Linkedin Sheds Light on Its Post Ranking Algorithm
By Vin Gaeta
Last week, LinkedIn’s Director of Product Management, Pete Davies, shared his insight into what actually goes into your LinkedIn Feed.
The post details a variety of ways LinkedIn has updated its algorithm to focus on relevancy, including making changes to improve visibility on “niche conversations,” as it tries to fill your feed with the posts that you actually want to see and the conversations you want to be a part of.
Davies writes, “We start with your connections and the assumption that they are people you know, and want to talk with.”
LinkedIn also looks into how it can ensure it's helping your posts provide the most impact, which it calls creator-side optimization. This optimization shines a spotlight on the average user, rather than the top 1% of power users such as Richard Branson — who, let’s be honest, doesn’t need help with engagement for his posts.
All of these updates, releases, and features are geared towards one thing: making your LinkedIn Feed as relevant and valuable as possible.
Why it matters
Last year, LinkedIn noted that it had been favoring the top 1% of content creators over the smaller names.
But with these updates to the algorithm, the playing field is leveled. Sure, big names will always get visibility, but if you lean into the new releases and create valuable content that your audience wants to see, then you’ll be rewarded.
Davies mentioned that the type of post (image, long-form content, video, or infographic) doesn’t add any weight to its success, but the platform does reward posts that encourage engagement.
Be authentic and spark conversations and LinkedIn will reward you for it.
What you need to know
Davies breaks down what the algorithm updates actually do for LinkedIn users — boiling it down to three best practices.
1. Encourage Conversations
If you’re looking for serious LinkedIn success, craft posts that get your audience talking.
Sharing an article? Give your opinion on it and use relevant hashtags to get others to join in.
@Mention people who could provide insight to your post and pull them into the conversation. Davies cautions, “be thoughtful: only mention people that you think are likely to respond, max five is a good rule of thumb.”
Basically, act human. Respond to comments, further the conversation, and “encourage back and forth.”
2. Niche Over Broad
LinkedIn’s data analysis shows that “members are more interested in going deep on topics they’re interested in.”
The analysis revealed that there are better conversations around niche ideas than their broader counterparts. Basically, when users post about more rich topics, rather than just skimming the surface, it allows for more engagement and valuable exchanges. A great example is using #facebookads over the broader #ppc for your post, helping to drive home ay focus on Facebook over the more general pay-per-click topic.
Davies suggests not going overboard with the hashtags. Stick to three and don’t overstuff your post.
3. Be Yourself
The overarching theme of this update has been authenticity and genuine conversation, which is why the last piece of the puzzle is to be yourself.
If you talk about things that you truly care about, make them personal, and inject your own unique thoughts about the topic, it’s going to lead to better conversations.
And better results.
LinkedIn’s move to more value-based, conversational posts feels like a natural progression toward how people want to be marketed to and interacted with.
How are you planning on updating your LinkedIn strategy to match this shift?
Wondering where to begin?