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The LinkedIn Algorithm : What’s New in 2019?

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LinkedIn; the professional social network that is growing each year. It now has over 500 million members, with 40% of those members logging in daily . This article will explain what’s what with the LinkedIn algorithm and what’s new for 2019.

iM Agency is the UK’s leading LinkedIn Marketing agency, so if anyone is going to be able to take you through the ins and outs of the algorithm, we’d like to think that would be us.

Before we get stuck into the algorithm, we imagine if you are reading this blog post, then you understand what LinkedIn is all about, but if you are feeling unsure or just happened to have found yourself here by mistake (if so, thanks for sticking around), then we don’t wish to confuse you before we have even got started, so via the video below, allow us to explain a little bit about the power of LinkedIn and what it can do for you, your business or your clients…

When people understand the purpose and potential of LinkedIn, it creates an entirely new world of B2B possibility.

Right, so back to the algorithm.

What is an Algorithm?

Algorithm – Many of us will be transported back to our mathematics classes in school when we hear the word and many of us probably thought we would never hear the word mentioned again. Or at least really hoped that we wouldn’t.

An algorithm, when defined simply (if an algorithm can ever be simply defined that is) is a set of rules for solving a problem in a finite number of steps. Put in those terms, it just sounds like a fancy word for a sum, but it is much more than that. When defined more complexly, an algorithm can perform calculations, data processing and automated reasoning tasks . They are used frequently within computer science/programming.

Whether or not any of that made clear sense to you, it felt necessary to establish an algorithm as more than just a tech buzzword.

We’re determined to help he you understand the next part though.

How Does the LinkedIn Algorithm Work?

LinkedIn is a platform based on relevancy, not recency. What does this mean? Well, when you are scrolling through your LinkedIn feed, the content you are likely to see is the posts from your connections which have the largest outreach and have generated the most engagement over recent days/weeks. The flip side to this would be viewing content in chronological order.

It is not the only social media platform to work like this – Facebook and Instagram both operate using this similar sort of algorithm, whereas Twitter, on the other hand, has chosen to stick to displaying content in the order in which it was posted.

It has not always been this way though. The shift in algorithms on social media platforms from recency to relevance has created its fair share of controversy over recent years. This is for a multitude of reasons, ranging from the serious; ‘I feel like I am missing out on seeing the posts important to me’, to the more trivial; ‘I have just liked a post from 2 weeks ago and now it looks like I’m stalking them’… From a B2B perspective however, the overriding reason for this controversy, as we will touch on in more depth later, tends to be that an algorithm based on relevance, creates big problems for small creators. In other words, their posts are generally unseen and they go somewhat unnoticed.

How Can I Customise the LinkedIn Algorithm for Me?

As briefly mentioned in the previous section, social media algorithms have amassed some fairly negative feedback, but where does LinkedIn differ? It allows you to customise.

When it comes to content, the good thing about LinkedIn is that they let you have a choice. The choice to decide whether you would like to see the most recent posts on your feed, or the most popular / well engaged. In a way, it is the best of both worlds. When we have the choice to switch between the two, we may actually find ourselves feeling less negative about one or the other and start appreciating both options for what they are.

A few other customisation options include a more tailored filtering of spam posts (or irrelevant posts) and the ability to ‘improve’ your feed via following recommended sources… And of course, there is always the option to mute / hide posts by certain users of your choice. Whatever your reason for doing this, whether it be that particular user posts too often, or maybe you simply just don’t like them, we won’t judge you for it.

New Year, New Features

To address the issues we illustrated earlier on, in October of 2018, LinkedIn made some pretty successful modifications to the algorithm of it’s feed . Modifications which are in full swing today.

The aim of the alterations was simple; boost the impressions and engagement for the mass of users with a smaller audience / smaller connection base and minimise the extensive outreach of the ever popular “power users”. LinkedIn has reported a 50% rise in total interactions each year, so why do any changes need to be made at all? What’s the catch? The catch is that most of those aforementioned interactions were within the top 1% of influencers on the platform.

Before, LinkedIn used what they termed as ‘signals’ to understand the preferences of users and personalise their feeds. These signals helped LinkedIn to rank the order in which posts would appear on your feed based on the likelihood that you would interact with them, whether that be by like, comment or share. Now, with the introduction of this new feature to the relevance model, high-quality posts created by “smaller” users have the chance to be seen and appreciated by the people that want to see them.

When we say that the modifications have been deemed as successful, this is because the results are there to be seen. Many users have reported seeing their overall engagement improve over the months since it was introduced – Mission complete!

Insightful Statistics for 2019

Of course, we hope your main takeaway from this blog post is the functionality of the LinkedIn algorithm from a B2B perspective, but a few snappy, little statistics won’t hurt either. Here’s our top 5:

  1. LinkedIn is the #1 platform used by B2B marketers to distribute content
  2. The LinkedIn feed averages around 9 billion content impressions each week
  3. 61 million LinkedIn users are senior level influencers
  4. 87 million millennials use LinkedIn
  5. Over 50% of social traffic to B2B websites / blogs was generated by LinkedIn

For further information on these statistics follow this link.

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