Your quick and easy guide to taking advantage of the LinkedIn algorithm
Jill Pavlov Vazquez is a copywriter at Ready for Social and owner of Your Creative Concierge, a full service copywriting shop. Her work has been featured in magazines, national campaigns, and popular blogs. She also performs comedy and can be found on Instagram at @yourcreativeconcierge.
It’s 2022, so if you have a business and aren’t leveraging the power of LinkedIn to increase your social selling, you’re losing out on one of the most valuable, organic resources for new clients, customers and connections. You aren’t active on LinkedIn yet? No need to panic! Luckily, it’s never too late to unlock the power of LinkedIn.
But before you get creative on the social media platform, it’s crucial to understand how LinkedIn’s specific algorithm works because this will give you an absolute advantage on your post reach. We know that mentioning the word algorithm can seem overwhelming, but it’s not as complicated as it sounds. Just read on to get the basic knowledge you need to thrive on LinkedIn.
Algorithm basics: LinkedIn gives power to the users.
LinkedIn is a platform rooted in connections, so it’s only appropriate that its algorithm is based on user preference and engagement. Like any social media platform, trends are consistently changing, so it’s essential to stay flexible and adapt to any modifications. Think of the LinkedIn algorithm as your friend – it is truly working to help you raise your visibility to potential employers, clients and other various connections. To do your part, you must ensure your content is engaging, relevant, and something your audience cares about.
To help your business excel on social media and thrive with social selling, you need to be aware that LinkedIn uses a special four-step algorithm for all content. Below, we put together a quick and easy guide for you that explains the four-step LinkedIn algorithm and gives tips on how you can master it.
The four-step LinkedIn algorithm for your social selling strategy
1) Initial filtering. How do you judge if your content is engaging enough? LinkedIn sets a four-part process to evaluate your post in motion as soon as your material is posted. During the first step, LinkedIn will place your post into one of three categories: spam, low-quality or clear. This first barrier immediately dismisses anything it considers spam. Although you want to be in the clear category, your content still has a chance of reaching people if placed in the low-quality category. This first step helps LinkedIn reduce the amount of spam and inappropriate content on each user’s feed.
2) Small audience testing. The next part of the process is audience testing. As soon as your post is categorized, it’s sent off to your immediate audience to test how popular it is. This initial group is smaller than your entire audience because LinkedIn wants to ensure the content is worthy. If users mark your post as “hide” or “report as spam,” your post may not make it much further. You can see in this step how the users are controlling the algorithm, which is why posting exceptional content is key. LinkedIn favors relevancy over recency, so good content has the power to draw engagement over a span of time. There are a few quick ways to protect your posts from becoming spam. Avoid offensive or irrelevant content, and don’t over-post. Try to hop into the brain of your desired audience. Think about what they want to see and what keeps them most engaged.
3) Content scoring. Once your post passes these initial filters, it enters the third step of content scoring. This step is where the actions of your audience count in getting your message out there. LinkedIn works with a points system, where different reactions have different score measurements. For example, while a like may get your post one point, a comment could get you two points and a share, perhaps, even four points. It makes sense – the more people who love your content, the more LinkedIn is inclined to spread it to other users with the same interests. So again, make your posts something that entices your network to engage!
4) Real user assessment and engagement. The last step is what gets your content out to users beyond your own network and where you have the most potential for reach. Genuine LinkedIn users help decide whether or not your content gets sent out to more users outside your network if it performs well. If your post is doing exceptionally well, it could land in the trending content areas within many users’ newsfeeds.
Optimize your LinkedIn for social selling.
You can see how LinkedIn’s algorithm gives every user a fair chance at organic reach, which is why it is beyond important to keep your posts relevant and engaging if you are looking to use the platform for social selling. There are a few other quick tips that you can implement on your LinkedIn in order to optimize your organic reach.
- Research your keywords. Keywords on LinkedIn are different than SEO keywords, so playing around with the search tool is a great way to familiarize yourself with the keywords that most pertain to your business and message.
- Make sure your profile is optimized. Use keywords in your description and anywhere else on your profile that it allows. Ensure your website is clearly displayed and that your photos are recent and visually pleasing. And don’t forget to add relevant skills that let other users know what you or your business can do.
- Leverage your connections. Ask for recommendations to improve your ranking and show potential customers and clients how fantastic your work is.
- Engage with other users. Like any social media platform, you get back what you put in, and people who you engage with are more likely to engage back. Plus, liking and commenting on other users’ posts helps keep you top-of-mind and creates a continuous conversation that could lead to meaningful business connections.
Your way to master the LinkedIn algorithm and social selling
As you can see: Understanding and mastering the LinkedIn algorithm isn’t as complex or intimidating as it may seem initially. As with almost everything in life, it simply pays off to do the work. Put effort into your LinkedIn, and you’ll find yourself with increased connections, which translates to increased social selling.
Are you excited to get started? Then log into your LinkedIn profile and get going!
But before you go, we’d love to hear your feedback and thoughts on the topic. What have your experiences with social selling and the LinkedIn algorithm been in the past? Have you ever gotten a client through LinkedIn? Leave us a comment or connect with us on LinkedIn!