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Building Your Lifeline on Inbound
Breaking into Strategic Accounts
1. How Does the Algorithm Work?
We’re not experts on the LinkedIn algorithm, but here’s the essential way we understand content works on LinkedIn:
- When you post, the algorithm serves your post up to a specific, smaller audience.
- If that smaller audience likes/engages/comments on the post, LinkedIn decides to publish it to a larger audience.
- If that larger audience also likes/engages/comments on the post, LinkedIn shows it to even a bigger audience, etc. etc.
- Hashtags are a way to expose your content to a larger audience that isn’t in your immediate network (1st degree connections) or to 2nd degree connections via someone who commented (you’ll see a post in your feed when a 1st degree connection comments on a post sometimes).
- Tagging is a way to leverage those 2nd degree connections too -- the feed will show when someone is tagged in another post.
There are very easy ways to abuse this (and LinkedIn is getting better at noticing this), including:
- Tagging a bunch of names in a post or a comment to try and fuel visibility
- Commenting multiple times on your own post (in our estimate, doesn’t seem to change visibility too much)
- Loading up on the hashtags (after a point, they don’t become useful if the algorithm decides not to promote your post to a larger audience)
Tagging a bunch of people may get visibility, but the people who you’re tagging will get really annoyed you continue to tag them in things! Would not recommend it, at all. If they don’t engage with the post, LinkedIn may “demote” your post and it won’t achieve the desired effect.
Videos vs. Text vs. Polls vs. Other Types of Content
There are also dynamics on the type of content you post:
- Text posts tend to get wider reach -- more people will see it in their feed -- but less engagement because people can scroll by more quickly.
- Video posts tend to get smaller reach -- fewer people will see it in their feed -- but more engagement because, well, it’s a video and people like to watch videos.
- Polls used to get explosive reach, but now they perform about the same as text posts. Polls can be useful for market research and provocative questions — but bewarned! Lots of users are turned off from polls.
- Posts with images seem to perform close to text posts.
- Posts with links (the embedded link preview) perform the worst. This is LinkedIn’s way to combat people “shotgunning” their blog across social media. Usually, a post with a link embed is not shown all that often in-feed and gets very little reach and engagement.
You can turn on an optional “Creator Mode” on your profile. This allows you to prioritize “follows” over “connects” as the option someone is served when they visit your profile. It also allows you to select up to 5 hashtags you focus your content on.
The pros of creator mode:
- When you post something that uses the same hashtags as your selected hashtags in your profile, you get a little visibility boost from the algorithm.
- Your followers/connections are slightly more likely to see your content compared to accounts that don’t have creator mode on.
The drawbacks of creator mode:
- If your content does not use the same hashtags as your selected hashtags in your profile, your content does not receive the boost.
- Your content tends to have a lower reach outside of your immediate followership. So, the comments & tags won’t fuel visibility as much to 2nd degree connections.’
2. Content 101: Start Posting
The thing about building muscle in the gym is it requires practice.
Weightlifting is called resistance training, right? There’s a lot of similarities with writing content. When you're writing content, you're going to feel resistance. You're going to feel that little voice that's like, “no, no, no, you can't post that!” Or, “That's not good enough!”
Push through that. You're just doing some reps here.
You're doing some reps and sets.
Create for your peers first.
Just to train that content muscle, talk about a recent call you had.
Tell stories about a recent interview.
Talk about something that happened in a previous job.
Write for your previous self. Teach them something you learned the hard way.
Make a joke about how difficult it is to get a prospect to respond.
Share a screencap (avoid sensitive info!) of a great email you sent.
You’ve been building relationships with your peers (remember that whole credibility challenge?). Tag them in! Ask them questions!
The point is not to get 20,000 likes on your first post. The point is to post.
It's to train that muscle. It's to do the reps, the sets of creating content. And then from that foundation there, we can accelerate this and make it much more focused.
Just start posting. This is Content 101.
When you’re ready to start making better content, jump into Content 201. 🤩