As with all social media and search engines, algorithms determine what you see online. Algorithms are complex but this article will simplify what that means for you specifically to the LinkedIn platform.
Algorithms are rules, signals and data that govern the platform’s operation. These algorithms determine how content is filtered, ranked, selected and recommended to users.
According to the social management tool Social Pilot, “All social media platforms have their algorithm comprising various ranking signals. You can never determine all these ranking signals, but you can surely mold your content strategy to win your share of visibility on social media.”
In 2023 LinkedIn made large algorithm updates, one dramatically affected the reach of posts. A 15% decline in reach in February, in September 2023, drop in reach was -40+%, -25% engagement. You can review those changes in the article I wrote: LinkedIn Updates the Algorithm Affecting the Visibility of Posts.
With data provided by fellow LinkedIn expert Richard van der Blom, Owner of Just Connecting. Here are a few of the many highlights that may affect how you post in the future…well that is until the next major algorithm update!
Focus on new connections
When you add a new connection, LinkedIn tends to show you their content prominently for roughly two weeks. Actively engaging with these posts can help maintain their visibility in your feed. However, not interacting with a new connection’s posts may decrease their existence in your feed over time.
The algorithm favors reciprocity: thus, engaging with a post boosts the likelihood of seeing that person’s future posts in your feed. A single comment can increase the chances of seeing their next post.
If you interact with someone who posts on a daily basis, the algorithm is likely to display multiple posts from that person in a single browsing session, reflecting the intensity of your engagement.
Sending a direct message on LinkedIn significantly influences content visibility, raising the probability of seeing the recipient you messaged subsequent post to around 70%.
How you can train what you see in your newsfeed
LinkedIn’s algorithm closely monitors the type of content you consume. For instance, if you frequently watch videos, you can expect to see more video content. Conversely, if you consistently bypass polls, the algorithm will adapt and may cease to show you poll-type content.
Visiting a connection’s profile has a noteworthy impact, with a 50% chance of their new content surfacing in your feed afterwards.
The algorithm doesn’t just look at how you interact with posts, but also with comments. Engaging with comments, either by replying to them or liking them, can increase the visibility of content from those involved in the conversation.
LinkedIn’s algorithm places a high value on mutual interaction. The more you engage with another user’s content — and they with yours — the greater the likelihood that you’ll both continue to see each other’s posts.
Visibility Creates Opportunity
Posting content elevates your authority & exposure. With that said here is a list of format styles from most popular to least effective.
- Text & single Image- 48% of all posts are this style, they ae simple to use. Personalized images, rather than generic stock photos, can significantly increase engagement by 45% and establish stronger authority. Using brand colors and themes in images can help with a 15% increase in brand recall.
TIP: Vertical photos are the most effective, especially since 64% of users are on mobile devices, yielding a 15% higher click-through rate than square images and 25% more than horizontal images
- Document PDF/carousel style slides Text+Image posts continue to dominate, representing 48% of all posts. You can use a simple program such as www.canva.com to create a multi-page graphic, save it as a pdf and upload it as a document.
When creating the slide for your post take into consideration:
The ideal number of slides in a PDF/Carousel Post is around 12.4
However, the number of slides can inversely affect your content’s reach: Fewer than 5 slides can result in a 35% decrease in reach.
Between 5 to 10 slides could lead to a 15% decline.
Having 20 to 50 slides might cause a 25% drop in engagement.
TIP: Slides with 25 to 50 words hit the sweet spot for performance
- Video – Keep it short, 1:00-1:20 minutes, use vertical format, upload native video NOT YouTube link. Currently, videos account for 8.2% of all LinkedIn™ posts. Videos account for 8.2% of all LinkedIn posts.
- Polls – best performing polls have 2 answer response, duration 1 week.
Ensure your question is broad enough to engage a wide audience, as a larger respondent base typically leads to more reliable results. Articulate the context and objectives of your poll within the post text; this approach typically generates at least 35% more engagement.
