Using Social Media Algorithms to Your Advantage - LinkedIn (1 of 4)
Part 1 of 4 - How to Use LinkedIn's Algorithm to Your Advantage [Series]
Social media is an excellent tool to use as part of a business-to-business marketing strategy. However, these websites utilize different algorithms to prioritize and order the content that is displayed first. In order to make optimal use of your social media accounts for maximum reach and visibility, you have to understand what these algorithms focus on. In our first installment of our four-part series, we will focus on LinkedIn, the business-centric social media network.
How to Leverage LinkedIn
As a social network that focuses on professional relationships, LinkedIn is an excellent network for business growth and other networking activities. This is only made more effective by engaging in the correct practices where marketing is concerned.
Fitting to a social network, the first thing you will want to do to use LinkedIn to its full capability is to start a dialogue with your fellow users. If someone comments on one of your posts, respond to it and strike up a conversation in the comments section. This is especially helpful, because not only can your followers see and benefit from this exchange, but so can those who are following the commenter. If these third parties then join in and participate in the conversation as well, their followers can see it and join in, and so on and so forth.
It also doesn’t hurt to reference thought leaders and tag those who have a following as you discuss some facet of your industry as well. If their audience sees your post, you just aligned yourself with a significant force in the industry and established yourself as being on their level.
LinkedIn also possess a similar feature to Twitter’s hashtags and Facebook’s Trending Topics, in which particular topics are highlighted when a lot of members weigh in on them. These Trending Storylines, as they are called, give you the opportunity to provide your own take and gain some visibility for your company.
Finally, to make each of these steps more effective, you will want to have as many followers as you can. This way, your ideas and influence can spread to a wider audience and catch the eye of a much larger group of potential contacts.
Publishing an Article vs. Sharing an Update -- What’s the Difference?
While both can help you gain some traction with your audience, sharing an update is much different than publishing an article. An update serves a very similar function to a Facebook status update or a tweet--a message you post that is visible to your followers. An article, on the other hand, goes a little further.
When you publish a piece of content as an article, it moves on to LinkedIn Pulse, a content stream maintained by LinkedIn where articles are divided into channels, based on their topic. If you can get your content on one of these LinkedIn Pulse channels, you have the opportunity to share your expertise--and generate impressions--with an audience that is directly interested in what you have to offer.
This outlet has a few best practices it takes into consideration, so it is recommended that the content you submit for consideration meet these standards. First of all, LinkedIn Pulse follows some very basic Search Engine Optimization practices, so by including the right keywords, you may be able to attract the attention of the moderators and get your content featured. There is also a tendency for content with shorter titles to be featured more frequently than longer-titled content, so keep that in mind as well.
LinkedIn Pulse also allows you quite a bit of leeway in what you share. For instance, if you published some content elsewhere that performed quite well, you are able to share that on LinkedIn Pulse to expand its reach further. Furthermore, LinkedIn Pulse does not penalize you for reusing your content. Therefore, if you share a piece of content that underperforms, you are able to revise it and redistribute it--although we recommend that you wait a few months before sending it back out.
Finally, to get your content on LinkedIn Pulse, it never hurts to ask. The decision-makers at LinkedIn Pulse maintain a Twitter account, @LinkedInPulse, and a quick tweet to them with a polite request to feature some content has been known to do the trick.
Putting LinkedIn to Use
If you engage in your social media activities while keeping these practices in mind, you will be able to use LinkedIn’s algorithms to your advantage and benefit. Of course, if you have any questions or would like assistance with your social media strategy, we are always available to help you, so reach out and let’s talk.
Be sure to stay tuned for our next installment, where we’ll talk about how to take advantage of Twitter’s algorithm to accomplish your marketing goals.