing it in Slack or in your email newsletter. The more engagement you receive on your posts, the higher the chances of it ranking with the LinkedIn algorithm.
USE NATIVE VIDEO
You're probably thinking: "We discussed video earlier in this post." But this awesome form of content deserves a section all its own. Social video generates 1,200% more shares than text and pictures combined. Likes, views, shares, and other engagement metrics are included in LinkedIn's ranking process and video has proven to naturally boost these metrics.
But don't just share any video. Use native video. LinkedIn wants users to spend more time on their platform, which means that it's best not to post a video that links to another site. If you do, don't expect any points from LinkedIn's algorithm.
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