LinkedIn stands out as an indispensable tool for professionals in the contemporary business landscape. With 87% of its users finding the platform’s information trustworthy, it surpasses other social media sites, like Facebook, in credibility. This makes LinkedIn a valuable tool for B2B marketers, salespeople, and thought leaders. But how do you ensure that your content on LinkedIn gets the attention it deserves? The answer lies in understanding the algorithm that powers this platform. (1)

Initially perceived by many as a mere job-seeking platform, LinkedIn has become a digital network where business professionals connect and share valuable insights. Over the past few years, there has been a shift from overly corporate and bland content to more personalized stories, especially during the pandemic. This change has transformed how users create, publish, and consume content on the platform.

One of the cardinal mistakes businesses make is treating LinkedIn like any other social media platform. Using tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to push the same content across all platforms isn’t effective for LinkedIn due to its unique algorithm. Moreover, focusing solely on corporate messages or relying heavily on paid content may not yield the desired results. It’s crucial to adapt to how LinkedIn has evolved, integrating storytelling and humanizing your brand.

Cracking the LinkedIn Algorithm

Here are 7 practical steps for LinkedIn users to enhance their success on the platform:

Understand Your Audience

    • Recognize the user distribution on LinkedIn:
      • 1% are regular publishers.
      • 5% have posted in the last three months.
      • 16% engage but don’t post.
      • Over 60% consume content without engaging (the silent community). Tailor your content to cater to these varied users, especially the silent majority.

Prioritize Dwell Time

    • Dwell time, or the duration your post remains on someone’s screen, is crucial. Create compelling content that captures attention, ensuring that viewers pause and spend time reading or viewing it.
    • Remember that “See More” can be a tool to measure the interest of the silent community. If they’re interested, they’ll click to continue reading.

Kickstart with Engagement

    • In the initial 60-90 minutes after posting, LinkedIn prioritizes showing your content to those most likely to engage, such as recent connections or those who’ve interacted with your previous posts.
    • Secure early engagement to increase the post’s reach. If the post lacks early engagement, it may fade from feeds quickly.

Value Genuine Interactions

    • Aim for valuable comments and interactions. Meaningful comments contribute more than simple ones like “Great post.” Such interactions can amplify your post’s reach.
    • Negative signals can decrease reach, like short video view durations or untagging by mentioned users. Aim for content that minimizes these signals.

Avoid Generalized Posting

    • Don’t treat LinkedIn like every other social media platform. Copy-pasting the same content across platforms doesn’t work due to unique algorithms.
    • Avoid relying solely on corporate or paid content. Humanize your brand through storytelling and more personal, relatable posts.
    • Steer Clear of Gamification: Avoid engagement pods or bots. LinkedIn discourages such practices, and detection can lead to reduced reach or other penalties.
    • Authenticity is key. Cultivate genuine interactions rather than artificial engagement.

Set the Right Goals

    • Don’t just focus on lead generation. Instead, aim for brand awareness, thought leadership, and genuine community-building.
    • Understand and set the right KPIs. Rather than just counting likes or comments, consider the quality of engagement and the growth in genuine connections or followers.

Incorporating these steps can lead to a more effective LinkedIn strategy, enabling users to maximize their reach and impact on the platform.

By Terry Linhart, Thrum Ringmaster

(1) This material was developed from the Social Media Examiner podcast with Michael Stelzner and his special guest, Richard van der Blom from Just Connecting.