LinkedIn Algorithm - The most important points in brief:
The LinkedIn algorithm decides in how many feeds your posts are played out.
20 valuable tips on what you should consider before, during and after posting to get more reach.
Extra tips for business pages on LinkedIn.
Relevant, industry-related advice and knowledge sharing now score points with the algorithm.
LinkedIn is the largest professional network in the world. It has over 850 million members in more than 200 countries. Over 20 million of them are active in the DACH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), with a growing trend (Source: statista.com). Especially B2B companies should definitely be present on LinkedIn to not miss out on this enormous potential. But how can you ensure that the content of your company profile reaches as many LinkedIn users as possible? Unlike Facebook and other platforms, you can still achieve a significant organic reach on LinkedIn. However, it is necessary to understand how the LinkedIn algorithm works.
How does the LinkedIn algorithm work?
- Every time you post something on LinkedIn, a bot categorizes your content into one of three categories: spam, low quality, or clear. The goal, of course, is to have your content fall into the “clear” category.
- In a second step, the algorithm presents your post to a test audience. It is initially shown to a smaller group of people to gauge its popularity. During this phase, it is important that your test audience doesn’t hide the post or report it as spam. Therefore, on LinkedIn, it is crucial to only post relevant and helpful content.
- The engagement of your test audience ultimately determines whether your post passes the spam filter. If it does, it will be shown to more people. It is important to receive likes and comments on the post, with comments carrying more weight for the algorithm than likes. If the content is shared, the algorithm also views it positively. The better the engagement, the more LinkedIn users the post will be shown to.
- In a final step, posts with sufficient engagement on LinkedIn are even read by real human employees. They can then decide whether to distribute the post to more people outside of your network. This way, your posts can appear under “trending content” in the app, in current content, in the news feed, and so on.
20 tips for increasing reach
LinkedIn expert Richard van der Blom publishes his LinkedIn Algorithm Report annually, from which valuable tips for increasing reach on LinkedIn can be derived:
- Comments are the most important interactions on LinkedIn, at least from the perspective of the LinkedIn algorithm. However, you should never be the first to comment on your own post as it decreases your reach.
- If you respond to incoming comments within 12 hours, the LinkedIn algorithm rewards this with increased reach.
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- In fact, PDF or document postings generally receive the highest reach from the LinkedIn algorithm. Surveys also work very well. Posts that focus on text perform better than pure photos or videos.
- If you use photos, for example, post pictures of your employees at work, engaging with customers, at events, or participating in employee activities. Users appreciate the human touch, which generates more engagement that the LinkedIn algorithm favors. However, since the latest update, selfies are no longer an effective way to generate reach. The LinkedIn algorithm aims to reduce private content and promote professional topics more strongly.
- When posting a video, using subtitles can increase your reach by up to 30 percent. The ideal video length is between 20 and 60 seconds. The perfect video format is square.
- The perfect post length is 1,200-1,600 characters.
- Avoid blank lines in the first three lines of your post.
- Do not write your texts in bilingual format. LinkedIn handles this through an automatic translation function.
- If you want to include external links, integrate them within the post text. However, the LinkedIn algorithm is generally not a fan of posts that lead users away from LinkedIn, resulting in noticeably lower reach for posts with external links.
- Use 3-5 hashtags in your post.
- Only use tags in your post if you are certain that the tagged individuals or companies will react to them. If there is no engagement on the tagged content, it unfortunately significantly slows down the growth of your post. Pro tip: There is no reach penalty if you use tags in the comments.
- After posting, do not edit your post within the first 10 minutes, as it can reduce the reach of the post by up to 40 percent.
- Posting multiple times within 18 hours also has a negative impact on reach. For businesses, it is recommended to make 4-5 posts per week. Under no circumstances should there be fewer than two posts per week, as this can result in up to 50 percent less reach.
- Interact with at least three posts from your network after publishing your own post. The LinkedIn algorithm can reward this with up to 20 percent more reach. Two comments per day increase the reach for your own posts by 8 percent, while five per day increase it by 15 percent.
- Ensure that your post is shared, for example by informing customers and employees about it. If the post is shared within the first 4 hours after publication, it can increase reach by up to 30 percent. The LinkedIn algorithm particularly likes it when shared posts have new text added, consisting of at least two lines in length.
- Quality takes priority over quantity for the LinkedIn algorithm. It takes note of the relevance (engagement, dwell time, etc.) of your last 10-15 posts. If you publish multiple posts with a low engagement rate consecutively, it will reduce the reach of your next post.
- Post at the right time on the right days of the week. There are specific days and times when your LinkedIn posts receive more reach than at other times. This is because these are the times when most people from your network are active on LinkedIn. In Germany, the recommended time periods are between 8 AM and 12 PM and between 4 PM and 6 PM. However, this can vary depending on your target audience. LinkedIn provides timeframes to help you reach your audience most effectively when planning your posts.
- Even if you have found your perfect time window, you should not always post at the same time. Vary it a bit to maintain relevance.
- The topic must be relevant to the platform. On LinkedIn, posts with a professional focus are predominantly shared. Also, make sure the topic aligns with your company and your followers. Tip: The LinkedIn algorithm favors niche topics that may receive less overall attention but generate higher engagement.
- Since the latest update of the LinkedIn algorithm, posts from first-degree connections are prioritized in feeds. For you, this means that you must continue to expand your network in order to gain reach. However, you should not add contacts randomly; also consider relevance to your industry when connecting with others.
Extra tips for company profiles
On average, the overall reach of organic posts from company profiles is 2.4 percent of their follower base. A comment has eight times the impact on company pages compared to a like, twelve times the impact compared to a share, and six times the impact compared to clicks. However, if these interactions are performed by employees, the impact on your reach is reduced by around 30 percent.
With these tips, you can increase engagement from followers who are not employees:
- Humanity: Show your face. Stories about employees or customers, company events, insights into the company’s everyday life, and the like make your company more personal and likable. Show the people behind your company.
- As mentioned, the LinkedIn algorithm likes posts that offer downloadable documents, PDFs, whitepapers, and the like. Make sure the quality is good and the content provides value to your followers.
- Since the latest update of the LinkedIn algorithm, sharing knowledge and advice is rewarded with increased reach. Share your expertise with your followers by posting industry-related content, for example. You can also reuse content from third parties. Take the opportunity to inform your customers about developments and trends in your industry.
- If you have sustainable practices or support social projects, be sure to share that with your followers. It improves the perception of your company.
- LinkedIn is not only for discussing professional life but can also be used by companies for recruitment. Inform your followers about career opportunities with your company, open positions, and what employees can expect at your firm.
- Respond to posts from employees and customers. The LinkedIn algorithm rewards this with additional reach.
In summary, the LinkedIn algorithm rewards you with reach primarily when you post relevant, industry-specific content that ideally comes in the form of advice or knowledge sharing. If your posts can also demonstrate good engagement, the success of your company’s presence on LinkedIn should be within reach. However, it is still important to regularly stay informed about the latest LinkedIn news. The algorithm is constantly evolving. What works today to generate more reach may become outdated in a few weeks.
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