LinkedIn is not a social media platform that rests on its laurels. It’s regularly rolling out changes to the way it operates, and the way it processes our information, keeping up with those changes can be a challenge for all but the most diligent.
Why is this important to know?
Suppose you’re posting content or using LinkedIn to help you with any part of your business, such as business development, marketing or personal branding. In that case, a large amount of your strategy is going to be reliant on your potential customers being able to see your activity or your profile easily.
Changes to the LinkedIn algorithm impact how, when and why your content or your profile is displayed to others.
This is why, if you use LinkedIn regularly, it is in your best interest, to know what to do and, just as importantly, what not to do, to help you reach those eye-balls.
With both a new algorithm now released and most of us now having access to the new user interface, this is a perfect opportunity to share some of the fundamental changes. Here are some things you might want to think about when you’re posting or interacting on the platform.
1) New Easy Wins
All-Star Profile / SSI Score impacts.
Your LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI) is a score of 100 which measures how effective you are with the four pillars: Create a Professional Brand, Find the Right People, Engage with Insights and Build Strong Relationships. The maximum score for each pillar is 25.
HOW DO I FIND MY SSI SCORE? RIGHT HERE.
LinkedIn awards those who complete their profile to the ‘All-Star’ level by increasing the number of people who will see their content (increased reach). Likewise, the higher your SSI score the higher your reach.
Reach relates to the number of people who will see your initial post, so it is fundamental to your LinkedIn success.
An ‘All-Star’ profile has a reach of X 1.5 above an ‘Intermediate profile’ and ‘the lesser ‘Beginner’ profile suffers a minus reach penalty of X 0.5
An SSI score greater than 60 has a positive effect on your reach; anything below has a negative impact on your reach.
Users with an SSI score greater than 90 have an X 1.5 increase on their reach.
What should you do?
Ensure your profile is complete to reach that all-star. Manage your LinkedIn activity to make sure your SSI is not negatively impacting your reach.
2) Key Changes for content posting.
LinkedIn now awards posts that make people DWELL on their content. Such as multi-page PDFs or other rich media.
This change is an attempt to increase the quality of the posts and move away from those short, text-based click-bait style of posts. You know the ones where you click ‘see more’ only to be seriously let down.
Timings of posts
The Golden hour is dead! The life of posts in our feeds has been extended and will now show into your connections feed for a longer time than before. (up to 5 days).
This means we won’t need to post every day or to react immediately to our connections posts or to comments on our posts (Just within the first 24hrs) to increase virality. It also means we can spend more time building quality content (see DWELL time, above).
It also means LinkedIn pods, groups of people organised to interact with each other’s content to boost engagement, are now less effective.
If you have a piece of content that is gathering good levels of engagement, refrain from posting again until the engagement levels have dropped. Instead, reinvigorate your original post, through comments, to see another +15% engagement on that post.
Hashtags are considered a bit of a mystery on LinkedIn. We should use hashtags to help others find our content and to ‘file’ our content into the right search buckets for others on LinkedIn whom we are not connected too.
For best results ONLY use hashtags that have more than 100,000 followers.
It’s not as straight forward as you might think.
#Sales = 5.85Million followers
#SalesDevelopment = 22k followers
#Prospectiing = 9k followers
To determine the strength of a hashtag simply search the hashtag within LinkedIn’s search window.
Whilst using a maximum of only 3 hashtags was the advice in 2019 now it seems the sweet spot is 3 – 9 Hashtags in a post, but no more.
What should you do?
Write content that has more detail and can hold your audiences’ attention. Try writing long-form posts and repurpose them into PDFs or other rich media and post them that way.
Be prepared to leave the post to run for at least 24 – 48hrs.
Interact with your post using comments, as they are the most effective, with all of those who interact with the post. Do this inside the first 24hrs.
Finally, use a mixture of well followed hashtags, between 3 and 9, that are likely to drag people from outside of your network into the post.
3) Reengaging lost connections.
There is no doubt adding many useless connections has become a daily sport for many on LinkedIn. People connect with us, and we never hear from them again. This means many have a focus on building their network via quantity, rather than building relationships. This is the wrong strategy, IMO.
The chances are, you are already connected to a bunch of people who can help you achieve your goals. You just need to reengage them. Good news.
The algorithm is looking for ways to supply you with content interesting enough to hold you inside the LinkedIn platform. It doesn’t want you to leave and go elsewhere. It’s always looking for clues so it can better understand what it is that you want to see so it can give it to you.
So, if you would like to see more of someone’s posts or activity, let the algorithm know by being very deliberate in reengaging them.
Comment on their posts, endorse them for skill, give them kudos, send a message or two. Should you carry out two or three of these activities inside a 7day period, LinkedIn will register that and start to place your content and activity at the top of each other’s feed.
This is gold for managing both new business opportunities and for maintaining strong relationships with your existing clients.
What should you do?
Create a list (use ‘leads’ in SalesNAV if you have it) of people you need to ‘stay in touch with’ and then deliberately create those two or three interactions across that first week. Once they reconnect and your interacting again you can slow the activity down to stay truly ‘connected’.
These 3 hacks will help you pick up the easy wins on LinkedIn as you prepare your social and digital selling strategy for 2021. You’ll be much more effective with just these few tweaks to your playbook.
Other new things you might want to check out.
- Tagging lots of people in your posts will negatively impact your post.
- Posting links in the first comment is no longer useful (if it ever was).
- Pressing the SHARE button is not a worthwhile activity. LinkedIn knows it’s a duplicate post and won’t spread it further.
- LinkedIn live has low levels of engagement.
- Video should be less than 1min, never more than 3mins long and posted natively.
- Followers see much less of your content than connections do.
All these findings are either from my own research, observations and the analytics I’ve generated from using tools like shieldapp.ai or from speaking with other LinkedIn experts and trainers either in some of our chat communities or directly in my BOSS podcast.
However, there is one person who is considered the real ‘source of truth’ for all of these conversations. Richard Van Der Blom’s research is both smart and methodical and the base for many of these suggestions. Richards’ study measured over 4500 posts at 15min intervals to determine what works, what happens and what doesn’t.
I suggest you access a more in-depth review of all the changes here directly from Richard.