Just recently, LinkedIn announced that there would be a new system implemented to change what you see on your news feed, affecting the visibility of the content you post.
In the past, the LinkedIn news feed algorithm focused on the order of content coming from your connections and those you follow. Content that LinkedIn thought was most relevant to you and what you would engage with the most was at the very top while everything else was ordered below it.
But now, LinkedIn has made some pretty big changes. Content that they deem as irrelevant or as spam is now completely removed from the news feed. Content that is classified as ”low quality” is only shown to a small percentage of your network to see if they engage with it. If they don’t, then its goodbye from the news feed. The catch with this, however, is that LinkedIn doesn’t define what qualifies as ”low quality,” which then creates a mismatch between what we want to see and what LinkedIn wants us to see.
LinkedIn’s paradigm shift
Before the update, LinkedIn’s goal was to be the primary place that people came to find and read news and professional content. That is why they had platforms like Article Publishing and Influencer. However, what happened was the LinkedIn newsfeed turned into a link pushing fest and it became extremely difficult to find high-quality content that was worth reading and that led to actual engagement. And, when people followed the links, they didn’t always come back. So what they thought would keep people on LinkedIn for longer actually had the opposite effect.
LinkedIn is now looking to create conversation within the news feed, essentially creating a public sphere for discussion as opposed to the members-only clubs that were created before the Group option was removed. This signals a major paradigm shift as instead of showcasing your expertise by writing an article and pushing it onto your news feed, LinkedIn wants you to demonstrate your expertise through discussion.
I managed to extract the below from the LinkedIn engineering blog which displays the process by which your posts are accordingly rated and shared with your contacts.
Conclusively, the 4-Step process that determines your content’s worth to users is as follows:
- Content is classified as Image/Text/Video/Long Form/Link
- Depending on the classification, content is then distributed to a sample of the users’ connections
- Once placed in front of these people, different actions have different weights to determine whether the post should be either (1) demoted because it’s low quality or (2) shown to more people because it’s high quality
- Editors then review the content to see if it’s worth distributing beyond that user’s network
Now you are aware of how your posts and articles get ranked on LinkedIn, try to make sure your posts are high quality and will attract that initial attention required.
It’s not what but how that counts
So, what should you share?
LinkedIn’s primary goal is to get people to stay on LinkedIn as long as possible so that we see as many ads as possible which in turn generates revenue for them. This means that sharing a link that takes people away from LinkedIn isn’t what they want to see. And while LinkedIn has never said that they demote external links, there is growing anecdotal evidence that they may be.
In effect, what makes LinkedIn happy is an update that creates conversation- that means long comments and replies from many people that keeps people on Linkedin for longer.
Simply posting the link and letting the preview do the rest isn’t going to cut it anymore and will likely land you in the realm of “low quality.” Any update that you post with a link must start a conversation- and quickly- or it will get demoted.
If you’re using an automation service such as Buffer or FMG Suite, that automatically send a pre-crafted update you’re likely to run into problems. This applies to plugins that auto post your blog articles. If you consistently post your content via the API and the update contains nothing but the link, then LinkedIn will tag your entire account as “low quality.”
What you want to create now are multiple high engagement posts. Any update you post must have a central focus and tell a story and most importantly, it must encourage and create discussion around it. That means you either have to be a good writer or hire a good writer to get the results you want.
Change your LinkedIn strategy
If LinkedIn is how you reach your target market and is what will help your business grow, you need to put in the effort and craft one long, high-quality discussion post per week rather than only posting links to other articles. Follow up on the comments on your article and continue the discussion to keep it active through the week. Tag people who may be interested or whose opinions you’d like to hear but of course, practice discretion with whom you tag and how often you tag them.
It is equally as important to consider timing. The time that your target market is active on LinkedIn is the best time to post, particularly the 8am and noon ranges of whatever time zone you’re targeting. Getting a significant amount of engagement is during the first 4 hours of the post is what sets it up for virality and determines how well your post will do.
At the end of the day, if you invest your time and/or money into developing a strategy and system to make use of LinkedIn’s new functionings, you’ll find that what you put in will return to you exponentially.
We at Edmeades and Simpson can do just that. Crafting new and creative content for use as part of both your inbound & outbound strategy is just one of the services we offer to our clients. If you don’t have the time or expertise to be constantly improving and a/b testing your inbound and outbound campaigns, let us do the work for you.
If at any point you feel you and your team could benefit from additional support in the areas of Lead Generation and content creation for the purposes of inbound or outbound marketing, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
I can be reached on:
Founder & Director at www.edmeades-simpson.com