01 Apr Understanding LinkedIn algorithms to network more effectively
Imagine going to a networking event. You have a conversation with a group of people in which you describe a recent event. You mention one of your industry buddies by name. Your friend looks at you, doesn’t engage, and just walks off. Another person shares interesting information about a recent article they read. You ask them a question to learn more about the article and they don’t reply, but simply walk off.
I will admit, these examples are a bit extreme, however I want to demonstrate that LinkedIn mirrors real life networking events. Think of it as a virtual networking room. It’s algorithms are set up to promote conversation and in order for you to use it to it’s full potential, it’s good to understand exactly how that works. The more you interact, the more visibility you gain within and outside your network and the more relevant your feed will be. LinkedIn prioritises posts on your feed from people you know (interact with) or things you like (hashtags, follows, groups).
Here are some things to bear in mind when using LinkedIn.
Interacting on LinkedIn
Your reactions to other people’s posts matter. LinkedIn will start showing you content from the people you interact with most. This is why you should try to comment on posts from your prospects, clients or whoever you’re trying to network with. The best order to do this in:
- Comment – Always comment first if you can. LinkedIn bots love you having a conversation and staying on a post for as long as possible. And besides beating the algorithms, having a conversation is so much more fun!
- Like – Second best to commenting is liking (love, support etc). Rumour has it soon there will be a laughing option, because business can be fun too!
- Sharing- LinkedIn looks for original content and by sharing you’re not only pushing your own post down the algorithm pecking order, but you also risk whoever’s post your sharing being pushed down. By commenting on their post your network will still see it, so there is no need to share. If you do feel you want to share, always add your own juicy comment to the post, tag people and add hashtags as you normally would when posting.
Top tip: On the top right hand side of your feed you will see a dropdown button which will show ‘top’. This means LinkedIn has selected the posts they think you will be most likely to comment on, like or share. Occasionally, change this dropdown to ‘recent’ and you will see how different the posts on your feed will be, coming from people who you don’t normally see. Start interacting with anyone of interest and they will start appearing on your feed.
Posting on LinkedIn
Your post will initially be screened by a robot to decide the quality of your post. There are things you can do to improve the quality of your post.
- Make sure you post at the right time. Currently that would be Tuesday-Thursday at 9am, but if you miss the boat, any time on a weekday between 9am and 3pm will also be suitable.
- LinkedIn loves posts that inspire conversation, so by being personal and real you will be more likely to have comments from your network than if you post general salesy type text. Using LinkedIn in this order, will give you better networking opportunities and will push your post to the top of your target audience’s feed.
- Open your post up for conversation, by adding a question or asking for people to share their thoughts.
- Add hashtags and tag companies/people to make sure your post is seen by the relevant audience and inspires people to comment. If you’re tagged in a post, always comment out of courtesy. Have a look into branded hashtags
Top tip: share your LinkedIn post in an email to people who you think it could be of interest to (no bulk emails here please!).
Once your post has gone through the initial LinkedIn filter, it will then enter the testing stage. This is when they will check how many people are reacting to your post. If you don’t get any likes and or comments, your post will disappear from people’s feeds.
Coming soon: You will be able to look at the analytics of individual posts and see who is reading your posts, filter by job title, industry and location.
If you pass the testing phase within your own network, it will then be pushed out into the world. This is when you’ll starting seeing interaction from 2nd and 3rd connections and you’re onto a winner.
My example of the networking at the start of this blog is the way I remind myself that LinkedIn is a networking platform. To get the most out of networking is to interact, not to be salesy and show a personal side. So next time you go to LinkedIn, imagine you’re in a room full of people and start a conversation. Good luck! 😊