It’s no coincidence that some people keep appearing in the News Feed. They understand how the LinkedIn algorithm works and they are profiting from it. Do you want to do the same? Discover the mechanics and how to use it to give your publications the visibility they deserve!
The LinkedIn algorithm: what is it?
Let’s keep it simple: to offer its users the best content, LinkedIn classifies the publications of their contacts in the news feed.
LinkedIn highlights the posts that are most likely to grab users’ attention and engage them by getting them to like, share, or comment better. We will come back to that.
For this, LinkedIn uses an algorithm based on different criteria that we will see together just after: the browsing history, the engagement rate, the time spent on the post (the Dwell Time) and the editorial quality of a post. are taken into account.
It is mainly because of the LinkedIn algorithm that some users complain that their publications are not seen throughout their network.
How does the LinkedIn algorithm work in 2021?
Even though it is based on artificial intelligence and machine learning, the LinkedIn algorithm is very easy to understand:
- You write your post and you publish it;
- The LinkedIn algorithm scores the editorial quality of your post;
- If the rating is bad, your post won’t show in the feed. If the rating is good, LinkedIn tests it in the news feed;
- If your post isn’t generating engagement, LinkedIn will stop showing. If it’s engaging, LinkedIn boosts it in the feed;
At this point you will tell me that you are not really any further along than you started out, are you?
Don’t panic, we are now going to see two things that will be of use to you:
- How to write an OK post for the LinkedIn algorithm;
- How to generate engagement to get the boost of the LinkedIn algorithm;
LinkedIn Algorithm: Optimize Editorial Note
When you publish a post on LinkedIn, the algorithm classifies it in one of the following categories:
- Low quality publications;
- High potential publications;
Obviously, only posts considered to have high potential by the algorithm will be experienced in the news feed. Otherwise, they will not be broadcast.
Then a logical question comes to your mind: what makes a post deemed SPAM, low quality or high potential?
Well the LinkedIn algorithm is based on very simple criteria:
If you add an external link in your post – that is, one that links somewhere other than LinkedIn – your post will appear as SPAM.
I draw your attention directly here: if you plan to comment on the link in order to bluff the algorithm, you are naive. Since the time that users abuse this method, LinkedIn has adapted.
However, this practice has another interest that many of those who advocate it ignore, but we will come back to it later.
Something else before that:
If you tag multiple people in your post – some say more than 5 – it will most likely fall into the SPAM bin. Especially if these people don’t interact with her quickly.
If you avoid these two practices, you will pass the spam filter, but nothing says that your post will be considered high potential and therefore experienced in the news feed.
So what distinguishes a low quality post from a high potential post?
Here are some good practices to follow to optimize your chances of landing in the second category:
- Your post should be airy, pleasant to read;
- It must call for a response to encourage comment;
- It must contain consistent keywords;
- You can integrate hashtags in moderation (2 or 3);
If your post follows these best practices, the LinkedIn algorithm will most certainly consider it a post with high potential and will then test it in the News Feed.
LinkedIn Algorithm: Generate Engagement
To understand how the LinkedIn algorithm works, it is essential to fully understand the concept of engagement.
Whether on LinkedIn or any other social network, a post will be pushed into the news feed only if it elicits interactions because it will thus help increase the connection time of users.
We talk about retention and it’s like on YouTube: the more time users spend watching a video, the more it will be highlighted in the suggestions.
Well, it’s the same for the LinkedIn algorithm: when your post is tested in the feed, it will be directly judged according to the time users spend on it.
Obviously, if they like, share or better comment – because that’s what takes the most time and effort – well LinkedIn will decide to boost it in the thread.
If this is not the case, the algorithm will stop its diffusion.
So how do you write a LinkedIn post that generates engagement?
Here too, there are good practices to be observed.
The first thing to do here is to make sure you publish your post when the majority of your audience is online. Without it, your post will be experienced in the thread during a downtime and inevitably no one will be there to interact with.
Contrary to what some digital marketing experts would have you believe, there is no perfect answer to the question “When to post on LinkedIn?” “.
There are trends but only your tests and analyzes will tell you.
The other important thing in generating engagement is to keep your LinkedIn post alive.
