Just like with all social networking sites, content reigns supreme when it comes to LinkedIn. You might not see LinkedIn as an equivalent to Facebook or Instagram in the never-ending need for more content, but it’s very similar. Each site operates with an algorithm where the type of content you share is quintessential to expanding your reach and obtaining virality. For LinkedIn specifically, this moment of virality could be a significant boost for your business, your job prospects, and your overall outreach.
With so much growth potential, your posts become the most pivotal aspect of your LinkedIn experience. You want to be entirely sure that the content we are posting is the content the algorithm seeks to share. So, you’d like to know how to tame the algorithm and make it a tool? I want to help you— let’s get into it.
How does the LinkedIn algorithm for LinkedIn Posts work?
The LinkedIn algorithm isn’t all that complicated. Here we’ll break it into four easy-to-understand sections that will help you deconstruct the process.
What you’re sharing on LinkedIn is going to be evaluated by a programmed bot that will go through a sorting process. This bot will attempt to group your post into one of three groups:
I think you can do a pretty good job guessing which groups you don’t want to be in. We’ll get deeper into how to get your content into the clear category later, but for now, just remember that these are the buckets you’re working within.
Audience test run
After your post is determined not to be spam, it will be sent to your network. At this point, the concept of engagement becomes pivotal to a successful campaign. I’m sure you’ve heard it before: engagement is key. The algorithm will look into how well-received your content is within your network before spreading it further.
The most crucial aspect here is making sure your immediate audience is not filtering your posts off their feed or reporting it as spam. When your post isn’t penetrating your own reach, the algorithm will recognize which is terrible news for expansion.
Not all types of engagement hold the same value in the eyes of the algorithm. For example, there is an added emphasis on sharing a post, which will give your post the most significant score. Second in importance is a comment, followed lastly by alike.
As your audience has more meaningful connections with your content, the reach of your post will increase. Your post’s point total will be evaluated by the algorithm and sorted as high or low quality (which turns out to be very important).
Suppose your post performs well and is passed along as high quality. In that case, it will be overseen by a team of honest LinkedIn employees. These individuals will sort through these trending posts and determine their fate. This is similar to something like a curator role for a playlist where these tastemakers decide which content graces the front pages of the feed.
Here, your post carries the greatest odds of breaking outside your network. Before this, it is likely your post has only been seen by individuals within a degree or two of your network. If your connections’ engagement and the editor analysis are positive, this could be your viral moment.
Maximizing the LinkedIn algorithm in 2021
Want to achieve the best results with your LinkedIn posts in 2021? Here are action steps that will help you use the algorithm to your advantage.
Action step: Timing is everything
The immediate hours following your post prove to be the most important, so make sure your audience is ready for your content. There’s often conflicting information about when to post on LinkedIn. Still, statistics show posts during the workday perform best on LinkedIn, likely because many people use the social platform as a business tool.
Action step: Target your posts
Not only do you need to know your audience, but you should try to post content that fits in on your platform. You might post about the same topic across all platforms, but you should consider the LinkedIn ethos when angling your post.
The content LinkedIn wants to push forward will be job-centric. This could include new openings, new research, relevant anecdotes, and general professional tips. Be sure to aim your posts to any of these several categories to give yourself a legitimate shot at picking up the editor co-sign and placement to newsfeeds across the globe.
Action step: Create engagement
Don’t leave engagement to chance. There are tangible ways to encourage your connections to participate in your posts actively. Importantly, take the time to respond to each comment and share your post. Not just that, but interact with other content on LinkedIn that is similar to your post to help draw others to your profile and build a community.
Also, make use of hashtags that can get your posts to an audience actively seeking out that kind of content, a perfect combination for engagement.
7 Tips for writing engaging LinkedIn posts
Creating engagement from your LinkedIn posts is a lot easier when the writing itself is valuable to your audience. Here are TK ways you can make sure every post packs a punch.
Don’t write fluff
The content you’re creating isn’t a college writing assignment— don’t add more words to reach an ideal word count. Instead, focus on creating content that genuinely adds value. This can teach someone how to do something (with actionable steps), provide unique data, or highlight industry trends. Whatever you do, make sure you follow up every point with specific action steps so your audience can immediately apply what they are learning.
It helps to provide concrete examples that illustrate whatever you’re talking about when it comes to numbers or data. These can be simple but helpful. For example, suppose you’re talking about marketing expenses. In that case, you could say something like: Business A spent $10,000 implementing a text marketing program and was able to track this to a 50% return on investment after earning $15,000 of increased sales by sending out abandoned cart texts.
Formatting is your friend.
Everyone hates a block of text. Have you ever seen a paragraph that takes up your entire screen? Did you read that paragraph? Probably not. Make sure to space out your text and create an enjoyable visual experience for your audience.
Use plenty of paragraphs or even space out sentences themselves. Use subheadings to your advantage, and don’t be afraid to break sentences into point form when appropriate.
Keep it simple
There’s no need to wow your audience with your word choice. It would help if you always leaned in favor of casual but professional language that results in an easy-to-read and low effort experience. Online articles are typically written at sixth to eighth-grade level. You can use many online tools to evaluate the reading level of your piece before you post it.
People these days prefer to scan articles quickly, so don’t make them work to understand you.
Consider also including graphs or charts to explain any data, especially if you notice your descriptions getting murky.
Edit your writing
Even if you’re not a great writer, a lot can be accomplished with a simple edit. Remove extra words, vary your sentence structures, and check your punctuation. Don’t worry about making mistakes; you aren’t getting graded on this. However, you do want to aim for a clean copy that is easy to read.
Suppose you’re not confident about your writing or find that it takes a long time for you to write and edit a LinkedIn post. In that case, you might consider outsourcing this task to a ghostwriter who can get the basics of your message down, after which you can edit their work to be more similar to your own tone.
The headline of your LinkedIn article will have a lot to do with whether people click to read the rest. Writing headlines can be somewhat of an acquired skill, but even if you aren’t a headline genius there are some trade secrets you can use to start upgrading your headlines right now.
Make sure that your headlines are between seven and 12 words long, for starters. Then, think in familiar headline tropes. There’s the classic how-to, the mysterious headline, the listicle, and the headline that warns readers about a mistake they could be making. Test which headlines tend to work best for your audience.
The bottom line
By understanding what the LinkedIn algorithm values, and how to create engagement on your posts, you can start putting out content that is valuable and gains an audience. Most importantly, make sure every piece of content you release is actually benefiting your audience some way and isn’t merely fluff. You’re not going to earn a home run with every LinkedIn post, but the goal is to continuously improve by publishing awesome content that your audience values and keeps returning for.