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29 Tips to Boost LinkedIn Engagement

Everything I know about the LinkedIn algorithm.

Hey folks đź‘‹, I'm Kenneth Burke. #BurkeBits is where I share stories, data, and frameworks to help you become a better marketer. Subscribe for free to level-up.

This is everything I know about the LinkedIn algorithm, and how to leverage it to make sure your message reaches more people. Use these tips to create content that stands the highest chance of getting people to engage and earning a lift from the LinkedIn algorithm. Happy posting!

TL;DR: Post interesting content that helps someone else do their job better or live a better life, and share it directly with the people you think will appreciate it.

1. LinkedIn’s primary metric for success is “time on platform.”

This informs a lot what’s below. The longer you hold someone’s attention, the more the algorithm will reward you.

2. The first hour dictates the next few, which dictate the next 48.

The speed at which your post gets engagement, and the depth of that engagement, tell the algorithm whether expanding the reach of your post will keep people on the platform longer. If it will, they’ll give you a boost. If not, they’ll knock you down after the first hour or so.

3. Post daily.

Consistency is important. It’s good for building relationships with your audience, and it gives you more “at bats” to share something that resonates.

Also, LinkedIn penalizes you for posting more than a day or less than once a day. They want creators coming back regularly, but they don’t want you flooding the platform and drowning out others.

This also means that if you post, delete it for whatever reason, and then re-post, it won’t go nearly as far. There are exceptions, usually dictated by audience engagement, but play the odds.

4. If it’s been awhile, LinkedIn will give you a lift as subtle encouragement.

LinkedIn wants more people posting quality content more often, so if you’ve been off a few days, a few months, or you’re new to this, they’ll give you an extra boost. They’re also trying to see how people interact with your content (or don’t) for when you post next. The extra impressions inform their data set so they can make smarter decisions.

5. Your previous posts influence your next.

LinkedIn is going to promote the content they think each user is most likely to engage with. If you’ve had a few duds recently, you’ll have to work to get back to par. If you’ve had a few hits lately, they’ll give you an extra lift.

6. Post between 7:30am and 8:00am local time.

I’ve found this is when my audience is most likely to be scrolling and also have the mental energy to comment thoughtfully. Posting time matters less than most of the other tips in here, but this is what I’ve seen work. Ultimately, post whenever (a) you’re able to do it well, and (b) your audience is most likely to engage with you.

7. Engage with others before you post.

15-30 minutes of reading, commenting, sharing, liking, etc. “warms up” the algorithm, showing that you are here for rich engagement, not just to post and dash. They appreciate that.

8. Engage with others after you post.

Ditto the above, just on the other side of it.

9. Don’t post links.

LinkedIn wants to keep more people on the platform. Sharing a link that sends people off the platform directly goes against their goal, so they’re going to suppress that content.

10. Don’t be the first to comment on your own post.

LinkedIn loves comments, but they know when you’re trying to game the system (although they don’t do nearly enough about it). Caveat: people scrolling may be more likely to engage if there’s already a comment or two, or if you added a link in the comments for them to view.

11. Don’t like your own post.

I’m not actually sure how liking your own content affects the algorithm (or doesn’t), but it makes me think less of you and thus less likely to engage.

12. Don’t edit your post within the first hour.

Made a typo? Sorry. LinkedIn monitors engagement closely for the first hour, and editing during this time frame throws off its groove. You won’t be able to reap the benefits of an algorithm lift, and may even be penalized.

13. The copy of your content should match the hashtags you use.

Kind of like search engine optimization (SEO), the algorithm reads your words to see what you’re talking about and if the hashtags are relevant. They also use this to determine who they should show your content to.

14. A few hashtags are good.

Don’t use anymore than 5 hashtags in one post. More than that looks like you’re trying to game the system. This ain’t Instagram! 1-3 is usually a sweet spot. But again, make sure they’re relevant.

