Episode 146: The LinkedIn Algorithm, Revisited
Join The LinkedIn Whisperer Brynne Tillman as she teams up with special guest Gunnar Hood to discuss some of the significant changes in LinkedIn’s algorithm and how they could affect your social selling efforts on LinkedIn.
What they will be talking about in particular, is Richard van der Blom’s much-awaited algorithm report, where he examined over 9,500 posts from more than 200 different members from 30 different countries, not to mention over 1,100 hours devoted to the research!
Listen as Brynne and Gunnar breeze their way through 20 of Richard’s tips, based on the results of the report, that you can use to improve your own LinkedIn campaign.
Brynne Tillman 00:00
Hello everyone, I am Brynne Tillman and I am so excited to be here with Gunnar Hood today as we talk about Richard van der Blom’s algorithm report. This is something that every professional social selling trainer, LinkedIn trainer that we are on the edge waiting for right up into the point that he puts this out.
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Brynne Tillman 00:44
Here’s the thing, which I’m really excited about. Richard examined more than 9500 posts for this report with over 200 different members from 30 Different countries with over 1100 hours devoted to this research, and we’re gonna let you know about it but first, Gunnar, welcome to the show!
Gunnar Hood 01:05
Brynne, I am super excited to be here with you, because you know how I geek out about this report and so I appreciate the opportunity to talk with you about it.
Brynne Tillman 01:13
Oh, I’m so darn excited. It’s crazy. I have been diving deep into this for days now and we’re gonna rapid fire through 20 of his tips, and then wars but really quickly,
Gunnar Hood 01:30
I’ll read them off and you share your thoughts on what you found in the report. (Brynne: Perfect) All right, number one, more than one of a creators post and as many as four will appear in the home feed scroll.
Brynne Tillman 01:43
So excited about this, because what we thought was only your latest share would be in the home feed, meaning you share something and then six hours later or even the next day you share something else it would bury the first one from the news feed but now we’re seeing as many as four can show up. But there’s still a time limit that we’ll talk about in a little bit of when to share but regardless, if you have really good content that’s performing well, it could stay in that newsfeed for a long period of time.
Gunnar Hood 02:16
Awesome. LinkedIn gives more reach to those with a large follower base and heavily active posters.
Brynne Tillman 02:23
So I hate to say that this is a no brainer, right? Like this is something that you think makes ultimate sense. So obviously, the more followers you have, which is a combination of connections and followers, because if you have a connection, they’re automatically following you unless they choose to unfollow you.
Most people don’t realize you can be connected to someone and not follow them. However, that rarely happens, right? So if you’ve got, the more connections you have, the more reach you’re going to get and the more you post and engage, the more reach your content will get. There’s a huge change in this but you know, that’s given more credibility now than ever before.
Gunnar Hood 03:05
Yeah. If people are thinking, do I go out and connect with more people? This is a reason to go and do it because as you increase that follower base, you’re gonna get more visibility.
Brynne Tillman 03:14
Absolutely, absolutely. All right.
Gunnar Hood 03:18
Number three, those creator mode have seen an increase in reach and engagement between 15 and 25%, while non-content creators, which is pretty much 99% of LinkedIn users have seen a drop between 10 and 15%.
Brynne Tillman 03:35
I mean, this is a big deal, right? Because there’s a lot of people that debate, should I be in creator mode, should I be in the traditional mode, there are pros and cons for both but this alone, if you are sharing content, and you’re a creator, being in creator mode is absolutely essential. That gives you a push just simply for being in creator mode.
The one negative that I don’t see as a negative, but a lot of people do is it changes your connection button to a Follow button. So a lot of people say, well, I’m getting a lot less connection requests, but I am getting followers, right? So you can check every few days at your newest followers and connect with the ones that make sense. So I actually highly recommend if you’re sharing content, make sure you’re in creator mode.
Gunnar Hood 04:19
But we’ve also talked in the past that if you don’t yet have at least 1000 connections, you probably want to focus on that before you flip on creator mode, make sure they’re quality connections, and then the followers will help you eventually. (Brynne: Yeah, I love that) Number four, followers who engage on content will see the content more often and content creators who have many people ringing their bell have a higher engagement rate and reach.
