“This isn’t Facebook!”. Have you ever seen those angry comments on LinkedIn? Most small business owners that I’ve talked to about it have actually enjoyed seeing more personal posts on their feeds – and so have I. Unfortunately, those who disagree have apparently shouted louder and LinkedIn has responded to them with an update to the algorithm. So what’s changing?
Posts designed to beat the system will no longer be rewarded. Up until this recent update, LinkedIn has been rewarding posts (i.e. showing them to more people) based on how much engagement they receive. This has led to more posts being created solely for the purpose of an engagement boost.
Posts from your 1st-degree connections will be prioritised. LinkedIn used to be a space to connect with people in your business circle that you know in real life. Recently, it’s become a space to network and meet new people. However, they are leaning back towards how it used to be by displaying a high percentage of posts in your feed from those that you actually know. I see this as both a good thing and a bad thing. It’ll make it easier to really connect with your existing audience, but it will be much more difficult to reach a new audience.
LinkedIn wants to be a space to exchange ideas on expert matters. This means that you’ll likely see an increase in valuable posts, top tips and interesting opinions. And, I mean, that sounds great, right? But how are they identifying such posts?
- Who are you talking to? The new system will look at each post and determine to whom it’s addressed. This means you need to make sure you are talking to your target audience. If you’re not sure who that is, check out my recent blog.
- Are you in a position to talk about that topic? They’re also looking at your background and your current position to determine whether you have the authority to discuss your chosen topic. For example, they’ll see that I’m a social media marketer, so if I write a post about how to look after your dog, it will be useless.
- How are people choosing to comment on your post? Comments of one or two words will indicate to the algorithm that your post is likely looking for that engagement boost. Instead, they’ll be looking to reward posts that are prompting people to leave more in-depth comments. Replying to all the comments you get will indicate that there is a discussion to be had.
- Who is commenting on your post? They’ll be paying attention to who those in-depth comments are coming from and checking whether they have the authority to be sharing their thoughts. So, for example, if social media marketers comment on my posts, that will be seen as positive feedback.
- Are your posts insightful? Posts that just share information will be rewarded much less than posts that offer opinions and advice. Make sure to consider what your reader can learn from your post.
This all might sound rather scary, especially if you’re a product-based business! Remember that being a product-based business owner doesn’t mean you aren’t an expert with interesting insights to share! And yes, it means learning what works for you all over again. However, I think it’s important to remember that LinkedIn is just trying to reduce the amount of spam and irrelevant posts you see on your feed. They have said that they hope the changes will encourage experts to share their thoughts while allowing their personality and creativity to shine through.
Anyway, I’d love to know… have you noticed a difference in the last few weeks since this update? Do you think this is great news or is it making your life more complicated?