Providing a concise explanation of the poll’s purpose can significantly boost results. Keep the post below 500 characters
- Text only
The optimal text length ranges between 1,800 and 2,100 characters. Posts shorter than 1,000 characters tend to see a 25% reduction in reach. Structuring posts into brief, readable paragraphs, no more than four lines each, can enhance both readability and engagement by an additional 15%. Thoughtful formatting, including the use of white space, can improve performance by 25%
- Outbound link to curated content – never been effective – less reach in feed. This would be like sharing an article with a link to wherever it is published.
- Newsletter – only available to those who are using ‘Creator Mode’- very effective in reaching people who want to hear from you.
Tip: deal publishing schedule is bi-weekly. Choose a title & tagline so people know what your newsletter is about. Each subject title should hook the reader in to open your newsletter and read it.
- Write an article – this would be evergreen content that demonstrates authority in the niche & is housed on your profile. This can be worth focusing quarterly. Aim for a word count between 800 and 1,200, made headline & subheads compelling & write short paragraphs. The cover image is also crucial for attracting readers. Make it stand out.
Think like a copywriter – hook in the reader in the first 3 lines
The opening two to three sentences are critical, with a strong start potentially increasing reader retention by 30%. Hooks should be engaging – pose a question, make a bold statement, or be original to capture attention immediately. Avoid mundane beginnings to stand out. Ending your post with a question can lead to an increase in engagement of 20% to 40%.
What time should you post for the best results?
A general rule of thumb is between 7:00am – 10:00am in your time zone. If the people you want to see your posts are in a different time zone, adjust accordingly.
The first 60-90 minutes of publishing a post is when you are likely to get the most engagement. You want to respond to all comments as quickly as possible as this extend the life and reach of your post.
Hold off on new posts if your recent one is still gaining significant engagement otherwise you could kill the reach off that post. The momentum of your post happens in the first 6 hours. Interactions received after the first day can either prolong the post’s visibility into the third day or cause it to fade from feeds
Maintaining a regular posting rhythm is key for success.
LinkedIn’s algorithm favors lively discussions.
You will notice how some posts seems to attract a lot of attention by the number of comments they receive. LinkedIn favors posts that people ae engaging with so you want to encourage people to comment, share and like your post. Comments are paramount because you want people engaging with you.
In turn, if you want to be seen on LinkedIn, taking time to write thoughtful comments that add questions, comments, insights and your expertise are a great way to be seen. No longer can you be a passive observer if you goal is to gain more visibility on LinkedIn.
After publishing your post, interact with 5 to 10 posts from your connections to potentially increase your post’s reach by 15%.
Who is seeing your posts?
Those who have opted to receive alerts (meaning those who have click on the notification bell 🔔at the top of your profile) about your posts are notified almost immediately, with the system’s reliability restored to 70% after a temporary dip.
Next, your content is first seen by users, whether followers or connections, who regularly interact with your posts. Then, newly added connections and followers are the next to see your content, Followers who are actively engaging on the platform are then reached and lastly, connections actively using the platform will see your posts.
TIP: Statistically, a typical post will be seen by roughly 10-15% of your connections. However, up to 25-30% of your followers may see it, highlighting the importance of building a follower base which you can do by turning on the Creator Mode feature.
This article offers some core steps to increasing your visibility on LinkedIn. There are more specific details to tweaking each of these areas which I cover in my training courses and individual coaching programs.
Algorithms change and having a content strategy that you can adapt to any changes will help you stay top of mind with your network, position your expertise and drive revenue because people buy from those that are experts and stand above the rest.
I invite you to schedule a discovery call with me to discuss your LinkedIn content strategy and how I can help you improve your visibility and turn viewers into customers! Access my calendar: https://joannefunch5-5.youcanbook.me/
*Thanks again to Richard Van der Blom of Just Connecting for the latest research and data that helps all LinkedIn users create better content that works with the algorithms.