Brynne Tillman 04:49
So this is a big deal, right, followers who engage on your content will continue to see your content. Now we need to build that right so let’s say I share a great piece of content. So Teddy shares this great piece of content and he’s like, “You know what, I have five clients out there that I think could get some real value from it.” When Teddy shares that content with his clients or his prospects, and they engage on that, the next time he posts, they’re much more likely to see it.
So a couple things in mind and there’s a whole strategy that we’re not going to get into today, but then I’m working on around this concept, which is get lots of people to engage on something that may have nothing to do at all with your business but has to just say something that they’re really, really interested in and then the next time when you share a resource that leads to your business, they’re likely to see it, but you’re inviting them to engage on something that has nothing necessarily to do with you.
So it’s around what they love. So keep that in mind, right? And invite people to ring your bell. I see some folks. So your bell is if you are connected to someone, there’s a little bell and you could be following them but you still have the bell, the once you ring the bell, every time they post, it will go into your notifications. It’s not like you have to wait to randomly see it in your homepage feed. We want people to ring your bell, but a lot of people don’t know about it. So if you’re a content creator and sharer, some people have ring my bell with an arrow in their banner, I have it in my headline, right? But you want to encourage people that are engaging with your content to have them ring your bell.
Gunnar Hood 06:41
Number five was a bit of a surprise that dwell time is less important and shorter posts and sliders are in favor, especially slides that have seven slides in them for a slider.
Brynne Tillman 06:54
Yeah, so I was absolutely shocked at the dwell time because when dwell time came out as being a real statistic, I thought it made the most amount of sense because we’ve got his lurkers lots of people that are not necessarily liking or engaging or they but and we have all these views but are they hanging out? Or are they just there for three seconds and keep moving? Right? So I loved the idea of dwell time, the fact that I don’t think it’s gone, but it’s lost its juice a little bit makes me a little sad.
However, there are a lot of things that could contribute to that, including and we’ll get into some other areas that created more dwell time, then maybe was warranted and we’ll talk about some of those but for this particular case, it’s saying your sliders, right, those PowerPoint sliders, those eBooks are if you have this a perfect number is seven slides. So if you do a lot of five tip things, right, so you have a cover page, five tips, and then a call to action page, we’ve got the seven pages that seems to get the best algorithm juice, I call them points but I don’t know. I made that up.
Gunnar Hood 08:15
So I mean, what I take out of this is that sliders are true indicators of engagement with a post compared to just you could have your LinkedIn page open and beyond a post and walk away. And that may be why dwell time is less important that you’re actively engaging with the slider by clicking on that forward or backward button.
Brynne Tillman 08:36
That’s a brilliant observation. I love that. There are a couple other things too in here that I find interesting, but that is a big one. That’s good. All right, where are we? Number six.
Gunnar Hood 08:45
90 minutes is the new deciding factor.
Brynne Tillman 08:49
So years ago, we all told everybody “engagement in the first hour,” and then Richard’s last report was two hours but now it’s 90 minutes to get comments and reactions. And by the way, asking people to react by, instead of just thumbs up by using other emojis like the curious guy or the insights button supposedly gets more points. So just doing good. So think about if you want to do a favor to someone you’re sharing content with do more than just a thumbs up.
Gunnar Hood 09:26
And I will add on to this one. And that is you actually even get more value by making sure you ask people to comment, not just react on it, that boost your visibility far more than just pure reactions.
Brynne Tillman 09:40
I love that before we go to the next one. If you go to socialsaleslink.com/algo It’s going to redirect you to Richard’s post so you can look at the entire eBook. Read the entire report. It’s crazy amazing. So that’s just a redirect socialsaleslink.com/algo alright, what’s number seven?
Gunnar Hood 10:00
Number seven, new connections in the last two weeks.
Brynne Tillman 10:04
So I ever thought of this and the importance around this but all of a sudden sharing content around, like, if you’re let’s say you’re doing outreach to people in a specific industry, they’re going to– those people, I would start to kind of lump campaigns together, even though we have lots of ways to connect in the warm market space. But now, what it’s telling us is that the newest connections in the last two weeks are more likely to see your content.
