Episode 210: LinkedIn’s Algorithm Changes… Again!
Are you struggling to keep up with the latest changes in the LinkedIn algorithm and feeling overwhelmed? You’re not alone. Luckily, our friend Richard van der Bloom has done the research for you!
In this live podcast recording, we break down his updated report and answer all your burning questions. Does ringing the bell actually make a difference? Are Facebook-style posts still effective? How long should your posts be? Tune in to find out. And if you want the full report, just visit socialsaleslink.com/algo. Don’t miss out on this valuable information – listen now!
Bob Woods 00:00
Good morning, afternoon, or evening and welcome sales and marketing fans, aficionados, and admirers. And whatever else you want to say to Making Sales Social Live, brought to you by Social Sales Link. I’m Bob Woods, the LinkedIn Sherpa, and I’m joined as always by fellow LinkedIn and social selling professionals, A.K.A the LinkedIn Whisperer, Brynne Tillman. How are you doing?
Brynne Tillman 00:22
I’m great, Bob. How are you?
Bob Woods 00:24
I am doing well. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
Welcome to Making Sales Social Live, as we share LinkedIn and Social Selling Training Strategies and Tips that will have an immediate impact on your business. Join Brynne Tillman, and me, Bob Woods, every week, Making Sales Social Live! This is the recorded version of our weekly Making Sales Social Live Show.
Bob Woods 00:53
So let’s get right into things because so many people out there have so many questions about the LinkedIn algorithm. And guess what we do too, So I mean, questions like does ringing the bell, which we’ll explain what that is, in a second really have an impact on who sees your content? Also, do those Facebook-style posts that are like fingers or fingernails on a blackboard dummies still work? And how long do your posts have to be all of that, and much, much more?
Well, our friend Richard van der Bloom, recently came out with an update to his always excellent research on the LinkedIn algorithm. So we’re gonna highlight some of the things in the updated report today. But if you want his full report, just go to socialsaleslink.com/algo,that will just redirect you to his post that has the report attached to it. And we can’t give you the URL to the post itself, because it’s got a bunch of numbers, and it’s just impossible to follow. So socialsaleslink.com/algo.
Yeah. live right now. And you can see it’s actually at the bottom of your screen in the bottom left of your screen there. So let’s just get right into the details of the report. So the first thing that I want to highlight is “Notifications” And when I say this, it’s like the number of notifications that you are actually receiving are down, according to Richard, so we don’t have a lot of details on this. But generally speaking, LinkedIn is sending fewer notification alerts to avoid overwhelming you. And I don’t know if you’re like me and Brynne. But we get a lot of notifications. And we I mean, I’ve noticed a drop Have you, Brynne?
Brynne Tillman 02:53
I have Notifications. But you know, the other thing outside of this report is they broke out new jobs’ birthdays like celebrations to be under the “Networking tab.” I think people were really overwhelmed by the number of notifications that were coming in. I, however, think they handled it wrong. So we’ll ring the bell that says something you mentioned.
But essentially, I believe that if you want us to leverage LinkedIn appropriately for us, we should be able to decide who and what we want to see content from. And one of the reasons I fell in love with ringing the bell, let’s start there, is because I wouldn’t be able to control the content I’m seeing. But talk to us a little bit about what Richard discovered about.
Bob Woods 03:48
Yes, so that actually gets back a little bit to apply. Let me just touch on Really, Really, Really Briefly. So LinkedIn says it’s only going to focus on the best notifications. Unfortunately, we don’t know what criteria LinkedIn is even using to determine what is the best. So that rolls into what Brynn was saying, and what I was gonna say next about the whole ring, the bell concept, which if you don’t know what this is, you can go to someone’s profile. And then and in the upper box section that has all the details and their info and everything else.
There’s a little bell symbol on the upper right just below their banner that you can click on and ring their bell. What was promised, when this all started was that when you ring someone’s Bell, their content would then start appearing in your notifications when they published and you would get notified. However, Richard has found that only 60% of posts that should be alerted to what LinkedIn promised us originally only 60% are now actually getting notifications, which I’m not saying that they’re breaking their line.
But they’re definitely. There’s some shenanigans going on with this that I don’t necessarily like. Now, there is one thing and I don’t know if you’ve seen this Brendon, I don’t know if this is a slow rollout or if everyone has access to this at once. So on the desktop, when you ring the bell, it’s an all-or-nothing thing. When you ring the bell on mobile, you get the opportunity to select. Yeah I’ve got the screengrab here. I just need to bring it up on my phone. Yeah, So either all the posts. Why is this not working for all posts or top posts? So, you know again, if you are.
