“People you know, talking about the things you care about.”
– Pete Davies, Senior Director of Product Management, LinkedIn
Out of many ways how LinkedIn is different from other social media platforms, it’s algorithm is the most unique. While other social medial platforms like Twitter and Facebook sort your feed in chronological order, your LinkedIn feed is sorted by “Top Updates.” The posts with more activity – likes, shares, and comments – will show up first.
While the new algorithm is pretty straightforward to apprehend, it’s challenging to implement, especially when you are competing with more than two million posts, articles, and videos displayed on the feed of 675 million members.
This guide takes you through how the latest LinkedIn algorithm works, and how you can make it work for you.
How does the latest algorithm work?
The current LinkedIn algorithm works towards achieving two primary goals:
- To prioritize relevant content
- To promote engagement
Before the update, LinkedIn’s algorithm created a “superstar echo chamber,” where mega users like Richard Branson and Dan Lok could easily trade popularity for virality, making it harder for average users to get traction. LinkedIn decided to address this disparity. Now, people see posts from members they actually know and the topics they care about. This shift towards empowering “average users” and “personal connections” has encouraged more content creation and engagement on the platform.
Ranking signals of the LinkedIn algorithm
The existing LinkedIn algorithm uses the following signals to filter and rank posts in user’s feeds.
- Personal connections: Now, LinkedIn gives more weight to personal connections. The platform takes constant, definitive signals to determine which posts are personally related to members. It considers members with whom you have interacted personally, through likes, shares, comments, or personal messages. Other signals include common interests and skills, members working at the same company, etc.
- Interest relevance: Being personally connected does not mean you’ll see the same content. LinkedIn measures the affinity of a post by comparing it with the hashtags, people, and pages the members follow. For example, if you’re a software engineer and one of your connections published content regarding fashion designing, you are less likely to find that content in your “Top Updates” feed.
- Engagement probability: The new LinkedIn algorithm has aroused a 50% increase in viral activity. Firstly, the algorithm shows your content to the relevant audience and measures the interaction in terms of likes, shares, and comments. If your post gets several interactions in a quick time, LinkedIn is likely to show it in the feeds of others, thus, making the post viral.
How to use the LinkedIn algorithm to your advantage?
Some members are trying to bluff, game, or reverse-engineer the algorithm to get more engagement and attention. It’s not necessary as the algorithm is straightforward, and if used correctly, can work for anyone. Here are a few LinkedIn best practices to follow.
If you are building new connections, being relevant is crucial. Follow the cardinal rule: know your audience. Conduct a thorough research of your audience and create accurate personas. Then, use these findings to devise your LinkedIn marketing strategy.
Relevance applies to formats, too. Content that includes rich media is likely to get twice more engagement than text posts. By diversifying your content across various formats, you can earn points in both “engagement probability” and “interest relevance” columns.
Promote your content
Promotion does not necessarily mean running paid ads. In fact, you can increase engagement without spending a single dollar on LinkedIn marketing. Tactics like tagging relevant companies, including suitable hashtags, and using keywords strategically can help you gain more eyeballs.
And not all promotion needs to happen on LinkedIn. If you have an email list or social following on some other platform, sharing your content with them can be a great way to engage members of your audience who are inactive on the LinkedIn platform.
Make sure your posts encourage engagement.
LinkedIn rewards engagement, especially the content that sparks conversations. By asking a question or opinion in your post, you can make encourage your audience to talk. The more engagement your posts get, the better chances they have to go viral.
Stick to niche-specific topics and hashtags
LinkedIn members are more interested in learning in-depth about topics they’re interested in. Most startups, when starting out on LinkedIn, promise to revolutionize an industry. Will a digital marketing expert sound relevant talking about stock trading tips?
This also applies to the hashtags you use. If you provide web development services, using hashtags like “#businessdevelopment” and “#sales” may seem slightly off the line. That doesn’t mean you should completely give up on generic hashtags. Find the right balance and don’t overdo it.
Post at the right time
The chances of your post going viral will increase if a large number of likes and comments come in quickly. The best way to get more engagement quickly is to post at the right time when your LinkedIn members are online.
The best time post on LinkedIn, according to Hootsuite, is:
- The best time to post on LinkedIn is 7:45 am, 10:45 am, 12:45 am, and 5:45 am EST.
- For B2B brands, Tuesday and Wednesday are the best days to post on LinkedIn.
- For B2C brands, the best days to post on LinkedIn are Monday and Wednesday.
Don’t consider these findings as to the bottom line. Get creative and experiment by posting on different days and different times to determine what works best for you.
Build your LinkedIn network strategically
Personal and relevant connections are essential components of the new LinkedIn algorithm. Hence, choosing the right network can yield exponential rewards. Here are a few LinkedIn networking tips for building relevant connections.
- Make sure your bio tells the “who,” “what,” “why,” and “how,” about you or your business
- Encourage your employees to indicate they work at your company.
- Host LinkedIn groups or participate in other groups.
- Make your profile public so people can find you and connect with you.
Don’t forget about analytics
One of the common ways to achieve success is by replicating what works well. The same applies to your LinkedIn strategy. If a certain type or format of post works well for you, you should be using it more often.
But to know what works well and what doesn’t, you’ll need to measure the performance of your LinkedIn posts. LinkedIn offers in-depth insights and analytics, which you should use effectively to bring the best out of your LinkedIn marketing efforts.
Authenticity is the key to success on LinkedIn. Real experiences spark genuine, more in-depth conversations, and better conversations lead to stronger connections. Be friendly, approachable, real, and relatable.
LinkedIn is emerging as the go-to platform for business owners, marketers, and companies. The latest LinkedIn algorithm update has made LinkedIn marketing more feasible for members. Now, the key to success is to be relevant and focus on interactions and engagement. The more quickly your posts drive engagement, the better chances they have to go viral and get more traction.
And don’t forget to develop personal connections; after all, you are networking with humans and not bots.