Any social media marketer who wants to get the most out of LinkedIn needs to fully understand how the LinkedIn algorithm works.The keys to getting your posts prioritized on LinkedIn feeds is to have great content that’s relevant to your network, is timely and draws engagement. There are specific reasons for this. Basically, you need your posts to pass different filters that check how reputable your account is, if users engage with your posts and if your posts match the interests of people in your network.
We’ll dive deeper into how these filters work, what they check for and what you can do to make the most out of each post based on the LinkedIn algorithm. It’s important to remember that social media platforms constantly tweak and update their algorithms in addition to their features, so you should always try to stay up to date on everything they have to offer and the changes they make.
Any LinkedIn user can switch their stream to be in chronological order by selecting “Recent,” or be in order based on LinkedIn’s algorithm by selecting “Top.” We’ll go through how to get your posts higher in feeds based on the LinkedIn algorithm.
How LinkedIn’s algorithm works
One aspect of LinkedIn’s algorithm is it checks the legitimacy of your account to see if it’s an authoritative source for content, or if it’s a source of spam. To pass this filter, you’ll want to make sure your profile is up to date and a good representation of you and your brand.
The filter will also check the quality of your followers to see if they are spam accounts or legitimate people or brands, and will finally check the relevance of your post to your network. If your account, connections, and posts pass the test, which they should if you aren’t a spam account, your post will stay in feeds longer.
Every time you post something on LinkedIn, the platform runs a bot to check if your content is spam, poor quality or good quality.
Obviously, you want your content to be the latter.
If it’s spam, it won’t show up on feeds and you’ll be flagged. If it’s poor quality, you might still get on some feeds but you won’t rank very high. The first step in content marketing is to have great quality content. That should be your priority before worrying about any algorithms.
Once your post passes the first filter and is considered good quality content, the algorithm allows your post to stay on people’s feeds temporarily. There will be a second filter that comes into play after an unspecified amount of time goes by so LinkedIn’s bot can observe how much engagement your post gets in that timeframe.
If people like, comment on or share your post, you’ll have nothing to worry about. But if people mark your post as spam or opt to hide it, your post’s ranking will take a hit.
It’s important to get quality engagement early. This means you can’t pay a service to have a bunch of bots engage with your posts. You need real people who actually find your content relevant.
Now that you know how the LinkedIn algorithm works, here are a few things you can do to optimize for success.
First, post your content at times where users are most active. Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn users tend to be most active during business hours, but the absolute best time to post on LinkedIn is between 10 AM and 11 AM on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, according to Oberlo. If you catch people at times where they’re most active, they’re more likely to engage with your post.
The next thing you can do is have industry experts and company employees follow your account. Any relationship in your industry that you or your brand make should be someone you connect with on LinkedIn. This allows for more opportunity to get noticed by relevant people and increase your reach. If you’re posting something interesting about your industry and already have people in your industry connected with you, it’s likely some of them will engage with your post.
But the best way to increase your reach is through your employees. They’re interested in promoting the brand they work for and they’ll engage with your post if it’s of good quality. Consider starting an employee advocacy program to help you get the word out to employees that you’ve posted a new piece of content on LinkedIn that you’d like them to engage with.
By notifying your employees of a new post, many of them will engage with it quickly, giving it the initial boost it needs before LinkedIn’s second filter comes into play. This will extend the lifespan of a post and increase its reach by allowing it to show up in the feeds of employees’ connections. Ultimately, your employees will improve the post’s ranking so it shows up higher in feeds.
If the post continues to get engagement, the bots will continue to check the legitimacy of people engaging with your posts and how the content relates to them. Assuming you continue to pass this filter, your post will keep ranking highly in feeds. This is why LinkedIn posts that are weeks old can sometimes appear at the top of feeds.
If your post does exceptionally well, LinkedIn’s editors will take a look at your post. They’ll check to see if the engagement it gets is legitimate, what type of engagement it gets and if your post is interesting. In the best case scenario, they may select your post to show up in more channels and more feeds, which would be great for you.
The professional network
Now that you understand how the LinkedIn algorithm works and how to optimize for success, it’s important to remember the nature of the network.
LinkedIn is a professional social media platform, so you always want to speak to people’s careers, industries, and professional growth. You need to have high-quality relevant content or else you’ll be penalized right from the start, and your account won’t be viewed as an authoritative and trustworthy source.
Getting the employees at your organization involved in your LinkedIn presence can have significant benefits for them and your brand. By getting your employees on-board, they can easily engage with your posts to increase visibility and also increase their own authority by sharing content you curate for them.