Brynne Tillman 05:46
How they determine that.
Bob Woods 05:49
Yeah, exactly. How are they determining what a top post is? I mean, there’s just you’re trying to take control of the content that you’re seeing. And LinkedIn isn’t really letting you do that. And unfortunately, I wish we had a solution. Richard Richard does suggest something that I’m really crazy about?
Brynne Tillman 06:10
Well, it’s what we used to teach.
Bob Woods 05:49
No. Yeah. Yeah, it’s what we used to teach. So yeah. Yes. Why don’t you describe that really quick brain about how people can do this?
Brynne Tillman 06:21
Yeah. So this was we, before we rang the bell, we used to teach, create a folder in your bookmarks under people that you want to engage with, then what you do is you go to their profile, you click on activity, and you click on posts, and you’ll notice it has its own URL at the top that is unique. So if I wanted to follow Richards posts, I would go to Richard’s profile, activity posts, and then at the top, then I would then click on the star if I’m in Chrome or edge, and then name the bookmark as Richard VDB is how I would write right, so Richard VDB posts.
And then I would have a bookmark that had maybe 50 or 60 people that I wanted to stay in front of, and because I didn’t just bookmark the profile, but the actual link where the posts were, I could quickly open those up and take a look at those posts. Now, here’s one of the negatives. If you do that in bookmarks, and you open up more than 10 at a time, LinkedIn thinks it’s automated suspicious activity. So you have to be careful that you’re not bookmarking a tonne, and then go into bookmarks and say Open All right, because right, get yourself into a little bit of trouble. That’s one of the reasons I loved the opportunity to ring a bell.
Bob Woods 07:58
Yeah. And I mean, yeah, so and then the other disadvantage is obviously, the way it was supposed to work. When you rang the bell, and someone published new content, it would appear automatically, the way that we’re telling you to do it with the bookmarks, you have to check all the time, because you’re not gonna get alerted to that. So that’s another disadvantage. I mean, this is what we’ve just suggested is definitely a workaround. It’s not a great workaround, but it’s like the only workaround that’s there. So, Tip that.
Brynne Tillman 08:28
I can think of right now.
Bob Woods 08:30
Right? Yeah, Exactly. I mean, and that’s without getting into scripting, or you know, anything like that, that might break LinkedIn, Terms of Service, or whatever. So, you know, we just deal with it the best we can. And we bring you these details when we know about them, and hopefully give you some strategies to get around that to the best that we can. But you know, sometimes it is what it is.
So now there is also as soon as I bring it up, we used to say that that first couple of hours to the first day of when you post is the most important time to like do engagement and things like that. So nowadays it seems like there’s less of an emphasis on immediate distribution, it’s still there, don’t get us wrong. But now there’s a bit more of a long tail effect there if you don’t mind me using an OG internet term there.
So in the past, posts would be like 70% of us would come on the first day, 20% on the second day, and 5% on the third day. Their research now shows that the first day is now down to 55% views. The second day had up to 30% views. And the third day is even up a little bit to 10% views which I have noticed in my own posts too. It seems like there are now more people than before coming in on those second days. So that huge rush that you needed to before. It’s still there. It’s just not as important as it used to be.
Brynne Tillman 10:07
Correct. That’s exactly right. And I don’t want everyone out there thinking that this change in algorithm is going to have a huge impact on social selling, Right? There are some folks that are out there that live and die by algorithm influencers, people that they post, and they get hundreds, if not 1000s of views because they’ve built their world around the algorithm. We love the algorithm and understanding it.
But recognise unless you’re a huge influencer, the algorithm is less important than your outbound. So for example, from a social selling perspective, let’s say, you know, we want to leverage a piece of content to start conversations. So yes, we care. We get it out there, we want people to see it, but there’s a little paper airplane we’re almost everything I do. I sent a message. And you can send up to 50 people blind copies, asking for engagement in one way or another, mostly asking for their perspective.
Not really, “Hey, can you like and comment,” but you know, Bob, as a social media guru, or Sherpa.I’m wondering if you would be open to sharing your perspective and comments, I think it would be very, very valuable for my network. I can’t say Bob, right around this, if I’m blind copying 50 people, but I can say as a valued marketer, in my network, I would love your perspective on this, because I think it could bring great value to the readers.
And then you can pick 50 people, and in under two minutes, we can get it in front of them. Now when they start engaging, I don’t care what the algorithm looks like, that matters significantly more than whatever the organic algorithm may be. Yep. Would you agree with that?
