Understanding the LinkedIn and Social Media Algorithm

LinkedIn algorithm, Instagram algorithm… Words that seem very mysterious but that it is fundamental to understand in order to be visible on social networks.

At first glance, one might think that algorithms are nebulous notions reserved for computer geniuses. Think again, you don’t need to be a computer genius to understand one of the fundamental pillars of social networks. And understanding algorithms is fundamental if you want to be visible on social networks. Without that, there is no salvation.

LinkedIn algorithm, Instagram algorithm: concretely, what is it?

We will talk about the LinkedIn algorithm, among other things, but keep in mind that what we are going to explain below can apply to the Instagram algorithm, that of Tik Tok and so on. The purpose of a social network by the SEO content services is to bring you quality content that will match your tastes so that you can spend more time reading LinkedIn posts or Instagram posts. Basically, it’s logical: the more time you spend on social networks, the more likely you are to see advertising, advertising that is sold to advertisers. In other words, the more time you spend on a social network, the more it will be able to sell advertising to brands.

If we understand this, we understand that to be visible on social networks and to succeed in digital communication, it is essential to create content (posts, stories, etc.) likely to appeal to as many people as possible, because the networks social networks badly need quality content to retain their audience. Maybe you’re starting to get it: Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and the like need your quality content, but social media doesn’t employ an army of people who can decide whether your content is popular or not. For this, they therefore use what is called an algorithm: a computer program which, according to a certain number of criteria, will judge whether your publication deserves to be distributed more widely,

How does a social network algorithm work?

Have you ever heard of engagement rate? To summarize this notion on which you can consult our full article, the engagement rate defines the amount of reactions you get on your publication. The more engagement you generate, the more viral your post will be. To measure your engagement, a social network will first show your post to a fraction of your audience (say, a tenth of your audience). If your post generates reactions (likes, shares, comments etc.), then the algorithm says to itself: “ok, this post seems to work, let’s distribute it on a larger scale”.

Therefore, your LinkedIn post, your Instagram post, etc. will be released to a wider audience within your community and to people who don’t know you yet. If you are still generating engagement, the algorithm continues its virtuous circle. Schematically, he says to himself: “this post works even on people who do not know its creator. It is therefore a qualitative and relevant content. I keep spreading it more! And so on, until the engagement falls off. On the contrary, if your post does not generate engagement, the social network’s algorithm decides to reduce its reach, because it considers that it is not a very good post and that it will not necessarily interest your audience.

This is a key takeaway: if you get engagement, the algorithm pushes your post or content. If you don’t have engagement, the algorithm won’t serve your posts and you might even end up in what’s called an algorithmic negative loop: a situation where the algorithm decides to serve your content less because it note that as a general rule, what you do is not of interest… Also remember that the purpose of this text is not to reveal all the subtleties of the algorithms of each social network, because there are always differences in operation between Tik Tok, Instagram, LinkedIn, Youtube etc. But at least you will have acquired the basics that will allow you to better understand what is happening “under the hood” of social networks.

Do you need to have likes, shares, comments to please the algorithm?

To come back to the engagement rate we just talked about, the engagement rate is measured from the interactions made by Internet users: that is to say by comments, likes, and shares of your publication. We can note other criteria such as “dwell-time”, or time spent on your publication.

Each social network responds to specific codes: the LinkedIn algorithm does not work like the Instagram algorithm or the Tik Tok algorithm. This is normal, since the flagship content on Tik Tok is video, a format that has less success on LinkedIn. In fact, the criteria of the LinkedIn algorithm are built according to the content that works best on LinkedIn and the needs of LinkedIn as a social network. Same on Tik Tok. Therefore, when a social network will favor engagement through likes and comments, another social network may find that the number of shares is a more relevant indicator to make a post viral, while another will prefer to make you visible through hashtags. This is precisely what is happening on Facebook, network where shares have a lot of value, while they will have less on LinkedIn. Understanding how it works is key to driving engagement, and understanding how a social network’s algorithm works will also allow you to create content that works, so content that will make you visible.

Understanding how these algorithms work is part of our daily lives. This is SEO BRISK business and it is because of this know-how that clients place their trust in us to implement their visibility strategy on social networks and to create their content for social networks. Do not hesitate to contact us for advice or to study your communication project on social networks.

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