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Is the LinkedIn Algorithm as big and scary as marketers say?

The short answer is no. But it does exists, and here's how it really works...

We've spoken to the LinkedIn content curators themselves, having wrangled them for answers about the seemingly sentient algorithm that almost definitely holds a grudge, and found out exactly how it works. We're going to spill all the secrets right here....

Arranging the Feed

As we're all painstakingly aware, the LinkedIn feed doesn't appear in chronological order (unless you ask it to). Instead, it shows us what it thinks we'll be interested in.

How it does this is very important, and it is all in the hands of your audience; the algorithm scans the activity of individuals on LinkedIn; who are they connected to, where do they work, what content do they current interact with?

It takes all of this information, seeking out common keywords, people and recent activity, and arranges the feed to show individuals the post they're likely to enjoy and engage with. Got a particular penchant for watermelon socks and often search for sock-related posts (just for the fun of it!), like yours truly, you'll soon find your feed recommending you connect with sock manufacturers, showing you posts about socks and in turn showing your profile to fellow sock connoisseurs.

So how does this help your content?

This shows the importance of message consistency and the use of relevant keywords and hashtags. Ensure your posts are consistent and you talk about the same 3/4 things each time. This will help the algorithm to recognise you as a creator of a specific field and therefore recommend your posts and profile to the right people (your audience!).

Inspiring Engagement

We've all been there. We've all published a post only to have it sit and collect dust. It's easy to sit and think the Algo has decided it's taken a disliking to you that day, but sadly that's not quite the case.

So how does it work?

When you first post, the algorithm will do it's usual little trick with keywords and hashtags, showing it on the feeds of those it believes will want to see it. But the algorithm itself can't force people to click and engage.

The Algo then monitors the progress of your post for the first 2 hours, looking at how many people are interacting, from clicks to reactions to comments and shares (bearing in mind, at this point you're relying on you killer copy, tantalising hooks and pretty graphics to build engagement, NOT the algorithm and it's wonderous ways).

AFTER this 2 hour period, the algorithm will then decide how long it's going to keep your post in the feed - how valuable it is. This can range form 24 hours to a whole week!

If your first 2 hours of engagement is good, with comments being considered the highest value over reactions and shares, your post will be one of the first to appear when people search for certain keywords, added to the feed of relevant people and your profile will be suggested to those interested in the topics you're talking about.

And that's it! Sadly, there's no sentient being casting it's judgement over our posts and forging the fate of creators. Instead, it's a load of 1s and 0s that follow pre-set rules.

Beating The Algorithm

So with this all in mind, how do we make our posts as algorithm-friendly as possible?

  1. Use relevant keywords and hashtags consistently.

  2. Update your profile to reflect the things you talk about regularly.

  3. Make your posts super engaging and clickable to get the most out of your first 2 hours with great hooks, a clear and easy-to-read format, an authentic story or valuable information, and a conversation-continuing closing line.

Definitely don't....
  1. Spam tag people in the post or in the comments

  2. Keep editing and re-editing your post in the first 2 hours

  3. Delete your post because of low engagement

  4. Blame the algorithm


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