Changes in the LinkedIn Algorithm: 5 Things You Should Know
If you're building a company or personal brand on LinkedIn, you've probably heard about its algorithm, which can determine the success of your posts. Not only do we know little about it, but there are also constant updates about the changes associated with it. How do you not get lost in the sea of information? In this post, you'll find a brief summary of what you need to know about the latest directions in the LinkedIn algorithm.
Not too long ago, we wrote on our blog about the basic mechanisms of how the LinkedIn algorithm works. Today, we're taking a closer look at the changes that LinkedIn management has recently presented to the public. Do these changes impact the strategy you should adopt when posting on the platform?
- Audiences Want "Knowledge and Advice"
The changes LinkedIn introduces in its algorithm are an attempt to align with audience preferences. It's not surprising – the platform ultimately aims for user satisfaction and extended time spent on it. Research on preferences indicates that users are interested in posts containing knowledge and relevant advice. As Daniel Roth states, LinkedIn users expect to learn how to become better at what they do. The latest changes reduced user dissatisfaction with content by as much as 80%, suggesting that the changes have been well-received.
- Speak as You Would at Work
To better understand the origins of these recent changes, it's worth examining trends that have influenced LinkedIn activity in recent years. The pandemic brought work into our homes and homes into our work. Consequently, LinkedIn posts began to feature more personal matters, selfies, and reflections beyond professional topics, akin to platforms like Facebook or Instagram. What was necessary during lockdown began to annoy users who wanted LinkedIn to return to its role as a professional medium. Therefore, the advice from experts is simple: write on LinkedIn about things you would expect to discuss at a professional conference or a meeting at the office. Recent changes are moving towards promoting such posts and authors.
- Reach Isn't the Priority
LinkedIn isn't designed for virality, as declares Alice Xiong from the platform team when discussing recent changes. When a post starts going viral, it's a sign to the platform's managers that they should improve their algorithms. They want information to reach a well-targeted audience. Hence, according to recent changes, we should expect to see more posts from individuals we follow. Posts outside our network may reach us if LinkedIn identifies them as containing valuable knowledge in areas of our interest. These changes are good news for salespeople and marketers who utilize LinkedIn for social selling – experts have long recommended focusing on building well-aligned networks rather than overly broad ones.
- Comments? Yes, but Substantive Ones
How does the algorithm recognize which posts contain information relevant to users? We don't know the precise rules of its operation, but an obvious direction is the identification of posts that users engage with eagerly. For LinkedIn, comments have long been valuable, as they boost post reach better than likes or shares. This knowledge led to a proliferation of comments under posts aimed at boosting them, and even "commenting pods" emerged, where users mutually commented on each other's posts. Now, LinkedIn is not only combating "like-begging" but also "comment-begging." Promoted posts will be those with "meaningful" comments that go beyond "great!" or "wonderful!" It's crucial for these comments to come from industry professionals, and they're even better if they spark further discussions.
- Be an Authority
The fight against "pods" and posts aimed solely at reach also involves verifying whether the speaker truly knows what they're writing about. LinkedIn has an advantage over other platforms in this regard, as it usually has a wealth of information about our professional profile. Therefore, it's important to publish within areas where we have expertise and confirmed skills. Many publications on the same topic, appreciated by users in the same industry, also work in favor of a post, which will be shown to a larger number of potentially interested users. In summary, LinkedIn wants authors to be professionals in their fields.
The direction of the latest changes on LinkedIn only reinforces the observed trends in the platform's development. Elements such as selecting a well-targeted audience, building an expert position, and maintaining substantive content in publications remain key to building personal and corporate brands.
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