Your guide to understanding the LinkedIn algorithm

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Linkedin isn’t just a platform for finding jobs. 

With over 850 million members that span across 200 countries and regions worldwide, it’s now a key player in the realm of B2B content marketing. LinkedIn is the place where users look to build their professional networks, explore career opportunities, engage in thought leadership content and discover innovative solutions to market niches. 

When brands commit to sharing content that falls under a targeted business focus, they unlock opportunities for increased brand exposure.  

Understanding how the algorithm works is a key that helps unlock this. 

What is the LinkedIn algorithm? 

Based on user analytics and machine learning, the LinkedIn algorithm determines the order of the posts people see when they check their feeds. The end-goal of the algorithm is to ensure users are served a feed full of relevant content so they stay on the platform for longer. 

How does the LinkedIn algorithm work? 

The LinkedIn algorithm ranks posts according to what it predicts is most relevant to the user. As soon as a post is released, the algorithm first determines if it is spam. 

A post is classified as spam if it contains:  

  • Multiple links 
  • Over five hashtags
  • Poor grammar 
  • Tags more than five people 

Another attribute of a “spam post” is that it can be part of a too frequent post stream (e.g. a post every two hours).

Once the algorithm has determined your post isn’t spam, it then pushes it to a selection of your followers. If the post acquires ample engagement straight away, the algorithm continues to push it to more users.

The algorithm pushes it to more people according to these signals:

  • Assumed interest in topic (based on groups, hashtags, language of post, companies and people mentioned, etc) 
  • Connection to a follower (e.g. users who follow the accounts that follow you) 

But if no one engages, or if users choose to hide your post from their feed, the algorithm won’t push it any further. This process occurs in the space of an hour. 

So, how can you optimize the hour and create content the algorithm wants to boost?

LinkedIn best-practice tips

Here are some best-practice tips on how to create LinkedIn content that appeases the algorithm:

  • Encourage engagement with a question or prompt (e.g. What are your thoughts on this?)
  • Only tag people or accounts that are likely to respond (e.g. no tagging the Prime Minister)
  • Place outbound links in the comments section (the algorithm doesn’t favor posts that seek to take users off the platform)
  • Post during peak engagement time
  • Prioritize original content over shared content
  • Respond to all comments and questions 
  • Use short paragraphs (improves readability)
  • Use three or fewer hashtags

Conversation before sales

As a key player in the B2B marketing space, Linkedin is a place for thought-provoking conversations as opposed to being a billboard for straight sales. 

When you draft LinkedIn posts for your brand, be mindful of why people are on LinkedIn and make that your content direction. The algorithm favors brand profiles that demonstrate an understanding of their audience’s objectives. 

According to Statista, almost 60% of LinkedIn users worldwide are between the ages of 25 and 34. The second largest age group on the platform is users between the ages of 18-24, accounting for 20.4% of the user base. It can be inferred from these statistics that the majority of LinkedIn users are there to acquire learnings and connections that will enable them to advance their careers. 

This audience objective calls brands to create content that is informative, and insightful. When a user reads a LinkedIn newsletter, article, or short-form post, it needs to bequeath them with something new: a new perspective, fact or insight. Something that triggers a light-bulb moment! 

Content themes that perform well on LinkedIn include: 

  • Discussion of workplace culture and corporate philosophy
  • Inside thoughts on an event, conference, industry or company
  • Personal experiences that relate to industry focus
  • Unique perspectives on industry news and trends

Because LinkedIn is, at the end of the day, another social media platform, content also needs to be created in a way that feels personal to the user. When you draft content, imagine that one person from your target audience is sitting across the table from you. Write like you’re having a conversation with that one person. It will guide you to create content that carries a friendly, approachable tone.

Your presence goes beyond posts

A robust LinkedIn presence requires more than posts. Give the algorithm more reason to push your content by interacting with other posts and creators on the platform. 

“Interaction” includes:

  • Comments
  • Likes
  • Reactions
  • Shares 

Interaction exposes your brand to followers of other brands and creators within your industry. The more you actively engage with other profiles (from the brand account), the more likely it is that your brand will reap increased profile views, follows and engagements. Interaction with other accounts helps place your brand in the center of the conversation. 

It also gives you greater exposure to your target audience. It allows you to see how they react and engage with content, the content types that resonate, as well as patterns of conversation across content. Being privy to this allows you to actively profile the needs, values, and pain points of the target audience. 

When you know your audience and understand how the algorithm works, LinkedIn becomes a lucrative asset in a brand’s content strategy.

But how can you track of the impact of your LinkedIn efforts?

Digivizer is ready to lend a hand. When you connect all your accounts in the Digivizer platform, you can enjoy instant access to success metrics across all your campaigns in a single view. This gives you the high-level visibility you need to determine what works and what doesn’t, empowering you to make more astute decisions in digital marketing. 

Sign up for free and harness the power of data-driven insights today.

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