Beat the LinkedIn Algorithm: Tips to Reach More People with your Content
LinkedIn's greatest strength is the way it connects and binds people. The more connections you have on LinkedIn, the greater the chance that your content will reach people outside your network. Although this all sounds logical, LinkedIn decides behind the scenes if your content is further shared and who gets to see it. This blog explains how it all works, and how to get the most out of your LinkedIn content.
There are two main things to understand about the LinkedIn news feed:
- It mainly contains native, organic content.
- It’s based on an algorithm, not the recency of a post.
Much like Facebook and Instagram, the LinkedIn algorithm prioritizes content that is relevant to you and that you’re likely to find interesting. The LinkedIn algorithm filters the content you post and uses an automated, continuous 4-stage process to calculate its quality and reach. For a more detailed look, LinkedIn Engineering published this graphic that visually explains how their algorithm works.
When you post content on LinkedIn, the algorithm assesses the category of your content: text, image, video or link. Your message is then tagged as: ‘spam,’ ‘low-quality’, or ‘good-to-go’. Obviously you want your content to be tagged as good-to-go.
Yes! Your content has been tagged as good-to-go, and will be temporarily displayed in the newsfeed and shown to a small group of people. This works as a kind of approval test, during which the algorithm bots will assess your network’s reaction. If your content generates likes, comments, clicks or shares, it’s a good sign and the content will probably move on to stage 3. However, if your network marks your content as spam or people click ‘hide message’, it’s a sign that the content is irrelevant to your network and won’t be shared further.
Tip: the more interaction and comments your message generates, the better.
You can choose the best time to post content by carrying out your own analysis, or clicking best times to post.
The algorithm then assesses the quality of your content, your profile and the quality of your previous posts to decide if your post can be kept active and shown to more people. LinkedIn may hide your post, label it as spam, or show it to more people, depending on your connections and how they react.
In the final stage, your post is subject to human evaluation by LinkedIn editors who try to find out the reasons behind the success of your post. The insights obtained are used to improve the algorithm.
If your content is still generating shares, comments or likes, the algorithm continues to share it. That’s why you sometimes see posts in your news feed that are several weeks old. This doesn’t matter to LinkedIn, the only thing that counts is that the content displayed to you is relevant at that particular moment.
How Do You Increase the Reach of Your Content?
LinkedIn's algorithm filters your content according to its quality, so use this knowledge to generate more reach. The 5 tips:
- Make sure you have your basics in order, in other words your profile. Make sure your profile has both a photo and a header. In the summary, enter your location and what you do. Remember to update your company page in the same way. This makes the services you provide immediately clear to everybody. In any case, fill in your last 3 jobs, and make sure your resume is as complete as possible, with photos and videos if applicable. The more you show and the more complete your profile, the sooner LinkedIn's algorithm will identify both you and your content as authentic and assess you as good-to-go.
- What comes around, goes around: share your expertise! It’s a kind of online karma: you get back from your network what you give out. LinkedIn is a platform where people look for work, try to advance their careers, or want to learn something, so share content relevant to them. Remember that how-to posts score better than questions on LinkedIn, and that interaction is essential. Get engaged, and respond to comments to your posts. Remember, more engagement will immediately increase the size of the network that sees your content, so before asking your network if they’ll share your job vacancy, give them something in return first! That could mean writing your own original content that your target group will want to share!
- Post your own native content. LinkedIn Pulse was designed by LinkedIn for members to share self-published content with their audience much more easily. Articles are now at the top of the profile, where images and videos can also be uploaded easily. There are good reasons for this. LinkedIn prefers content placed on the platform by members over content with links that divert attention from the platform. Once again, this is to safeguard quality. Longer posts and articles on LinkedIn generally score better, for example. This is simply because longer posts and articles contain more useful information. Boost your content with articles containing 1,700 to 2,100 words.
- As with all social media, post images and videos, preferably native content. Videos on LinkedIn get good results, but links to YouTube or other video channels are given much less reach and consequently get fewer views.
- Use your connections. Most of the content presented to you is from your immediate network. Content from personal profiles also scores better than content from company pages. LinkedIn is all about people and personal connections. Company pages achieve an average reach of 2% to 6%. If you’ve created some interesting content on behalf of your company, ask your colleagues to help share it widely.
Basically: if you’re interested in generating interaction with your posts on LinkedIn, create high-quality content and invest your time in the platform and your connections. Get engaged in the conversation and use the platform for what it was designed to do; build networks.