How Does the LinkedIn Algorithm Work?

man at computer on phone

While LinkedIn might fall short when it comes to the number of monthly active users compared to social media giants like Facebook and Instagram, it’s still considered the top go-to place for professionals and businesses aiming to make new connections. Active since 2003 (which, by the way, is a year earlier than Facebook), this platform is a powerful tool not only for networking but also for generating leads and building your brand. It helps to understand how the LinkedIn algorithm works, so that you can take full advantage of  its power.

When it comes to B2B marketing, LinkedIn remains one of the top contenders. So, if you’re looking to expand your business connections and build your professional brand image, then you have to utilize this social media platform for your business. In this article, we’ll show you how the LinkedIn algorithm works and what you should do to maximize your presence.

Don’t be fooled by the platform’s seemingly unassuming appearance. It doesn’t look like Facebook and Instagram, but it’s not supposed to. While, yes, it’s a social networking tool, it’s geared toward the professional world. And in that world, it’s incredibly powerful.

First, let’s talk about how the platform operates. This is important because it’ll help you understand how to best leverage it.

How the LinkedIn Algorithm Works

It’s Primarily About Native and Organic Content

LinkedIn prioritizes native and organic content. So, you’ll have a better chance appearing on the feed and staying there if you’ve created content directly on LinkedIn, since it performs a lot better than shared links.

You can do this by uploading videos directly to LinkedIn, as well as writing articles right on  their publishing platform. We’ll talk about this more in a minute.

What you always need to keep in mind is that LinkedIn loves anything that keeps people on the platform longer. You don’t want to do anything to send people to another page. This is why videos and articles are so important. They get people to remain on LinkedIn for a longer period of time.

Content Passes Through Filters

LinkedIn is designed to show only the content that’s relevant to you. And to ensure that you get the types of content that you’ll love, LinkedIn filters every post uploaded very carefully. Before any content appears on your feed, it has to successfully get through (and pass) a few tests or – as they call it – filters.

The first filter is tasked to classify the post into one of these three categories: spam, low quality, and okay to proceed. You want your content to get into the third category, which then allows it to show up on the feed for a short span of time, unless it passes the next test.

The second filter checks how your audience is engaging with your content. Aside from the likes and the shares, LinkedIn also reviews other responses – like if your audience is marking it as spam or clicking the dreaded “report this post” or “hide this post” buttons. Please take note that your post might be penalized or removed depending on the actions people take.

In order to keep your content on the feed for a longer period, the post must have constant (and relevant) engagement.

Later on in this blog, we’ll be showing you how to create posts that pass LinkedIn’s strict algorithm.

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Real Humans Review the Posts

Unlike most social media platforms that rely on bots, LinkedIn content is reviewed by real humans. Yes, you read that right. Actual people are checking your content and determining whether or not your post should continue to stay or be removed from the feed. Having this process in place emphasizes the importance LinkedIn puts on good, human-friendly content.

Now that you know what’s up with LinkedIn’s current algorithm, let’s discuss the other crucial element in improving your LinkedIn standing: content.

What type of content should you be making? How do you craft your content to successfully get through the filters and show up on the feed? Just how do you get the most out of your LinkedIn account? We’re listing down some tips for posting good content on LinkedIn.

A Few Quick Tips for Posting on LinkedIn

Like with other social media accounts, if you want to maximize the benefits that LinkedIn offers for your business, then you must find ways to improve the content that you share on the platform. Please take note that algorithms are ever-changing. Developers can modify them at any time to improve the users’ experience. It’s best to always stay updated with the latest news and market trends.

With that said, here are some things you should keep in mind.

Optimize Your Profile

It might seem like such a chore to do, but trust us: A thoroughly filled out profile is one of the keys to making your brand look more credible. LinkedIn is a business networking platform, and looking professional – from the posts to your profile picture – can give you an advantage.

If you’re using a personal profile, don’t forget about asking for recommendations from coworkers or anyone else that you’ve worked with. Other people’s reviews of you as a professional carry so much more weight than anything you can say about yourself. (Be sure to return the favor, if possible!)

man in suit

Optimize Your Posts

If you want engagement, you have to find ways to make your content stand out. Here are a few tips.

Have a Consistent Voice

While you need to always sound professional, you also have to find ways to keep things interesting. Choose a voice that best represents your brand and stick with it. It can help your audience identify you better.

Design Your Profile and Your Posts to Look Great on Mobile

As of 2016, an average of 63 million LinkedIn members access the network via mobile. And this number continues to grow. This means you have to take mobile users into consideration whenever you’re creating content or editing your profile page. Make sure that your content is mobile-friendly.

Add Hashtags and Keywords Strategically

Whether you’re filling out your profile page or writing your next post, always keep SEO in mind. Being searchable is a great advantage, and choosing the right keywords and adding hashtags to your content can help.

When you’re using keywords or adding hashtags to your content, remember to use them strategically. Yes, you want to show up in searches, but most importantly, you want your audience to click on your posts. Always focus on quality — not cramming in as many keywords and hashtags as possible.

It’s safe to assume that like Google, LinkedIn notices this, frowns upon it, and will even penalize you for it.

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Post Relevant Content

Your hashtags and keywords can only aid in searches. If you really want people to engage with your posts, then you have to create something that your audience will actually engage with. Ask yourself this question: “If I saw this on my feed, would I click on it?” Your content has to catch your audience’s attention.

Here are a few recommendations:

You can write articles on LinkedIn. It’s great to utilize this feature for some of your content. There are countless ideas, here — like  you can post tips related to your industry. For instance, if you’re a writer, you could make an article containing tips on how to find inspiration, tips on how to overcome writer’s block, and advice for optimizing blog content.

Already creating new content on your own blog? Terrific. Take that, tweak it so that you have a copy that’s not identical, and post that to LinkedIn. Or, you could post part of the blog, and then direct people back to your website to read it in full.

Either way, you’re getting their attention on LinkedIn and reeling them in.

It’s also a good idea to post informative content such as news and other updates regarding your business or your industry. While evergreen content is excellent, time-sensitive topics have the potential to get a lot of traffic, quickly. Trying including a combination of both in your LinkedIn strategy.

Quotes and other motivational or inspirational content may also perform well on LinkedIn. It can be in the form of text or image.

Avoid Linking to YouTube

Informative video content is excellent material you can post on LinkedIn, and video tends to keep people’s attention longer (and convert them more often!).

When you’re sharing videos, however, you should try to avoid using a YouTube link. LinkedIn prioritizes native content. Your post will have a better chance of showing up on other people’s feeds if you upload the video directly on LinkedIn. (Extra tip: Facebook is the same way. Upload videos natively, as opposed to linking to a YouTube video.)

LinkedIn is a powerful tool that can help any business soar. Understanding how the LinkedIn algorithm works can give you a serious leg-up. Keep the things we’ve listed above in mind to improve your brand’s LinkedIn standing. Additionally, remember to stay updated on the latest trends and updates to ensure that you get the most out of your account.