Did you know that when you post on LinkedIn, your post only gets circulated to about one third of your audience? It’s all to do with the LinkedIn algorithm.
Does the word ‘algorithm’ fill you with dread? Does it make you go all hot and cold and bring you out in a spin?
To be honest, when I started posting regularly on LinkedIn, I hated the phrase ‘LinkedIn algorithm’. I avoided it as much as possible thinking it was something only really techy folk worried about.
It wasn’t long before I realised that the algorithm isn’t complicated at all. It’s just a computer programme which affects how posts appear in other people’s feeds.
I don’t have to write an algorithm, I don’t have to look at one, all I have to do is understand what it does then I can make it work for me.
I mean, do you know how a washing machine works? I mean the workings, how the spin speed is determined or how it knows when to put the detergent in?
Me neither – but I do know that if I put wool clothes in a 60 degree wash, they’ll come out the right size for my gecko, or that if I put too many clothes in one wash they won’t get washed properly.
If you think about the algorithm like a washing machine, you’ll be able to work it to your advantage.
So, if it is a pre-written computer programme, how do we get it to work to our advantage?
As I mentioned above, when you first post, your post gets circulated to about a third of your followers. If it gets engagement (i.e. ‘likes’, shares and comments), it get pushed out to more people – and so on. This is why you can find you’re getting comments on your posts days, even weeks, after you’ve posted them.
Really Sarah? Days and weeks after posting and my post can still be ‘live’ in peoples’ feeds? YES! If it’s a good quality post, performing well on LinkedIn, the algorithm will favour it, and help it get more reach.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD QUALITY POST?
Here are a few tips to help you :
1) WRITE CONTENT WHICH IS RELEVANT TO YOUR INDUSTRY
If you’re a florist, for example, don’t suddenly write a post about your thoughts on the political situation in a different country. The algorithm ‘sweeps’ posts for key words and if it finds a load of ‘unusual’ words, it won’t promote the post.
It’s a bit like putting that black sock in with your hot whites – it ruins the whole wash.
2) USE KEYWORDS
As per above, the opposite will happen. Keep your whites with your whites and you’ll be cushty.
3) USE CORRECT GRAMMAR TO WRITE HIGH QUALITY POSTS
If you use a low quality detergent, your clothes won’t be as clean as if you use a better one! Poor content will be spotted by the algorithm and won’t get pushed into other user’s feeds.
4) BE CONSISTENT
Now I know some of you save up all your washing and do it in one go when you’ve run out of clean socks. This is fairly tough on your poor machine.
I’m afraid the algorithm doesn’t like to be ignored for long periods of time either. It prefers you to post consistently rather than ‘batch posting’ all in one go.
It’s better to post once a week, every week, than 4 times one week and then not post for 2 weeks.
5) LISTEN TO YOUR AUDIENCE
If you spend time reading your audience’s post, you’ll get a better idea of what they want so you’ll know what content you should post to attract them.
Ok, so who doesn’t read the instructions on their washing machine and ends up using one, maybe 2 programmes all the time? If you spend time seeing what that machine has to offer, you could use different programmes for different clothes and your clothes may last longer!
6) TALK TO YOUR AUDIENCE
No one likes someone who just talks and talks at them. If you spend time liking and (more importantly), commenting on other people’s posts, they’re more likely to do the same to yours.
Ok, the washing machine analogy fails me here but I think I did pretty well don’t you?
So, don’t be frightened of the algorithm, embrace it. What it wants you to do is be a pro on your social media so follow these tips and keep your reputation as clean as your washing!
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