15. Talk about what you’re known for.

It helps to talk about the same subject(s) repeatedly. LinkedIn—and your followers—learn what to expect from you. You also want this to match what’s listed at the top of your profile as “Talks about,” which you can edit under Creator Mode.

16. Time spent viewing your post matters.

They’re tracking how long people read, watch, and stay paused on your post. The higher the average time spent, the better, and the bigger lift you’ll get.

17. Rich, insightful content stands the best chance.

Long text posts, several minute+ videos, document posts with lots of pages all naturally stand the best chance of getting the most engagement, because—if they’re good—people are going to spend more time on them. These also tend to be more likely to garner shares, which matters even if you the creator can’t see them.

18. Pictures beat everything.

We pause to look at faces, and that time we linger makes a difference. I’m not sure if the algorithm automatically gives photos an uptick, but people do tend to engage with them more. Also, photos of an individual perform better than photos of a group, and photos of people beat photos without people.

That’s one reason you see a lot of people post irrelevant selfies and then have something of value in the post. They just want you to pause long enough to get you to read—and it works.

19. Distribution is your biggest asset.

This is true in all marketing. Push it in front of more people, and more people will see it. As relevant, DM your friends and other contacts and ask them to engage with the post. Include it in your emails to subscribers. Add it to community groups (though you should avoid self-promotion). The faster you get engagement, the better your post will perform overall.

20. Throw your own party.

Everyone wants to celebrate. My best performing posts are usually the ones where I or Text Request announce some accomplishment or milestone. However, you have to continually add value through your other posts in order for people to care about you when you have a victory.

21. Tag respectfully.

Tagging multiple people is a red flag that you’re trying to game the system. Anyone you tag—person or brand—had better comment and otherwise engage with your post within the hour. If not, you’ll get dinged. The algorithm then views your post as irrelevant, and potentially as spam.

22. Encourage rich comments, not light ones.

There’s some kind of trade off between quantity and quality that I haven’t quite pegged, but light comments like “congrats!” or “so true” will bring you down, while richer comments like full opinions on the topic will give you a lift. Whenever possible, go for quality over quantity.

23. Respond to every comment.

The more comments you get on your post the better, and this proves that you aren’t posting and dashing. You’re furthering conversations, and LinkedIn loves that.

24. Strong opinions incite emotions.

As in journalism, the easiest way to hook someone is to have a strong and clear opinion on a subject. This usually means you will ruffle some feathers. Maybe you’re okay with that, and maybe you want to avoid it (I like to avoid it), but if your goal is pure engagement, then standing clearly for something and clearly against something else is a proven path.

25. Rage against the machine.

You see this a lot with remote work, or salary negotiation tips, or about CEOs who don’t “get” your position. Be the little guy condemning the system, and you’ll get more engagement. I don’t like negativity, but it does work.

26. It takes a ton of work.

Most of the people who go big on this platform treat it like a full-time job. Or at least, it’s their primary go-to-market strategy. Creating good content, distributing it, and proactively building and engaging your audience takes a lot of consistent time and effort. It’s not necessarily hard work, but you’ve got to do it. Magic won’t help you.

27. Reposts get almost nothing.

Reposting someone else’s content helps the original poster, but not you. It proves their content is a conversation starter and will keep people on the platform longer, but LinkedIn wants you creating your own original content, so any reposts—even if you add your 2 cents to it—will be suppressed.

28. Immediately engage with new connections.

LinkedIn pushes content from new connections in front of you for a short while. Engage with that content to help ensure your content shows up more frequently for new connections, too.

29. Private shares matter, too.

LinkedIn won’t show you how many times someone has shared your post via DM or other channel (I’m not sure why not), but this also factors into the algorithm and your reach. If lots of people are sharing your content with friends and coworkers, then it’s helping start conversations that keep people on the platform.

Bonus: Be a good person.

You’re better off bringing people together than creating divides. Share things that are helpful, promote others doing good work, and be a resource. Be the person you would want to look up to. That trumps any individual tip in here.

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Have questions about this topic or something you’re working on? Ask away! I’m an open book and happy to help.