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How to make the LinkedIn algorithm updates work for your content

By 03/06/2019 June 15th, 2020 No Comments

Algorithm updates driving you crazy? Our Chief Revenue Officer Alexander Hann discusses the recent updates to LinkedIn’s algorithm and what they mean for your content efforts.

In the past six months, I’ve been asked by so many clients to help them understand LinkedIn’s algorithm. These clients have seen a drastic decrease in LinkedIn engagement in recent months since the updates to the feed algorithm.

The change, was conceived to reduce corporate content and influencer impressions and to increase private users. The reason for this is that while total interactions on LinkedIn have increased 50% YoY, most of those interactions were with the top 1% of influencers and brands.

How does this effect your corporate content?

The simple answer is, negatively, unless you understand how to leverage the changes to your advantage.

As marketeers, we live in unprecedented times. We have an incredible opportunity to leverage LinkedIn by targeting B2B clients with digital content. You’re investing so much time and money in your own branded content, but are you really generating the engagement that it deserves.

LinkedIn studies in April showed that corporate content has seen a comparative 11% decline in engagement, whilst personal content has increased by 18% since October 2018.

I’ve been surprised at the lack of industry understanding of these changes, and wanted to provide some answers.

How the LinkedIn algorithm works

Much like Facebook and Instagram, the LinkedIn algorithm prioritises content you’re most likely to find relevant rather than the most recent content.

Fortunately for everyone’s sanity, that means the way to stand out in the feed is not by posting 20 times a day.

However, it also means that just posting is not enough. In order to consistently make it into people’s feeds, you need to be regularly putting out good content that your followers reliably engage with.

Recently, LinkedIn released this helpful graphic that visually explains how its algorithm works:

In addition to what’s included in this flowchart, content is ranked and displayed based on your account’s reputation, how users have engaged with your content before, and what else is being posted.

There are also a lot more unknown factors affecting your visibility in the main feed. But let’s focus on what we do know, starting with this chart.

Filter #1

The first step in the flow is pretty simple: every time you post something, the LinkedIn feed algorithm determines whether it’s spam, low quality, or good to go. Obviously, you want to be in the “good to go” category.

Filter #2

If you passed go, your content appears in the feed temporarily.

During this stage, LinkedIn’s algorithm bots look at how your audience engages with the content. If they’re liking it, commenting on it, or sharing it, that’s a good sign you’ll make it through to the next filter.

Filter #3

Here the LinkedIn algorithm evaluates your profile to assess the quality of your previous posts. They want to avoid spam articles and ensure that posts are relevant to followers.

Based on this evaluation the content can either be removed from the feed or displayed less often. This is why the initial timing of your post and early activity is so important for optimising click-through rate and engagement.

Filter #4

Finally, humans enter the process. At this point, editors review your post to determine whether it should keep showing, whether they might include it somewhere else like a channel, or whether they can derive any takeaways from it for future algorithm tweaks and product development.

They want to know: why, exactly, is your post performing so well?

As long as it keeps getting engagement, your post stays in the mix, continuing its algorithmic journey through the feed.

This is why sometimes you’ll see posts in your feed that are weeks (yes, weeks) old—something you definitely wouldn’t see on the fast-paced feeds of Facebook and Twitter.

So how do you get your posts to show up in the LinkedIn news feed?

This is really simple, as long as your content is performing well, it will remain in feeds as a top post. These are my top tips for achieving that high engagement:

Produce relevant content with value

Ensure you produce content that is either educational or entertaining. As a brand, you should look to be providing value to your social community first and foremost. Find trending industry topics and provide value. If it isn’t educational or entertaining, don’t publish it.

Post at the right time

To optimise your posting, ensure you post at the best times. DSMN8’s analytics tool suggests this to be 8am, 12pm or between 5-6pm.

Mobile-first content

Around 60% of LinkedIn engagement comes via smartphones. So be mindful to create content with both smartphone visual and habits, closed captions as an example.

Utilise native video

LinkedIn launched native video in 2017, and it is still underused, meaning it has huge potential. According to the Aberdeen Group, brands that use video marketing grow their revenue 49% faster than companies that don’t.

Ensure employees share

Your employees have up to 100X more social followers accumulatively than your corporate pages. They’re already connected to your clients and prospects. Not only will they open up a huge community, but this instant early engagement will ensure success through the algorithm.

Making LinkedIn’s algorithm work for your content

Performing well with the LinkedIn algorithm all comes down to relevance. Is content and your brand relevant to your target audience?

Share content that resonates with people in your industry and optimises the timing of your posts. Regularly review your analytics. Make real friends and connections. Engage with your industry community through posts and group comments.

Be relevant. Be engaged. Build your authority on LinkedIn.

Find out more: If you’d like to find out more about the LinkedIn algorithm and how our clients are utilising it to their advantage, please reach out to schedule a web call.

Article originally posted on LinkedIn

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