4 Tips for Dancing with the LinkedIn Algorithm

Stan O'Neill
July 12, 2023

Finding your social media tempo can feel like dancing with the devil. Even worse, you may find yourself offbeat from the algorithm’s bewildering footwork. There are many questions to consider as you find your groove. Who’s your audience? Where are they? What should your cadence be? What does cadence even mean? How many dog memes are too many dog memes?  

Social media can be time-consuming for a startup or midsized company with a limited budget and bigger fish to fry. To make matters worse, it constantly changes, whether specific algorithms or Meta unveiling its “Twitter Killer,” a rival platform named Threads. As a result, Engage PR perused some recent announcements from LinkedIn about changes to its algorithm and added tips from our own experiences helping clients. Hopefully, these findings can help you answer those pesky questions above. Now, let's put on our red shoes and dance the blues. But first, which platform should you prioritize?

Let the Bird Play Second Fiddle

Historically, Twitter has been beneficial for interacting with industry analysts and the media. However, this is changing amid the company’s new ownership, with some users fleeing to decentralized platforms like Mastodon. Still, reporters always appreciate when you read their article, and one tag and repost on Twitter can go a long way in building media relationships. However, we've found that LinkedIn yields the highest engagement for our B2B clients. The stats agree, with LinkedIn measuring a 42 percent annual increase in content since 2021, a 27 percent increase in content viewed by users and three new users joining every second. Before diving into the algorithm, let’s look at alternative content ideas to take your strategy beyond written posts.

Becoming a Multi-Instrumentalist

Aside from staying current on the algorithm, we’ve helped clients navigate LinkedIn and boost engagement by thinking outside the box. Is your ideal customer time-constrained and unlikely to read a long LinkedIn post? If so, would it be better to post short, pithy content, a LinkedIn Live or image-based content, like LinkedIn carousels? Carousels are becoming a phenomenon in LinkedIn, with stats showing standard written content results in 6.6 percent engagement on average, while carousels result in 24.42 percent engagement on average.  

However, we must remember that LinkedIn’s algorithm ultimately dictates engagement regardless of content type and can be quite fickle, meaning you must stay informed to maximize its value. Otherwise, it can become a barrier to your content efforts.  

Knowledge and Advice: Defining Harmony

LinkedIn’s recent announcement emphasized high-value knowledge and advice over virality and Facebook-esque personal posts. This reflects recent marketing trends emphasizing the value you can provide to a potential customer. So, LinkedIn defines value by knowledge and advice - but how does LinkedIn define knowledge and advice?

Play to your own crowd: To start, each post is evaluated on its relevance to a specific audience. So, once you define your audience, try to tailor your posts to the concerns, problems and stories that are relevant to them. The more relevant your post is to a specific group, the more the algorithm will push it to people outside your network.

Stick to your genre: Beyond evaluating your post, LinkedIn also evaluates whether you’re a qualified expert on your post’s content. So, align your content with what you can authoritatively speak about. For example, if you’re an expert on optical transport, don’t veer off into a post on cybersecurity – the algorithm will not be pleased.

Give back to your fans: Next, the algorithm expands the reach of posts that have meaningful comments from users with relevant professions. So, comments like “Great!” or “Agreed!” from faceless bots will no longer make the algorithm sing your praises. However, you should respond to comments on your posts with helpful responses. Interact with your audience – they'll do the same.

The world’s a stage: Finally, the algorithm prioritizes posts that follow a “share, opinion, advice” formula. Within this formula, the algorithm rewards distinct voices that let their personality shine through creativity. So, implement emotional resonance when possible. Be yourself and be human instead of canned. Sing from the heart!

Take Two: Balancing Composition with Performance

“The easiest way to avoid wrong notes is to never open your mouth and sing. What a mistake that would be.” — Pete Seeger, Folk Singer

We’ve heard clients bemoan social media’s ubiquity with sentiments like, “I know I need it, but I kind of hate it.” However, social media is still a low-cost marketing tool for amplifying visibility in an increasingly crowded digital business landscape. Like many PR strategies, social media is a long game that rewards consistency; overnight successes are scarce. We’ve had the most success growing clients’ followers by following a consistent cadence, typically a post per day and 4-5 days per work week.  

By emphasizing consistency and assisting in drafting content, we’ve helped clients spend less time belaboring over composition and more time sharing their insights with the world. This doesn’t mean you should be thoughtless – remember, you must provide value. It means avoiding paralysis in pursuit of that perfect chord and staying consistent instead. After all, it’s about staying power – nobody wants to be a one-hit wonder.


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