6 min read

Mastering the LinkedIn Algorithm for Optimal Exposure

Mastering the LinkedIn Algorithm for Optimal Exposure

Looking to expand your LinkedIn reach and engagement? Curious about the factors that influence the LinkedIn algorithm's evaluation and ranking of your content in users' feeds? 

Read on, jack.

Why LinkedIn Matters for Business

LinkedIn is more than just a job listing platform; it has evolved into a thriving business ecosystem. Right from its inception, LinkedIn has revolved around building meaningful connections.

Today, it serves as a hub where individuals network, make sales, identify leads, enhance their professional profiles, and introduce their enterprises to the global stage. It stands as the paramount social network for B2B marketers, B2B sales professionals, and thought leaders.

With over 1 billion users, LinkedIn's growth continues unabated, setting it apart from other social networks that have reached saturation points. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and others have all plateaued in terms of user growth. Conversely, LinkedIn keeps expanding its user base.

LinkedIn has adapted over time. Between 2017 and 2019, the platform was dominated by corporate content, coinciding with Microsoft's ownership and its focus on products like Sales Navigator. Yet, with the changing business landscape brought about by the pandemic, LinkedIn has transformed once more. Users have become more comfortable sharing personal content and narratives, fostering a shift towards storytelling on the platform.

This shift in content represents an opportunity for users to leverage LinkedIn. Individuals can achieve remarkable organic reach in a short period by focusing on personal storytelling rather than dry corporate messaging.

Moreover, LinkedIn stands out as a trusted platform. The content shared on LinkedIn is often substantiated with facts, statistics, or research. Surveys reveal that 87% of users perceive LinkedIn as a reliable source of information and connections, contrasting sharply with the trust levels of other social media platforms like Facebook, which hover at around 40%.

#1: Common LinkedIn Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

While LinkedIn offers immense potential, not every user manages to harness it for entrepreneurial success. Three recurrent mistakes hinder individuals from realizing their full potential on LinkedIn. If you find yourself making any of these mistakes, your reach on the platform is likely falling short.

Treating All Social Networks Uniformly

If you're replicating your content across LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms, it's time to reconsider your approach. LinkedIn operates on a distinct algorithm that prioritizes different signals, focusing on the quality of interactions rather than basic engagement metrics.

Crafting a tailored LinkedIn content strategy is essential. Read on to discover what this entails.

Relying on Corporate Content and Ads

Even if you create content specifically for LinkedIn, it may still sound overly robotic or corporate. If your content reads like it was generated by AI trained solely on financial reports, it can hinder your reach, engagement, and conversion efforts on the platform. Even large corporations, including LinkedIn's parent company, Microsoft, struggle with this issue.

To maximize your reach, you need to share authentic stories that reveal the human side of your brand. Rather than relying on corporate announcements, sales pitches, and lead magnets, invest your time in building genuine relationships with potential leads. The key to a successful LinkedIn content strategy is creative, authentic, and human-centered content.

Focusing on the Wrong Objectives

Understanding your objectives on LinkedIn is crucial. Pursuing the wrong key performance indicators (KPIs) can diminish views, engagement, and conversions over time.

Shift your focus from metrics like shares, reactions, and clicks to more relevant indicators such as comments and messages. In 2023, generating leads on LinkedIn has become exceedingly challenging. The platform's advertising has low conversion and lead generation rates, with only 2% of posts in the LinkedIn feed originating from organic company content.

Thus, leads should not be the primary goal of your marketing team. Instead, concentrate on brand awareness. Once your brand name, products, and values resonate with a broad audience, the sales team can initiate individual outreach to cultivate relationships and convert prospects into leads. Your marketing team must align its strategy with the LinkedIn algorithm, comprehending it and leveraging it to build brand awareness.

#2: Decoding the LinkedIn Algorithm

Organic reach on LinkedIn operates differently compared to other platforms. The algorithm places a premium on interaction—specifically, the value of individual comments, messages, and interactions.

This emphasis on interaction stems from LinkedIn's distinctive user profile, which segments its nearly 1 billion members into four categories:

Power Users: Comprising less than 1% of LinkedIn users, these individuals publish content on the platform at least once a month.

Content Creators: LinkedIn identifies users as content creators if they have posted at least once in the last three months. This group constitutes roughly 5% of users.

Content Ambassadors: Representing 15% of users, content ambassadors engage with your content by sharing, liking, or commenting, even if they do not post themselves.

Silent Community: This category encompasses the majority of users who scroll through the feed and consume content but refrain from active interaction. Converting them into engaged leads or followers necessitates consistent, long-term posting.

No other social network features this classification of users, making the silent community unique to LinkedIn. Consequently, LinkedIn's algorithm factors in this silent community's behavior, analyzing signals beyond post views and reach, including:

  • Dwell time
  • Early post performance
  • Negative engagement indicators
  • Internal and external links
  • Calls to action

Dwell Time

Dwell time is a critical metric on LinkedIn, measuring the duration a user spends engaging with your content or how long it remains on their screen. High dwell time signifies that users pause scrolling to read your post or watch your entire video.