So if we block out the industries that we’re writing to, and then for two weeks, we’re connecting with those people and sharing content relevant to those people, we are going to start to really attract them to us and they’re going to immediately see the value that we bring to them specifically to that industry. So that’s my takeaway from that. Anything exciting you took?
Gunnar Hood 11:01
I totally agree with this. Kind of batch processing concept. You know, think about your prospecting efforts and let’s make sure for the next two weeks, this is what I’m going after, and have content ready, that you’re gonna start posting so that those new connections are seeing it and you stay in their feed, so everything you said.
Brynne Tillman 11:19
Love that. love that, love that!
Gunnar Hood 11:21
Number 8, liking their post increases the chances of you seeing their next post by 30%.
Brynne Tillman 11:28
Yeah, so this is, you know, we want to go and ring their bell, but if we engage with them, and I’m assuming commenting will as well. Oh, no, that’s different. That’s our number nine, I’m jumping ahead. But liking this 30%, right. So when you go to ring someone’s Bell, because you want to stay in front of them, make sure that you are also liking their posts, so that you’ll see that now you’re ringing their bells, so you’re likely to see it but let’s say it’s someone you’re on the fence, I don’t want to see it necessarily everything all the time and my notifications, simply by engaging with their stuff, you’re likely to see it in your newsfeed.
Gunnar Hood 12:07
And like you said, on top of that, commenting is number nine and that increases visibility by 70 to 80%, that you’ll see their next post.
Brynne Tillman 12:18
So there’s two things that I take away from both of these, right? Yes, we want to engage so we see their stuff but we definitely want to encourage engagement, right? Because we want to reach out. So if we have a post, and I want to be on Gunnar Hood’s radar when I post something, and I ask a Gunnar, you know, as a digital Master, you know, I’d love your insights in comments here that’s very specific to his expertise and I get those comments, right, then Gunnar is about 70 to 80% likely to see my next piece of content, if I’m understanding this research right. It’s not just I need to go out, which you do, because engagement is critical but not just that I’m going out to like and comment, but asking for the perspective of your prospects on your content.
Again, make sure that you’ve got this one, two punch, right, I hate to use that term, actually, but I used it anyway. So you are sharing first a piece of content that will completely highlight their expertise. And the next piece of content will be a resource that can help them solve a problem leading to your solution. So you want to make sure that you have this combination now and I think that’s my biggest takeaway from this whole report is making sure we have this combination that’s driving the right people to see the right stuff at the right time.
Gunnar Hood 13:52
One thing I’ll add on to that is often when I’m sitting in front of groups of people talking about LinkedIn, they share with me. I just see so much garbage in my newsfeed. Well, what we’re sharing with you right now are great tips on how to reshape what shows up in your newsfeed so you have greater control over what that is versus just random, right?
Number 10 now, that is, sending a direct message increases the chances of them seeing your next post by 85%.
Brynne Tillman 14:22
This, to me Gunnar is unbelievable. So our favorite things to talk about. I’m definitely one of my favorite things to do is sending a video message from mobile to your 1st-degree connections, just something quick with value, it gets them connected, but that is now a DM whether it’s a video or text, they don’t think it matters. And now they’re likely to see your content.
So let’s say we decide this week we’re going to focus on getting a message in front of sales trainers. Okay, so now I’m going to reach out and send a direct message to all my 1st-degree sales trainers, something that’s valuable to them, that’s meaningful to them. Even if it’s just a personal, you know, “It’s been a few months since we last spoke, and I just want to drop in and say hello, if you have any questions or you want to reconnect, let me know, I’m always happy to chat.” something as simple as that, they will now start to see your content, right.
And so this is where like, it’s like this dual approach is, again, the biggest thing I’m learning from this new algorithm is you need to have your strategy around two things now, not just one because one thing affects the next. So we need to make sure that when we are coming up with a new content strategy that we’re thinking in twins versus, you know, single content.
Gunnar Hood 15:51
It just goes to the point that LinkedIn wants to reward people for conversation. And so all of the actions that you know, that you’ve just described, are there to help stimulate conversation and when you do that, you get rewarded or you see more, or they see more of your content too. (Brynne: The next one, I love) alright, number 11. Saving a post helps the author and prioritizes them in your feed.