Bob Woods 12:03
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, so. So what I just mentioned does obviously apply to the organic type of thing. So in other words, if you’re on Twitter or TikTok, think of what I just said, is more along the lines of being in the for you section. And but what, but what Brynne just mentioned, obviously, as, as social sellers is definitely what we want to do, we need to be proactive with our content. So absolutely 100%.
Brynne Tillman 12:32
I just wanted to share that.
Bob Woods 12:33
That was hugely important. So um, the next two things are actually really brief ones. So we’re going to hit these really quick, shorter text posts are now starting to get more impact, because dwell time, and the impact of that on the algorithm is actually decreasing. So if you’re like Bing, once upon a time, I felt like that I purposely had to write long because of the dwell time. So now you don’t need to do that nearly as much, because from what Richard’s research says, “Those shorter posts are now holding their own against the longer ones in terms of the algorithms.” So that’s good news, I think.
Brynne Tillman 13:17
Yeah, yes, And.
Bob Woods 13:18
Brynne Tillman 13:17
Yeah, so it’s good news. For those of us that don’t want to write a lot. But the idea of dwell time I love the more people hang out here. I like that you don’t have to have a tonne of stuff.
Bob Woods 13:37
Right? Yeah. You don’t need the tonne of copy you, right, no matter how short it is, you still need to provide value, you still need to provide insight, you still need to provide thought leadership, you just don’t need to worry about hitting 15 to 1800 characters in it.
Brynne Tillman 13:53
And fillers, Right.
Bob Woods 13:54
Yeah. And filler to Yeah, absolutely, you can make your point in a shorter amount of characters and spaces and still have impact. And I think that that’s probably the big takeaway here. Because, you know, impact usually happens in a shorter amount of text anyhow, to start with, and then dwell time will end up happening if you start getting comments and things like that people are gonna start reading those, and that kind of takes care of itself.
Brynne Tillman 14:20
Yeah, but I don’t know how much dwell time has been affected. So yeah. Like, does the See More button give you an algorithm? Right?
Bob Woods 14:30
Yeah. All of that. I believe he hasn’t contradicted it. And that has shown up in previous research that hitting more does increase dwell time. I’m guessing that dwell time hasn’t gone away, just from what I’m reading into the report here. It’s just it’s not as important as it used to be. If the value is there. That’s what I kind of take away from it.
Brynne Tillman 14:53
I love that. So one of the things that I read and I don’t know if it’s in that report, or in a more recent post that Richard put out because I was doing my research for this.
Bob Woods 15:04
Yeah, yeah. A little bit. I read a little bit of it, but I’m gonna let you take the lead on it because I don’t have it in front of me right now.
Brynne Tillman 15:12
So one of the things is the impact of followers that engage with your content outperform that have a connection. So if some, if you’re in creator mode, and you’re building your followers, if a follower engages, that’s worth more than a connection by 20%.
Bob Woods 15:31
Yeah, that’s very interesting. And that’s probably one of those cases. Where, if you have a lot of followers, but you don’t really know who they are, you should probably start going through your follower list and see if you can actually convert some of them to two connections.
Because if they’re not, well, no, no, no. What I’m saying, though is no, you’re right, just in terms of that. But I’m saying if these people are having conversations with you, within and within others within a post, that’s probably a good time to actually convert them to a connection and then see if they’re interested in furthering the relationship with you.
Brynne Tillman 16:09
100% from social selling from a social.
Bob Woods 16:12
Standpoint that. Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking there.
Brynne Tillman 16:15
Yeah. Like, if you Yeah, from but from an algorithm person. Yeah.
Bob Woods 16:19
Algorithms. Yeah, no, you have to decide to pick your poison that Exactly, yes. Sometimes. Yes. Sometimes. That’s, that’s, that’s kind of a difficult decision. But I think that most people who are experienced enough in sales are going to be able to distinguish whether they want to keep someone as a follower, or if they want to take that next step and try to get a connection out of it.
Brynne Tillman 16:43
Yeah, and this one is easy. This one’s interesting. If you have a post that does exceptionally well, your next one will too. Yep. There’s 60% reach in the first hour of the second post 60%. So LinkedIn is like, “Hey, you must have given value before this one will, too.”
Bob Woods 17:09
Yep. So on the one that is on the flip side, let’s just treat that as a separate point. So going back to his report of document and PDF posts, so the ones where they get put into the carousel on LinkedIn, you should go shorter on those which we’ve always talked about anyhow, they shouldn’t be, you know, Warren Piece online. But he actually has an interesting stat and that posts with more than 20 slides are taking a hit performance-wise.
