With over 600 million users from around the world, LinkedIn is not a channel social media marketers can ignore. Already the number one platform for B2B marketing, B2C companies have a lot to gain from the professional network as well.
However, standing out on LinkedIn can be a challenge. That’s because it works very differently than other social channels that marketers may be more familiar with.
For example — how much do you know about LinkedIn’s Content Marketing Score? If you’re like most marketers we talk to, the answer is not very much!
We’re taking a deep dive into what makes LinkedIn different from other networks, answering questions like:
- What shows up in the LinkedIn newsfeed?
- How do I make my organic posts go viral?
- What is the LinkedIn Content Marketing Score?
- How do I find my Content Marketing Score?
What shows up in the LinkedIn newsfeed?
The LinkedIn newsfeed displays content from people in your network, groups you are part of, companies and hashtags you follow, and — very importantly — content that people in your network have engaged with. There are also quite a few ads and other sponsored content, but for now we’re going to focus on organic content.
All of this content is pooled together and then sorted for display on your newsfeed.
LinkedIn uses an algorithm to rank the relevancy of each piece of content for you. We did a full breakdown of the LinkedIn algorithm, so if you’re looking for an in-depth explanation on how it works, check that out.
In general, the LinkedIn algorithm focuses on:
- Value. LinkedIn is very keen to keep the content on its platform relevant to its network of professionals. Posts must add value for other LinkedIn members.
- Engagement. This is essentially how LinkedIn measures value. If a piece of content is getting a lot of likes, comments, and shares for people in your network (or third-party connections) the algorithm will start prioritizing it more.
- Recency. Unlike Twitter or Facebook, LinkedIn’s algorithm is not as interested in recency. However, each time you post something new, LinkedIn tracks how much engagement it gets in the first few hours. If it performs well right away, the algorithm will continue to promote it. Otherwise it may disappear quickly from the newsfeed.
How do I make my organic posts go viral?
While LinkedIn offers a variety of paid ad formats to company pages, there’s no doubt about it: advertising on LinkedIn is expensive. So, to stretch those marketing dollars, make sure you’re doing everything you can to optimize your organic post performance.
Here are six dos and don’ts for making sure your organic content performs like a million bucks.
✅ Do: Post Frequently.
The best performing companies on LinkedIn post up to three times a day, including in the early mornings, during the evening, and on weekends. Use your own analytics to find the right times for your audience (keep time zones in mind).
⛔️ Don’t: Post Every Day at the Same Time.
LinkedIn prefers what it sees as organic posting behavior. Anything that looks pre-scheduled (posting every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11:17am, for example) will lose priority.
✅ Do: Mix Up Your Content Formats.
LinkedIn offers a lot of different ways to share content — text posts, articles, images, videos — take advantage of them and use the format that best suits your message.
⛔️ Don’t: Use “Stupid” Content.
LinkedIn’s top goal is to keep people on LinkedIn. So any content that drives people away will be deprioritized. Play the game by avoiding third-party content (no YouTube videos!) and minimize linking out to external articles. If you want to include a link, you can always add it as a comment.
✅ Do: Use Hashtags.
Using professional, relevant hashtags is a great way to share your content with people outside your immediate network. Niche hashtags generally perform better (i.e. #b2bsales is better than #business).
⛔️ Don’t: Use Weird, Obscure, or Too Many Hashtags.
Remember what LinkedIn is for and keep anything #nsfw off it. And remember: three is a magic number. Too many hashtags make your post look like spam.
✅ Do: Tag People You Know.
@mentioning people in your company, your network, and your industry is a great way to start a conversation.
⛔️ Don’t: Spam People You Don’t Know.
Randomly tagging people with a big network, or tagging influencers on mostly self-promotional posts is a great way to get your content reported to LinkedIn (and not in a good way).
✅ Do: Engage People in the Comments.
If people take the time to like or comment on your post — respond! Like and respond to every comment you get to keep the conversation going. You can also bring more (relevant) people into the comments thread by @mentioning them.
⛔️ Don’t: Ignore or Delete Comments.
Even if someone disagrees with you, try not to ignore or delete their comments. Debate is the single best way to maximize engagement. Of course, if someone is being abusive or inappropriate, that’s a different story. But in general, try to engage not avoid.
✅ Do: Sign Up for LinkedIn Live.
LinkedIn is planning a beta release of live videos — and you can apply to be a beta user. Being a first mover on a new content format is a guaranteed way to get more visibility on LinkedIn.
⛔️ Don’t: Get Stuck in Old Patterns.
LinkedIn is evolving (Stories will be here any minute) so don’t get stuck in old ways of thinking about what to share on LinkedIn. Live video is a great way to break down barriers and show authenticity on a network more often associated with polished, brand-friendly content.
What is the LinkedIn Content Marketing Score?
LinkedIn’s Content Marketing Score quantifies the impact of your content within your audience and shows how you compare to your top competitors. It is both a reflection of your current performance and a factor in future post performance.
The Four Factors of LinkedIn’s Content Marketing Score:
How effective is the quality, relevancy, and frequency of content posted through your company page?
Influencers, Partners & Employees.
How many likes, comments, and shares do your posts get from influencers, partners, and employees, respectively?
How much are your employees engaging with your company page, either via likes and comments on your posts or by mentioning your company in their posts?
How much and how effectively are you using LinkedIn paid products?
Once you have your score (see below for how to find it) you can use that knowledge to improve your marketing performance on LinkedIn.
Making LinkedIn’s Content Marketing Score Work for You:
Track your score over time to measure the effectiveness of your combined efforts and get a big picture view.
Monitor the Competition.
Keep an eye on which of your competitors are performing well and where opportunities lie.
Stretch Your Ad Budget.
Pages with a high score will have more cost-effective paid campaigns.
How do I find my LinkedIn Content Marketing Score?
For now, the Content Marketing Score is only available for business pages and can only be generated by a LinkedIn Account Manager. You cannot find your Content Marketing Score any other way.
Not all business accounts are eligible to receive a score, and eligibility depends on the size of your company and your activity on LinkedIn. To learn more, contact your LinkedIn Account Manager or contact LinkedIn support.
All that said — understanding the LinkedIn Content Marketing Score can give you a huge advantage. Understanding the score is like cracking a code into what LinkedIn values most when it comes organic content.
Even if you don’t know your page’s score, creating content that maximizes each of the four factors will improve your page’s overall performance.
LinkedIn ≠ Facebook or Twitter
LinkedIn is a crazy valuable network for social marketers. But if you’re using the same posting techniques from Facebook or Twitter, your content won’t go very far.
Make sure you understand how LinkedIn works — by embracing its algorithm and the factors behind its Content Marketing Score — and how to make it work for your brand.