Companies like Google and Facebook aren’t the only ones that sort and show content based on algorithms. LinkedIn does the same with its social posts – and that’s particularly important in the B2B world when you want other professionals to see your brand posts and note what’s important.
As with other algorithms, LinkedIn also updates how it ranks and displays posts to keep current with trends or fix problems. It’s important to keep up with these updates, because they provide many valuable clues on 1)what you may have been doing wrong in the past and 2)ways you can help your posts rank better in the future. So, based on the latest LinkedIn announcements, here’s what you should know about dealing with their algorithm.
1. Like All Algorithms, LinkedIn Tries to Show What People Are Interested and What’s New
This part isn’t so surprising. LinkedIn’s algorithm tries to show people posts based on what they have shown interest in before and what the latest news is from businesses and professionals that they have interacted with. If someone follows you or interacts with brands/topics similar to yours, they have a better chance of seeing your post.
This general rule also extends to occupations and conversations! Someone with a related occupation has a better chance of seeing news and topics related to what they are currently doing. Likewise, LinkedIn is trying to be better at guessing what conversations someone is likely to participate in, based on their past conservation activities.
Previously, LinkedIn had found that its algorithm favored around the top 1% of businesses and posters on the network, which made it difficult for smaller companies to be seen. The latest changes now help focus more connection on smaller content creators that are producing high-quality content – great news for all the smaller businesses on the network!
2. LinkedIn Doesn’t Want You Posting Too Mechanically
Another issue that LinkedIn had identified was that many businesses scheduled constant posts and updates at the same times every day in an effort to flood the system with their notifications and (hopefully) drown out everyone else. LinkedIn’s latest algorithm updates address this by giving more weight toward posts that seem more natural.
In other words, don’t post on LinkedIn at the same time each day, every day. Post more organically instead – at various times on both weekdays and weekends. Don’t be afraid to skip days if you don’t have anything to post. Make your brand feel more human!
3. Content Performance Matters
LinkedIn also looks at how well content is performing, another common strategy on social media. If your post is getting likes, comments and shares, LinkedIn sees that as a great sign, and is more likely to make your content noticeable. You can see this in the second part main filter of LinkedIn’s diagram, where the company monitors all interactions with the content. This also includes negative interactions as well – you don’t want people flagging your post or reporting its content. LinkedIn also looks at content structure and business history to see if the content looks spammy or suspicious, in which case it will be demoted.
4. Content Type Matters, Too!
LinkedIn is more likely to look favorable on content that includes different mediums. If you post content that has video or images, it will score higher according to LinkedIn’s algorithm and reap the benefits. Of course, including visuals is an excellent practice for any social media marketing you ever do, but it’s nice to know that LinkedIn will directly reward you for it.
5. Human Editors Have a Role Too
One of LinkedIn’s filter options involves human editors, too. This tends to happen when content is specifically triggered by the algorithm. While LinkedIn is a little vague on this point, it seems that editors will take a look if content is flagged for violating terms of service, and may also take a look if content scores especially low on the algorithmic score (or, potentially, especially high). Content that is simply rated as “okay, everything looks fine here” appears unlikely to encounter a human editor.
6. Users Can Adjust How Posts Appear
In addition to reporting posts, users can also choose to “hide this post” which also appears to have a negative effect on post ranking. People tend to use this option when content is annoying them, either with what it’s saying or how often it’s showing up. LinkedIn will likewise score content lower, and it may harm your overall brand presence.
7. You Can Absolutely Use Hashtags
LinkedIn supports hashtags, and they’re a good way to accurately identify your content and help LinkedIn target the right people, especially people who use or follow similar hashtags. So it’s a good idea to pair up your content with descriptive tags…but don’t give over three or so. Overwhelming numbers of hashtags could have the opposite effect. Since this is LinkedIn, don’t shy away from more technical or specific hashtags that are more suited toward professionals that know what you’re talking about.
8. As Always, Immediate Engagement is a Good Idea
Try to get as much interaction as quickly as possible. Anything that makes LinkedIn think that your content is going viral or has lots of potential is great for your ranking. Ask for opinions, provide valuable data, seek out advice or suggestions, and focus on other content that will generate a quick response in your circles. LinkedIn, like other social media, is fast-paced, and seeking engagement is not a bad thing!