Brynne Tillman 16:16
So I love this. And most people don’t even realize you can do this but on any piece of content, if you click on the three dots, you can save the post, it goes into like your bookmarks. And so you can go back to see it later, I save polls that I– I save content from people that I might want to engage with later. So if you ultimately are looking to engage with an author now, or maybe in two or three days, the way Gunnar shares something. Gunnar attracts lots of the same people that I want to engage with, I save his posts, I react and comment and then I may want to come back in three days to see who else is engaging, even though I’ll get some notifications around it but then I can go back and consciously engage with other people that are engaging. That is good for me. LinkedIn says, “Wow, she’s really taking this content seriously.” And it’s great for Gunnar, because his content was saved. They’re like, “wow, his stuff is really valuable.” So that’s a win win on that.
Gunnar Hood 17:20
And the save button is just beautiful because things move so quickly, sometimes in the feed that it’s hard to go back and find them but it’s easy when you just hit the Save button. And now we know it helps people to. Number 12, LinkedIn is prioritizing the content you are consuming. Example video, sliders, polls, and so know the kind of content your prospects are consuming, know what kind of content your prospects are consuming.
Brynne Tillman 17:47
Yeah. So you know, it’s all of the study that yes, sliders with seven pages are doing really well. Knowing you know where video is falling in even more importantly, is knowing what type of content your prospects consumed? Do they like the sliders? Do they like video? So how do you know this? Just go into their activity and look at what they’re engaging in and make sure that you are creating content that is very typical of the kinds of content that they engage in. Yeah, that’s a pretty good one.
Gunnar Hood 18:20
So number 13, strays a little bit out of just the free version and it says that content based on your Sales Navigator saved leads is prioritized.
Brynne Tillman 18:29
Yeah. And if you have Sales Navigator, I would not be spending any time really on your linkedin.com homepage or feed because sales navigators feed is magic, even with all the filters, but you will see more of that.
Gunnar Hood 18:47
I like Teddy’s coming. So he says, “I Call it (referring to the last point) I call that “social snooping” to understand. I think you call it social listening, but it’s not social snooping, it’s kind of fun.
Brynne Tillman 18:57
Yeah, that’s right. I call that social listening. I’ve got other 300 milliseconds equals one view. What’s a flash? I don’t know if that’s true. It used to be three seconds, but I don’t know. I have to read the Well, that’s a very specific. Alright, let’s keep going.
Gunnar Hood 19:15
All right. Number 14. If you endorse or recommend a connection, you will see more of their content.
Brynne Tillman 19:22
Yeah, so this just makes sense, right? But be careful with endorsing. I get actually annoyed if someone endorses me for something they haven’t experienced. So and I’ll actually on occasion, I’ve hid that or, you know, but make sure if you’re endorsing someone, you’ve experienced it. Now, If they’re a content producer, you’re engaging in their content and you endorse them for content that’s totally authentic but don’t recommend or endorse someone simply for the algorithm, make sure that it’s authentic.
Gunnar Hood 20:00
Number 15, the frequency of posts, 18 hours versus eight hours, but engaging in other people’s content is not a detriment.
Brynne Tillman 20:09
Well, so I’ve, we’ve been teaching eight hours, right, six or eight hours we’ve been teaching for the last year. That means if you post something, if you post something within the next six or eight hours, the first piece gets buried. Well, that has now gone to 18 hours. So I’m gonna start teaching 24 hours, don’t share more than one piece of content within 24 hours but you could go ahead and engage with hundreds of people’s content and that will not hurt your post only if you repost their content.
Gunnar Hood 20:45
So a lot of people ask questions about this, “I don’t understand why is that, you know, because other channels want you to post a lot.” And that is because LinkedIn is really focused on trying to drive conversation. So if you have a post that’s engaging people, you’re getting conversation, and then you post something else. Now you’ve confused and going which topic is more important. So if you’re getting good engagement on that post, let it run, keep it going before you think about posting something else. (Brynne: Fabulous)
Number 16. Respond quickly to all comments and post a new comment on your post in 24 hours.
