Any social media marketer who wants to get the most out of LinkedIn needs to fully understand how the LinkedIn algorithm works in 2021.The keys to getting your posts prioritized on LinkedIn feeds and grow your personal brand are to post consistently, draw in the best types of engagement, and be an actual person. LinkedIn wants more conversations and engagement on its platform from people rather than influencers or brands, so its algorithm is designed to reward people who are active on the platform and spur conversations.
LinkedIn is known as the professional network, but that does not mean you should only use it to find your next job or recruit talent for open positions. It’s a great place to have conversations about your industry and profession. Millions of people talk on LinkedIn every day about industry trends, challenges, best practices, and news.
The challenge with any social network is the people who run it won’t reveal what’s behind the curtain. You won’t see an official statement from LinkedIn explaining exactly how its algorithm works. But there is a lot that we do know from users and marketers across LinkedIn sharing their experiences and experiments.
Let’s break it down.
LinkedIn Algorithm Prioritizes People Over Brands
Lucky for you, the first rule of the LinkedIn algorithm in 2021 is very easy to leverage.
If you’re a person on a personal account rather than a brand account, you’re already on the right track. Of course, if you run your company’s brand account and want to increase its presence, you can still do that. Getting people to engage with your brand will increase its presence.
But it’s important to remember that the people who work at your company are an extension of your brand. They all represent your organization. Your brand handles are not the only representation your organization has on social media. Getting your employees active on social media is a great way to extend your brand’s reach by leveraging the LinkedIn algorithm in 2021.
LinkedIn also began lowering the reach of influencers on the platform to give everyday people more of an opportunity to appear in feeds, which makes sense. If brands and influencers were weighed the same as an average user, then your feed would be full of brands and influencers because they get more engagement.
Instead, your feed is probably full of people you engage with, your friends engaged with, in addition to influencers and brands you like.
Of course, influencers still get a great amount of engagement on LinkedIn, but you don’t have to have a million connections or followers to have a good organic experience.
Not All Engagement is Created Equal
For your posts to show up higher in feeds, you want to get a strong amount of engagement, but not all engagement is the same.
Getting a Like on your post is great, but it’s not worth as much as a Share or a Comment. Furthermore, the LinkedIn Algorithm in 2021 values longer comments than others. Again, LinkedIn wants to spur conversations, so a short comment from someone that just says “Nice!” will help your post, but a longer comment in your post will help a little more.
It’s a good idea to reply to people who comment on your posts because they might reply back or someone else might jump into the conversation and give your posts more comments.
Types of Posts And Captions
LinkedIn likes when people share a variety of post types.
Many people tend to consistently post links, whether they are for blog posts, registration pages, or something else. But the LinkedIn algorithm in 2021 penalizes people who constantly post links. You can share links sometimes, but if it’s not good to have a link in every post.
Many marketers try to work around this by adding a link in the first comment of their own post rather than in the post itself. The idea is you’re not getting penalized for only posting a link, and you’re getting some engagement by giving your post a comment. This strategy worked for a long time. But recently, some marketers noticed that this strategy wasn’t working as well for them as it did in the past.
Another way the LinkedIn algorithm knows that people are interested in your posts is when they click “...see more” in your caption.
If someone clicks “...see more” they will see the rest of your caption. This means that the top of your LinkedIn post is the most important the same way the top of an article is the most important. It needs to reel people in so they click that button.
Once they click the button, you need them to like the rest of your post to earn that engagement.
One last tip for gaining engagement on your posts is to talk about timely topics. Sharing posts that are insightful and relatable about industry trends and challenges is a great idea, but timely posts are great too.
People are always interested in what’s new. If there’s a recent announcement or change that will have an impact on a lot of people in your industry, share your reaction on LinkedIn. You could do something as simple as share a breakdown of the news, or share your general thoughts on it.
When you do this, people will engage with it, and your post may even trend.
Here’s a post of a link to a news article that gained over 34,000 views. Why did it perform so well? It’s because it was a timely post with a summary and reaction to the news.
Because it was timely and a good breakdown of what was happening, LinkedIn News featured the post on its feed causing the post to trend. Over 20 comments and 80 Likes later, the profile views went way up as well.
All of this engagement was just because the post was timely and informative. You don’t need to have a timely post like this every day, but this is one way you can get some of your posts to trend and get noticed on the LinkedIn algorithm.
It doesn’t matter if you share a post via a third-party app or if you post it natively on LinkedIn. The same rules the LinkedIn algorithm applies. If you post something interesting that your target audience cares about, they’ll give you the time of day.
If you consistently share quality posts, you’ll eventually get more attention and more engagement.