Madelin Gomez, producer and content manager at New Park Creative
With more than 500 million members worldwide, LinkedIn has become the largest professional networking platform to date. LinkedIn allows users to create profiles and build connections that reflect real-world professional relationships. Whether it be old college roommates, current employers, or people you share common interests with, LinkedIn believes in the power of communities and connections. The latest update to the LinkedIn algorithm prioritizes rich content and deeper connections and engagement.
Why is LinkedIn so important? 64% of job seekers get hired through a referral– simply by having a connection or professional relationship with someone you know or have crossed paths with at a seminar or presentation. You never know when that opportunity is going to strike.
“Do you have a LinkedIn?” Of all the social media platforms out there, LinkedIn is vital for creating and maintaining professional relationships. Everyone should have a LinkedIn, for the sole purpose of networking and building connections. The more connections you build, the more likely you are to get introduced to a new client or business partner, or the more likely you are to get referred to a new job opportunity or collaboration. LinkedIn has become the powerhouse for connecting creatives of all industries. If you haven’t downloaded the app by now, we’ll give you a second, we’ll wait.
LinkedIn is still in its infancy. It’s only been around for about 16 years, but in the last few years has recently been making major changes to its algorithm that is affecting the way users interact with each other. According to Pete Davies, LinkedIn’s senior director of product management, the mantra of the feed is “People you know, talking about the things you care about.” In other words, the LinkedIn algorithm prioritizes personal connections based on interests.
So, how does the LinkedIn algorithm work? The latest update to the LinkedIn algorithm prioritizes valuable, relevant content, and engagement. The more valuable the conversation, the higher in your feed the post will be. Through your connections, hashtags you follow, pages you’ve liked, and places you’ve worked for, LinkedIn creates a personalized feed with content and conversations geared towards you. Over the past two years, updates to the LinkedIn algorithm have spurred a more than 50% increase in viral activity. People you know– LinkedIn’s algorithm prioritizes your personal connections and relationships. You may be following Bill Gates on LinkedIn, but what are the odds that you constantly interact and communicate with each other? Through shared common interests, direct interaction through comments, likes, and shares, LinkedIn ranks content created and shared by the people you know best. Talking about things you care about- LinkedIn’s algorithm prioritizes high-level, relevant content geared towards you. The algorithm recognizes post’s affinity to someone’s interests based on the groups they’re in, and the hashtags, people, and pages they follow. We’re highlighting 5 ways you can optimize your LinkedIn profile and “beat” the algorithm:
1. Be Relevant In order to make yourself or your business seen, you’ve got to engage more, post more, share more, and comment more. Are your content and brand relevant for your target audience? Use hashtags or create specific hashtags that are relevant to your industry and desired niche. Tag others who are within your industry and more likely to share your content and engage in the conversation. Be mindful of using rich media, posts with images get twice as many comments as text posts, and videos are five times more likely to get comments! Go Live! LinkedIn has announced a new feature for 2020 allowing members and organizations to live stream. Julian Foster, head of Global Paid Social Media for LinkedIn says “Storytelling is at the very core of our social media strategy. We want to share connective stories and video on LinkedIn is fundamental to that.” LinkedIn Live videos get on average 7x more reactions and 24x more comments than native video. Whether it be promoting an event, attracting new employees, or interviewing a guest, there’s a lot of content that can be produced to boost your profile.
2. Flaunt Your Skills If you’re looking to connect with more like-minded people, or are searching for a new job, your skills have to be at the forefront of your profile. In September 2019, LinkedIn launched a tool on its platform called “LinkedIn Skill Assessments”. It’s a way for you to show off and validate your skills in order to stand out from the crowd. For example, let’s say you are LinkedIn certified in Adobe Photoshop. You’ll receive a badge on your profile that helps employers and recruiters easily identify the candidates they’re looking for. LinkedIn says that candidates who completed LinkedIn Skill Assessments are significantly more likely (approximately 30%) to get hired. So, what are you waiting for?
3. Create a community Encourage engagement! The easiest way to do this is with a call to action such as a question or poll. The more conversation and buzz surrounding your content, the higher it will be ranked across other’s feeds. Start connecting with others who work in the same industry as you or live within the same community as you, and then start to branch out. Participate in LinkedIn Groups or create your own, create conversations that will build meaningful connections and relationships. Create inspirational and helpful content that is geared towards the main reason people turn to LinkedIn-to get a job, to get a better job, or to grow their professional networks. LinkedIn has been working on a new feature set to roll out soon, LinkedIn Stories. Similar to many stories features on other social media platforms, members and organizations will be able to post short videos and images on Stories for 24 hours. Although this is in the testing phase, it’ll be a great opportunity to share your experiences and insights, and build meaningful relationships with your community.
4. Be Genuine LinkedIn is all about being personable and relatable. According to LinkedIn, authenticity is key. “Genuine conversation around real experiences spark better and deeper conversation,” explains Pete Davies. “Better conversation, in turn, leads to a stronger community and connection.” Don’t be afraid to share vulnerable experiences and hardships that in turn made you a better person. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable or voice your opinion on “touchy subjects”. Although LinkedIn is the largest professional networking platform, that doesn’t mean you can’t be authentic and yourself. Openly talk about your failures, mistakes, frustrations, and goals. Often times, we find that when people are genuine and honest, they expand their reach and connect with more people.
5. Optimize with LinkedIn Analytics Use LinkedIn Analytics to understand how and why some of your posts are performing better than others. Is it because you posted it at a certain time? Or used a specific call-to-action? Was it a link used or someone mentioned that boosted your post? Whatever the case may be, learn from it and replicate it.
The best time to post on LinkedIn is 7:45 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m., and 5:45 p.m. EST.
The best day for B2B brands to post on LinkedIn is Wednesday.
The best days for B2C brands to post on LinkedIn are Monday and Wednesday.
Nearly 600 million business professionals use LinkedIn to find jobs, create content, and grow their networks. It’s become a social network powerhouse you cannot ignore. Whether it be to build your personal brand or business, LinkedIn is vital in creating and maintaining professional relationships.