LinkedIn recently adjusted its feed algorithm to identify more salient topics instead of viral content. The goal is to encourage conversations and promote niche conversations over broad topics. The modifications place a higher premium on member interest signals.
“Our mission is to help people be more productive and successful, and it is what drives us daily,” said Senior Director of Product Management Pete Davies. “We strongly believe that people need their professional communities to help them along the way, whether that’s current or former colleagues, peers in the same industry, or those that share similar interests or career ambitions.”
LinkedIn prioritizes posts from connections and follows along with their likes, comments, and posts. Other factors include group posts, followed hashtags, and events “all with the goal of showing you the content and conversations that you care about.” Prioritization is given to direct interactions; stated interests and experiences; and “explicit signals” such as with whom you’ve worked.
Davies provided the following tips to encourage conversation:
- Post things that encourage a response. For example, if you’re posting a link, express an opinion with it.
- Think about using the best type of post for the topic. Despite the rumors, the algorithm doesn’t favor any particular format. We have video, images, multi-images, text and long-form articles. More are on the way.
- Use @mentions to pull other people you know into a conversation when you think they’ll have something valuable to add. Be thoughtful: only mention people that you think are likely to respond, max five is a good rule of thumb.
- Engage in the conversation, respond to commenters and encourage back and forth.
Davies also recommended the use of hashtags, but no more than three. Hashtags should be specific vs. general (#performancemanagement vs. #management).
Finally, Davies emphasized authenticity. This is a theme that Kyle Porter, CEO of SalesLoft, keeps going back to.
“Authenticity is key: all the tips above work out better when members talk about things they truly care about, in a way that’s natural for them. Genuine conversation around real experiences spark better and deeper conversation. Better conversation, in turn, leads to stronger community and connection,” blogged Davies.