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Is LinkedIn’s algorithm making it impossible to share content?

LinkedIn Algorithm | Haley Marketing
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The following transcript was taken from InSights, a staffing and recruiting podcast from Haley Marketing dedicated to providing quick-hitting takeaways on Digital Marketing and Recruitment Marketing. To listen to the episode, click play on the player above or visit the episode page [InSights] When Will Google Stop Breaking Our Hearts?


Brad Bialy: Is LinkedIn’s algorithm making it impossible to share content? Matt, we go back and forth about the algorithm pretty much every other day. I’ll text you. You’ll send me a Slack message. We’ll go back and forth about, “Hey man, I ran some content and 80 people saw it.” I’m connected with, I think, 12,000 people on LinkedIn. I know you have a couple of thousand people that you’re connected with just from getting to know the industry and meeting new people and being proactive about it. It’s 2020, October 28th. Matt is LinkedIn’s algorithm making it impossible to share content?

Matt Lozar: First of all, I have 7,000 followers. Thank you.

Brad Bialy: Humble brag. Sick brag, dude.

Matt Lozar: Second of all, it’s more challenging. I know the algorithm, probably 12 months ago, was better for organic traffic. And when you post content consistently, it’s definitely become more challenging. So it’s harder to get that free organic traffic right now.

Brad Bialy: It’s tough to say what’s working and we’re here to tell the listeners what’s working and share our insights. And there’ll be weeks where we’ll share a video and it’ll get a couple hundred views, a couple of thousand views, whatever it might be. And then there’s days where I think I put out the best piece of content that I’ve ever put together, the Mona Lisa of content, Matt, and six people see it. And it’s like, “Give me a break.”

Matt Lozar: Falls on its face.

Brad Bialy: Yeah.

Matt Lozar: Flat on its face.

Brad Bialy: Yeah. And Matt, when we were starting to do our weekly video series, you and I, we leaned into that heavily because it had so much reach. Now it seems like you need … I mean, there are a couple factors, we’ll talk about it, but it’s almost up to chance in some situations.

Matt Lozar: Testing helps here.

Brad Bialy: Yeah.

Matt Lozar: So with any social media, we always want to look at testing. So you have to continually test formats of posts. So just text, links, imagery, video, testing time of day, day of week because your audience is going to be different than everyone else’s audience. You have a unique follower set that no one else has. And then just do more of what’s working and do less of what’s not working and we’ll come … Couple of examples here coming up, but it’s a constant battle. And it’s not just LinkedIn. It’s always been Facebook, but Twitter, Instagram. I’m sure TikTok, Snapchat, et cetera, what can you do there to try to stay a step ahead?

Brad Bialy: We need to understand that throwaway content has no place on social media anymore. If you’re posting just to do it, stop. You need to have a purpose for every post. I’ve said it a thousand times. Every post has a purpose. You have to have some sort of meaning and you have to add value. Social media is so incredibly noisy with so many different people posting content on a given day. You can’t just throw something out just because you have to get out of social post. If you’re doing that, there’s really no value. You might as well just wait until you come up with your next great post and then run from there.

Brad Bialy: Matt, I think we also need to mix in video imagery, text-based, like you said, and even experiment with not including links. We’ve said for a while that these social platforms want you to live on their platform. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, they make money by showing ads. They can’t show ads if you leave their platform. So instinctively, they want to favor the posts that make you stay on their platform.

Matt Lozar: Sounds like somebody watched the Social Dilemma on Netflix.

Brad Bialy: I don’t have Netflix, but I can tell you exactly what all of it’s about my friend. It’s interesting. We talk a lot on InSights about having value in having a specific strategy and a purpose. And we want to drive all this traffic off of social media. And I stand by that and I will carry that flag and I will carry that torch, but we also need to mix in that content that just is built for the platform. Just share a video, just share a graphic, share a text-based update and see how it performs. See what it does. Matt, we’ve also, we were talking last week via text, I want to say it’s within the first 20 minutes, LinkedIn and Facebook are evaluating how much engagement your post gets. And then it starts to snowball from there if whether or not they should show it to more people.

Brad Bialy: It’s like a snowball effect or a ripple effect, rather like a pebble in water. If it hits the water and people catch onto that content and the content starts to do well, you get some immediate comments, some immediate likes, immediate engagement. “Okay, let’s serve it to another a hundred people and see what it does.” If those people start to comment, start to engage, start to share it, start to like it, “Okay. Let’s serve it to another 200 people.” And it starts to spread out, and that I think is important. So we want to make sure that we have good content that drives engagement, that drives meaningful interactions that we’ve talked about on Facebook before. And ultimately, we want to just make sure that we’re doing the best that we can to provide great content to our audience.

Matt Lozar: There’s a lot of tips and you can get a little dizzy in there trying to create the perfect recipe, but some takeaways in there that I think can work really well. Brad was talking about, and this seems from my personal experience too, and Brad will probably agree, that first hour or two of getting engagement, and we mean by engagement, we mean likes or comments on your posts really seem to fuel the algorithm. And if LinkedIn will send out your content to that test group almost, and if it works well, it’s going to show it to more. It’s going to expand that group. So that’s a really good way. Another way you can expand that reach is have some hashtags in there, right? Popular hashtags are going to work well about three to 10 they say right now.

Brad Bialy: Please do not have super long tail hashtags that no one uses. I don’t need #findyournextjobatXYZstaffingfirminBuffalo as one hashtag. Continue. Sorry.

Matt Lozar: The last thing I would say is if you’re going to tag someone, tag an applicable person.

Brad Bialy: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matt Lozar: Don’t just tag Gary Vaynerchuk because he’s popular. Tag someone who’s going to comment and like and maybe share to their network and that’s going to trigger to LinkedIn, “Hey, they’re doing this correctly.”

Matt Lozar: So you’re going to-

Brad Bialy: Using a tag so that people see it to add their value, add their insights. If you’re tagging, just to do it because Gary V has a million followers and Matt has 7,000 followers and Brad has 12,000 and you’re just trying to build up this follower, it doesn’t matter.

Matt Lozar: So I think that’s the takeaways is yeah, you have to continue testing. We have to set ourselves up for success here with engagement early in our posting, hashtags, tagging the right people, and trying different formats. I remember there was, I don’t know the date, but a few months ago I told Brad like, “There’s text posts on LinkedIn that do better than video.”

Brad Bialy: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matt Lozar: If you’re telling really good content, engaging with people, and they like it, it’s out there. We’ve seen so much in staffing about how, “Oh, I really struggled during COVID-19. I couldn’t get a job. I did this. This company helped me,” and it has 47,000 comments in a hundred thousand likes because it’s content people like. They’re engaging with it. [crosstalk 00:10:11] Yeah. So that’s … The LinkedIn algorithms tough. It goes back to Brad’s really beginning of this segment of every post have a purpose and don’t just have throwaway content. Have a plan behind it. No, there isn’t a recipe. And even if you do figure out the recipe on October 28th, when we dropped this show, it might change by November 5th. So that’s the best that you could do.

Brad Bialy: Lean into what’s working right now. Try your best experiment and understand, as Matt said, what’s working today might not work next week. So be open to change, be open to new ideas, and always, it’s going to come down to content, content, content. Put out good content that adds value, and ultimately it will get found.

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