By bringing your post to life, I mean several things to achieve in the first hour:
- Add comments that add value ;
- Place the link of your post in the comments of your old posts on the same subject;
- Respond to comments on your post;
For the last good practice we are on common sense but so many users forget it. Most people post and leave the social network, only to return when they get a notification.
LinkedIn sees it and the algorithm takes it into account. If you want your post to work, you need to empower yourself.
To finish with this engagement part, I recommend that you ask yourself one question before submitting your post to the LinkedIn algorithm:
Does your publication meet one of the following vocations: inform, solve, educate or entertain?
If the answer is no, you should abstain. If the answer is yes, you are good to go and there is a good chance that your post will take the next step!
How does the LinkedIn Algorithm Boost a Post?
We summarize: at this stage, LinkedIn considered that your post had high potential and tested it in the thread.
It generates engagement and the algorithm therefore decides to boost it until it runs out of steam.
Ok, and how does he do that algo?
Here, the algorithm has to decide who it will present your post to in the news feed. For this, it is based on 3 indicators:
- The potential for engagement, we talked about it so we move on;
- Relational quality;
- Shared interest;
There’s an increasingly common practice on LinkedIn (and I’m noticing it on Twitter too!) Of tagging influencers in your post in the hope that it will reach their network of contacts.
You most likely won’t, at least if you don’t have a real relationship with these influencers.
When deciding whether or not to feature a post in a user’s News Feed, the LinkedIn algorithm first and foremost analyzes the quality of the relationship you have.
Clearly, if you have hundreds or thousands of contacts because you send requests in spades without knowing the people and ESPECIALLY without starting a conversation afterwards – and it’s very common! – well that will not really be of interest to your visibility.
The LinkedIn algorithm is based on the relational quality to propose or not a post in the news feed by analyzing two things:
- What links the author to the user;
- The history of interactions between the author and the user;
First, the algorithm judges the nature of their relationship:
Do they really know each other? Are the author and user colleagues, former colleagues or classmates?
As you will have understood, the stronger the relationship between the author and the user, the more likely the publication will find its way into its news feed.
After analyzing the nature of the relationship, the LinkedIn algorithm will look at the history of behaviors:
Does the user usually view the author’s posts? Does he like them, share them or comment on them?
Remember what we saw on engagement rate: LinkedIn has no interest in featuring posts in the News Feed that won’t generate interaction because it reduces connection time.
So, even if the author and the user are colleagues, if the user rarely pays attention to the author’s posts, they will no longer see them in their news feed.
And of course, that’s also valid for the Company Pages if you see where I’m going!
I train quite a few people who often ask me why they don’t see their business page posts in their feed. The answer is simple: it’s because they haven’t paid attention to it in the past!
You will have understood it: your publications are more likely to appear in the news feed of your contacts if you have a real relationship with them, but you can still reach thousands of people outside your network thanks to the following criterion. Suppose you have a business of web development of websites so you need to continuously feed about web development benefits etc on your linkedin.
This is also the great advantage of the LinkedIn algorithm over other social networks.
If I like LinkedIn, it’s because it’s one of the only social networks that still allows you to reach a significant volume of people who are not in its network.
Without paying naturally!
If your publication has been deemed to have high potential by the algorithm and that experimentation has confirmed it, LinkedIn will have every interest in offering your publication to as many people as possible to generate engagement.
Suddenly, the algorithm will offer it outside your network of contacts based on the shared interest.
Concretely, LinkedIn will submit your post to the following people:
- Those who are in the same discussion groups as you;
- People who are subscribed to the same pages or same hashtags;
- Or those who use the same jargon;
Finally here, the LinkedIn algorithm plays the matchmaker: it will offer your publication to people who look like you so that you can get to know each other!
In conclusion: the LinkedIn algorithm is evolving, stay tuned!
Like all algorithms, that of LinkedIn remains a mystery. There are things that we have, the ones that I presented to you, and there are others that we totally ignore or can just assume.
The key to taming the LinkedIn algorithm is therefore to test. Regularly test and analyze.
Some things work today but won’t work tomorrow. Conversely, there are practices to be banned now but which may become essential in the future.
It is both exciting and frustrating. Isn’t that what makes social networks so charming?