How to boost your engagement and visibility on LinkedIn
Did you know that when you post can have a significant impact on how well your post performs on LinkedIn? Also, the speed at which your followers react, and how they react to your post will determine how far and wide your post will go on the platform.
Even though LinkedIn has been around for almost 20 years, many still struggle with identifying what works and what doesn’t, and how to leverage the platform for their benefit, including building clout and influence.
Understanding LinkedIn’s 2021 algorithm which relies on relevance, credibility and connections, as well as adhering to best practice, such as in timing and content of a post, impact how much you will be able to get out of LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a professional network, and most people work from 9 to 5, so choosing the perfect timing to make a post is key. If you are posting in the middle of the night when most of your network is asleep, chances are high that you will be receiving limited to no engagement, no matter how great your content is.
According to various research the best time to post is from Tuesday to Thursday, between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Engagement levels tend to dip in the afternoon and then drop to an even lower level outside of working hours. Avoid Mondays and Fridays as the start and the end of the work week are often used for catching up or closing off business with less time spent on LinkedIn.
If you are targeting the Middle East, such as here in Dubai, where the work week runs from Sunday to Thursday follow the same pattern and focus on Monday to Wednesday.
Nevertheless, some may find their post more successful during off-peak times that are less crowded with similar posts from their industry.
Tip: You may want to run some tests, especially when you are targeting a global audience (think time zones), to see what timing ultimately works best.
Do post – but don't overdo it
Maintaining a consistent posting process is important on LinkedIn - but posting too much can hurt your presence.
Research has found that people who post more than 50 times a month on LinkedIn see an average of 26 engagements per post, while those who post between 30 to 50 times a month see an average of 56 engagements, and those who post less than 30 times see even more engagement.
This means posting 2-3 times a week will most likely give you optimal engagement.
But: In order for this to hold true, the content needs to be relevant. Posting just for the sake of posting can in fact hurt your engagement and work against you. The LinkedIn algorithm will punish content that it classifies as low-quality. Content that falls under this classification will not be shown as widely to the network and therefore limits the chance of your post being even seen. Therefore, do your due diligence before posting away.
Tip: Focus more on quality rather than the number of your posts. Also monitor engagement, not just views.
Focus on relevant content
LinkedIn posts tend to be a bit longer than on other social media channels as the audience is more willing to read good content.
Focusing on professional and industry developments also tend to see the best results. Nevertheless, content will come down to your own branding and how you want yourself and your organization to be seen, as well as whom you are targeting.
You will also want to think about optimizing your content to suit your ideal audience while keeping it relevant for everyone else. LinkedIn’s algorithm values high-quality content and will honor your posts if they score well amongst your followers.
Hashtags also help categorize content and highlight relevant content to other users. Always keep readability in mind when adding hashtags, therefore focus on key ones only. Quality is more important than quantity. Also refrain from adding irrelevant hashtags just because they are trending.
Tip: Before posting always ask yourself why is this content so relevant that it should be posted on LinkedIn? Is it important to your followers? If the answer is not obvious, you may want to reconsider.
Scoring through engagement
The first 60 minutes after posting content are the most crucial part of your content’s success. If no one reacts to your posts within that first hour of posting, chances are it won’t perform well and will not be pushed by the algorithm.
Once a post is shown, different viewer actions have different weights per the algorithm. Think of a comment having more weight than a 'like'. Depending on the engagement level, LinkedIn’s algorithm develops a score which decides if a post will be promoted and shown to more profiles as it is considered high quality – or if it will not. This ultimately decides if your post will fly high or disappear unseen.
Tip: If you want to maximize your reach, respond to every comment on your post. And if you are sharing someone’s quote or interview, give them credit by tagging them.
What else can you do?
While this is by far not an exhaustive list, there are a few more things you can do. Most importantly, make sure your personal and/or business profile are up to date and set to 'visible' for the general public.
Well-written profiles with relevant key words will not only get you seen on LinkedIn but will also help your visibility outside of the platform – think Google search results.
On top of that, consider the following:
Join LinkedIn groups, or host your own.
Give and receive recommendations.
Join conversations and be active on the network.
Promote your LinkedIn profiles and company pages on your website and in other areas.
Give to get: Share other users' posts. They will likely share yours too.
LinkedIn is about building relationships and making new contacts – so do not be too sales-focused when interacting.
Be strategic in whom you mention in posts. But do not over-mention the same names.
Engagement is key on LinkedIn and it comes down to every one of us to do our part. Responding to posts, re-posting and creating your own content help foster engagement. That not only makes you visible and builds your influence but also helps identify high quality content that we are all interested in seeing on LinkedIn.