Understanding LinkedIn’s 2019 Algorithm — And Why It Matters

Did LinkedIn Update Their Algorithm Again? Yep, Sure Did.

Here’s Everything You Need to Know… 

Did you check our 2019 Guide to LinkedIn’s Best Practices? Great! Now let’s dig a little deeper into Linkedin’s update to their algorithm. Unlike other platforms, LinkedIn doesn’t require top-secret security level clearance to access their algorithm variables. Not only are they relatively open about their variable mechanics and weights, industry pros like yours truly — using testing methodologies — have precise knowledge about how to optimize for organic engagement.

Definitely use this guide as your initial point of reference, but I would encourage you to continue your ‘educational journey’ beyond what’s found within the confines of our blog pages. Make use of LinkedIn’s excellent training materials, network with colleagues in your industry, and get some professional help to expand your platform presence.

Just because how LinkedIn works isn’t a secret, it doesn’t mean that it’s easy to attract followers, generate leads, or convert those leads into paying customers. 

Why It’s Difficult to Get Views on LinkedIn

LinkedIn has seen tremendous growth in recent years, but it’s still difficult to get views on their platform. True, they’re not on the same level as Facebook or Twitter, but LI has proven itself to be the best social destination for B2B lead generation. And yet, for some reason, it’s not given the attention it deserves. And as you’ll see, to market successfully on LI, it does actually require a bit more, uh, attention, than you are probably accustomed.

As previously discussed, almost three-fourths of corporate website traffic originates from LinkedIn. But, according to who you’re talking to, it’s estimated that 46% percent of the social media traffic to B2B company sites is from LinkedIn. Although statistics vary from industry to industry, most sales are generated directly from e-commerce transactions within business pages, form submissions connecting potential customers with sales staff, or from additional channels informed by landing page content. So, if for example, 70% of your leads are coming from your website traffic, but your LinkedIn posts are only tracking 3% of their potential engagement, think about how many sales opportunities you are missing! 

And if you’re competing with other business-to-business companies, you’ve got your work cut out for you. The pros on the developer and content creator side of things know how important the platform is to our (and your) success. 

Just creating and sharing quality content on LinkedIn doesn’t translate into views. That can be frustrating. Sure there’s the temptation to look elsewhere for social media shares, but don’t jump ship just yet. Most content is automatically sequestered by LinkedIn’s ‘Top Filter,’ and we’re going to tell you how to beat it. 

Getting to Know the LinkedIn Algorithm

The LinkedIn algorithm starts by running your content through an automated, artificially-intelligent set of filters. After analysis, it posts your content into a public feed to measure engagement, or simply put, how intrinsically valuable it is to the LinkedIn audience network as a whole. After that vetting, there’s an additional measurement of engagement and then finally, an actual person reviews the post.

If your content manages to clear all these hurdles, it will appear in your network’s various feeds fairly frequently. If the post failed during this initial process, your post will garner ‘total waste of time’ levels of engagement. 

How to Optimize Your Posts With this Information

First, to optimize your posts for LinkedIn, follow a couple of simple rules:

  1. Don’t jam-pack your videos with a ton of copy. Videos should be videos and posts should be posts.
  2. If you’re publishing an article, add examples, tell stories, and insert graphics or video content if it’s relevant. Length is crucial. 
  3. Don’t just add filler – think quality, not just quantity.
  4. Don’t skimp on your word count. That’s so important I’m mentioning it twice. 
  5. Most importantly, you want your headlines to be click-worthy and not click-baity. That means magnetic, attractive, attention-grabbing headlines. Use your SEO tools to optimize for what’s trending and incorporate that data.

Automation is Your Friend

There are a ton of terrific tools out there to automate your social media posting. I personally recommend any version of Hootsuite, but use whatever you’re comfortable with. Automation means scheduling posts, not automatically liking and sharing. That’s robotic and inauthentic — the exact opposite of what we’re going for. Not only will automation save you time, but because you’re going to be posting to LinkedIn multiple times a day, it really is a necessity.

Let’s look at an example. Richard Branson, the genius-level marketer and founder of Virgin Atlantic Airways, has turned LinkedIn into his second home. He’s so influential, the term ‘influencer’ seems inappropriate at his level. He’s more like an ‘uber dominator,’ or ‘LinkedIn’s Chief Aviator.’

He posts anywhere from five to ten posts a day, and oftentimes, the content is the same. He’ll post an article, then repost it 5 hours later. The difference between the two articles? The second post has four times the level of engagement.

Despite the fact it’s the same content, it gives scroll-happy users a second chance to view the post who visit his feed later in the day. The LinkedIn algo intrinsically favors this, and so, there you have it. You’ve just cleared the ‘Top Filter.’

Just one last thing, however. Richard Branson isn’t posting random filler every five minutes. He’s leaving around three or four hours between his high-quality posts, and for reposts, that stretches to about 5 to 6 hours. 

And while we know you’re busy flying around Mr. Branson’s LinkedIn page, why not disembark for a moment, set your travel bags down and check out our fantastic array of social media services? 

They cover all the basics you’ll need to get started, from LinkedIn to Facebook and everything in-between. And if you’re looking for something to take you sky high, then ask about our new ‘Pro’ and ‘Pro Plus’ packages — they’ll put that ‘jet-set’ shine on your already sky-worthy efforts.

Click the image above to download our free eBook — LinkedIn: A Good Influence(r)