And we’re talking to 30% of heads. So it’s pretty significant. So brevity and conciseness, while obviously still promoting value, doing something that’s valuable, promoting thought leadership, all that stuff. If you could do that, within you know, we try to get in within what, like anywhere from eight to 12 pages, Brynne or something like that. I mean, really concise, yet good stuff.
Brynne Tillman 18:06
Yeah, I don’t. Yeah, I mean, we did well, like we did 21 tenants, but then we did three on a page. Right? So yeah, like, yeah, because we do, we do want to get that. That push, the other thing, which is interesting is in new statements, so corporate visions did a study about you messaging, maybe five, six years ago, could be something around that I can’t remember. And how your messaging really, really resonates with the reader. The interesting thing is, Richard says use “I”.
And you and I think “I” is a tough one, especially because if you start with “I”, it’s about you instead of about your reader. But I think if you’re starting with your messaging, and you can see, you know, I’ve observed, I almost feel like we’ve observed unless it might be softer. I just when I see I think that it’s all about them. Yeah, I got the new messaging that makes a lot of sense. Instead of you know, instead of if people do this, if you do this, I tend to not use these messages, the you messaging but it really is very effective.
Bob Woods 19:25
Yeah, I’d agree with that. And speaking of I, me, me, me that kind of gets into our next point, which is selfie or Facebook-style content. So the stuff that used to be really good during the pandemic, were you just talking about yourself and not really adding anything to it? That’s actually down and it’s funny because I just did a family reunion this weekend and at my family reunion of a couple of people who know what I do.
They talk to me about this type of content, and they’re like, “Man, I hate seeing that stuff on Facebook and I let them know what we’re going to To tell you now,” So I’ve always said that this kind of thing is okay, but only if you bring, you know, value expertise and thought leadership in that content as well. So if you’re going to take a selfie in front of something, make sure that there’s value in the text part of the actual post don’t make it just about being you in the post, you know, that Facebook, Instagram type of thing.
And if you could incorporate even more into the photo of yourself that relates to it, all that stuff is actually good. And that’s borne out in the algorithm too, in that the algorithm does recognise when, when there is that good quality, thought leadership building content in the post, and it will promote that type of selfie quote, unquote, air quote posts. But if you’re just doing selfies, in a Facebook IG style, the algorithm definitely is not liking that.
Brynne Tillman 20:59
So what about us, see? So just? So I had lots of Aussies with Adam, because now on LinkedIn, I’ve been there twice in the last month. And Adam has been there. But I haven’t posted a lot. I think a few maybe I’ve engaged in a lot. But the idea is, well,it might be lessons learned at the headquarters or something to your brother. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Right. Like here are three things I learned about LinkedIn. And I didn’t know before, Right? And then I love that you’re really adding value.
Bob Woods 21:35
Right? Yeah, yes. So it’s definitely not about the photos anymore. It’s more about the content that goes along with the photos, I think is probably the simplest way to put that.
Brynne Tillman 21:44
You know, Rodney says there are ways to use “I” to focus on the audience. So if you have an example, Ronnie, I would love to see that.
Bob Woods 21:53
Yeah, then yeah, yeah, that’d be great. I’d love to see that. So, um, one other section that is in the report that we’re not going to get into here, just because I read it. And it’s like, I don’t know how to do this with saying it rather than just reading it. So you’re just gonna have to read it, getting into connections and followers and how that gets handled by the algorithm.
So you can get details on that and about everything that we discussed, by going to socialsaleslink.com/algo, That will refer you to Richards original post that has the entire report that we are referring to directly within that. So we’ve still got some things coming in about selfies. What does Adam have to say about their brand?
Brynne Tillman 22:37
That’s good. So any selfies, in my humble opinion, should be associated with how you can help educate or entertain the customer according to your niche and address their challenges. So I love this, I would make one tweet and say it should be associated with how you can help, should actually be helping write value right in that role, actually educate, actually entertain, actually share insights versus and I think, Adam, we’re probably on the same page on this. But versus saying we help people do this actually helps them bring value, but I think.
Bob Woods 23:13
I showed him how to do it. Stop talking about how you help people and just help people. And that’s a phrase that I say all the time. I wasn’t saying that directly to Adam, but I mean, everyone should be doing it. Stop talking about how you help people. And just help people. Cool! So, great. So I think we’re gonna go ahead and wrap it up here. Thank you for joining us on making sales social live. If you’re with us live on LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter right now, we do this every week, so keep an eye out for our live sessions.
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