Brynne Tillman 21:19
Yeah, so this is interesting, because a lot of people will post and then comment. Now I have edited posts right away because I have a spelling error. Or you know I do something. So now I’m thinking make sure you write your post in a Word doc or a Google doc right? So and then get it right. And then before you actually hit the you know, copy and paste it and hit the share button. And don’t comment on your own post first. And this is something so many people do. Like this is a big thing.
So we want to make sure that other people are engaging first, you engage with them. Once that’s happened, you can go back and put in a comment but it’s also saying come back and revive it in 24 hours by putting in another comment and I’m curious if commenting on other people’s comments in 24 hours counts, or if it’s a comment on its own but either way, I think it is a great opportunity, (Gunnar: It’d be a great question you can ask Richard, when you talk to him) I will. That’s a great idea.
Gunnar Hood 22:26
All right, number 17. And you kind of touched on this earlier, and that’s inviting people to ring your bell.
Brynne Tillman 22:31
Absolutely! When people engage with you, and you connect with them, you can say, you know, “Hey, I’m gonna go ring your bell. So I can see your content. If you like my content, please ring my bell as well.”
Gunnar Hood 22:41
Right, number 18. And this is in addition to what we said in number 16 and that’s “Don’t edit your posts in the first 10 minutes and don’t be the first to comment on your own post.” So I mean, we kind of covered all of those. So we can just go to 19 then which is no more than 10, hashtags, 10 emojis, two consecutive blank lines are less than four lines.
Brynne Tillman 23:02
All of this is interesting, because I do a lot that’s less than four lines. So they definitely want to see more. So even though dwell time is down, the See More button is up. So you want it to be more than four lines. So they click through, it used to be five hashtags. They’re saying no more than 10 now, the first three are still the most important, because many times it becomes part of the name in the URL are those hashtags. So eventually, when Google is indexing our posts, which I hear is coming, the first three hashtags still matter.
Gunnar Hood 23:35
So I think they’re just trying to say formatting and other things do make a difference and don’t try and make it look too junky.
Brynne Tillman 23:43
Absolutely. So that’s great. So what is next?
Gunnar Hood 23:48
Number 20. After you publish, engage on three or more of your network’s posts.
Brynne Tillman 23:53
I think this one is so interesting. And the reason is, you know, you put out content, and then immediately go engage with other people’s content. This is helping your content get seen. I don’t think I’ve ever consciously done this.
I’m sure I separate my engagement time with my posting time. It’s two things in a play, two strategies in a play. (Gunnar: two scenes) Yeah, Oh, I’m thinking, baseball play. It’s a double play. It’s a double play. That’s it.
Gunnar Hood 24:30
And the last one is your tip. It is quality, or quantity.
Brynne Tillman 24:36
You know, at the end of the day, this is the most important thing is that your content is important and engaging to your audience. By far that’s going to matter more than anything else is that you’ve got great content that isn’t leading with your solution. It’s not a pitch but it’s leading to your solution.
Gunnar Hood 24:58
So you’re saying that you don’t have to understand all the details of the algorithm. If you just focus on quality, it’ll take care of itself.
Brynne Tillman 25:07
Oh, no, it’s a combination but you have to, don’t get known for putting out garbage, right like on it, you can still create that they see it but then if they don’t engage on it, or they start to think that you’re irrelevant, they’ll start missing your stuff. So and not caring about your stuff, right? We want them to care. Double play, that’s it. I think Gunnar said it, double play. The end of the day, guys, though the key is put out good content, and then follow the algorithm rules.
And my last piece, that double play almost everything we do, needs to have a two step strategy. That’s the new algorithm. That’s my big takeaway. be known for being a trusted resource relevant to your business, but not all about your business. Yep, that’s it.
Gunnar Hood, how much do I love hanging out with you, you are like, incredible. I learned from you all the time. And I love having you in our group coaching. So if any of you are interested, we’ve got group coaching, where Gunnar is almost always there helping out, just go to socialsaleslink.com/membership and make sure when you go to engage on Richard’s ebook on his report, tag us in in the comments and we’ll engage with you.
Gunnar Hood 26:36
Well it’s been an absolute blast and thrilled Brynne, I appreciate you inviting me in to talk about this and so much out of it.
Brynne Tillman 26:44
Yeah, so when you guys are out and about don’t forget to make your sales
Bob Woods 26:49
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