LinkedIn's design, such as displaying only the initial lines of a post before adding a "See More" link, encourages users to engage further. You can enhance your LinkedIn performance by creating posts that demand more dwell time, such as longer, more detailed content.

Early Post Performance

When you publish a LinkedIn post, it undergoes a testing phase within the first 60-90 minutes. During this period, LinkedIn tests your post's performance and potential reach with a small subset of your network, typically around 7% of your total following.

These are individuals who consistently engage with your best content. The algorithm will expand its reach if these core users respond positively to your post. Conversely, if they exhibit disinterest, your post's reach will diminish.

Negative Engagement Signals

LinkedIn employs negative engagement signals to augment its data from the silent community. These signals indicate when users ignore or navigate away from your content, including actions such as pausing a video, unfollowing you, or removing themselves from a tagged post.

Negative signals may also encompass activities related to engagement pods or networks. LinkedIn's algorithm is adept at identifying artificial engagement schemes, even more so than those on other social networks, and utilizes them as signals to reduce your content's visibility in user feeds.

Internal and External Links

Sharing external links within LinkedIn posts can restrict your content's reach. Posts containing links—whether directing users to external websites or within LinkedIn itself—typically attain only about 50% of the standard reach.

This limitation arises from LinkedIn's reluctance to let users navigate away from the platform, as well as its intent to preserve the experience users seek: staying updated with their personal network.

Nonetheless, there are two strategies for sharing links on LinkedIn based on your post's goals:

Share the link directly: If your post aims for conversions, such as registering users for a webinar, go ahead and share the link directly. While your audience might be smaller, it's more valuable in terms of quality leads.

Share the link in the comments: If the link isn't indispensable, consider posting it in the comments section of your post. Direct your audience to the comments to find the link. Note that LinkedIn does not allow you to pin comments to the top of a post, so there's no guarantee that your link will remain the top comment.

Calls to Action

Caution is advised when incorporating calls to action (CTAs) in your LinkedIn posts. LinkedIn has implemented a policy that penalizes posts explicitly requesting engagement, including shares, likes, or specific comments. Such posts are demoted in users' feeds.

While this policy is not always foolproof (highly engaging posts can still succeed despite explicit CTAs), you can sidestep the issue by reframing your approach. Instead of traditional CTAs, focus on providing followers with a "call to think" or a "call to feel."

Encourage them to contemplate how an issue impacts their business or how they might address a problem. Prompt discussions on their feelings regarding news stories, industry changes, or economic challenges. While less direct than traditional CTAs, these prompts initiate conversations and establish your authority as a thought leader.

content business resources

#3: LinkedIn Algorithm on Personal Profiles vs. Company Pages

The LinkedIn algorithm operates similarly for both personal profiles and company pages, but there are nuanced distinctions.

For personal profiles, nurturing content during its early testing phase is advantageous. Respond promptly to comments on your posts, or even contribute additional comments to elaborate on your content. Such interactions convey positive signals to the algorithm and contribute to expanded reach.

Additionally, engaging with relevant content from other pages and profiles before and after your post's publication can bolster your standing with the algorithm. You increase the algorithm's favor by presenting yourself as an active, engaged user who amplifies dwell time.

However, this emphasis on engagement is less critical for company pages. These pages are inherently more static, and their content takes longer to gain traction.

#4: Crafting Content Tailored to the LinkedIn Algorithm

Understanding the LinkedIn algorithm is the foundation for creating content that resonates with it. To increase dwell time, foster quality interactions, and avoid corporate language, negative engagement, and direct CTAs, you can leverage six organic content types that consistently perform well on LinkedIn:

Personal Stories

Narratives from a personal perspective are highly favored on the platform. Audiences appreciate the genuine stories behind your brand, business, and journey.

Thought Leadership

Share expert insights and content to cultivate an audience that values your expertise. It's important to note that thought leadership content often garners passive engagement from the silent community. While likes and comments may be limited, consistent, high-quality posting will eventually yield conversions.


Discuss events you're attending, hosting, or speaking at. Promote events before, during, and after they occur. Each event can be a goldmine of content that benefits from additional engagement due to other attendees' involvement.

User-Generated Content (UGC)

UGC isn't exclusive to B2C brands on platforms like Instagram. Featuring content in which others discuss your brand, products, or services is a potent strategy. Share case studies, client testimonials, and interviews.

Third-Party Content

You need not create original content for every post. Becoming a content curator, particularly on your personal page, can build your image as an expert. For company pages, exercise caution to avoid sharing content from competitors.

Employee Advocacy

Sharing employee posts humanizes your brand and reflects your company's values. This is especially advantageous if you're recruiting in a competitive job market. A business showcasing content from satisfied, engaged employees gains a significant edge.

Incorporating these content types while aligning with the LinkedIn algorithm's principles will help you achieve optimal visibility and engagement on the platform.

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