Do our connections hear what we say? If you’ve checked the number of views you get from typical posts, the answer may well be virtually silence compared to the number of connections you have.
I have read that the LinkedIn algorithm first tests each post after you publish. A small number of your connections are shown it.
If the reaction is good, it will spread it further into your connections, and further afield also into second degree connections as a kind of reward for good content.
But are your own connections listening? In other words, how many of them are even connecting to LinkedIn to see what you and others have to say?
I decided to find out…
Study: My Connections – Are They Listening?
I wanted a random sample. So I downloaded my connections, sorted them alphabetically, and selected 250 spread across the alphabet from A-Z.
Yes, I really am that geeky, with a hint of OCD thrown in for good measure.
I had 3 measures for each of the 250 connections:
- Number of posts in the last 4 weeks
- Number of activities (likes, comments, shares) in the last 4 weeks
- An assessment of their posts – are they in the “story-telling” format that has gained credence of late?
First Result – How Many Are Actively Posting Updates?
So the majority – just over two-thirds are not actively posting. But that total rises to 88.6% who are posting 4 times or less, from zero to about once per week.
Second Result – How Many Are Participating?
And by participating, I mean liking, commenting or sharing posts. In other words, they may not be posting, but how many actions are they taking which means they are tuned in and listening?
So virtually half of your connections are not at all active. Neither posting nor engaging with the content on LinkedIn.
Third Result – How Many Are Story-Tellers?
No fancy graphic for this one – drum roll…the answer is:
Yes, just one out of 250 had evidence of story-telling in their posts, That’s less than half of 1%. To be precise, 0.4%.
What Does This Mean?
If the LinkedIn algorithm likes your content, at best, only 50% of your audience will be tuned in.
So how can you get your message across?
There Are TWO Algorithms – Don’t Forget Humans
Nowadays, if you want to achieve at least a little success through social media – you have two audiences.
Humans. And a a few thousand lines of code that decide the fate of your posts.
But they are inter-related. If humans like your post, that tells the algorithm that the content has value.
And as many of those in the know have theorised – comments have even greater value – especially if threads are created – i.e. one or more comments in reply to another comment.
But humans will only do that if you add value. The days of directly and brashly pitching yourself on LinkedIn many now agree are ineffective.
It’s all about educating people. Building trust. Adding value. Creating rapport.
So if you get the human algorithm right, in other words, provide good content, then you are influencing LinkedIn to spread your message.
But your audience is also seeing a demonstration of your expertise. A slice of you.
They see it in how you communicate. And some will look at your profile, invite you to connect, follow you, or even visit a page you link to (best done in a comment rather than in the post itself)
Did I succeed with this article?
You are the judge.
If you felt I have given you value or insight, hopefully you will have liked the post.
Perhaps you even did as I suggest and made a guess at the results I revealed here?
Let’s test the algorithm a little more.
Please revisit the post. If you didn’t guess, add a comment reflecting your view. Were you surprised? Was it about right?
Or if you did submit a guess, reply to that comment and trigger that algorithm! Reveal how close you were.
If the theory is correct, the more people who create threaded comments, the more the algorithm will share it.
It that happens, I’ll report back.
Here’s the link back to the article – very grateful if you could pop back and add a comment, remembering to hit “like” too if you haven’t already:
About The Author
I help people grow their business through word of mouth. Yes, LinkedIn can help do that too, but that’s just one of 12 methods of creating a viral impact on your sales.
Some of the viral avalanches of enquiries can happen outside of social media too.
But writing a post that gets you noticed is great for your personal brand, building connections, gaining profile views and ultimately winning more business.
This 27-page guide is free (or buy me a coffee if you like it) – it’s “How To Write A LinkedIn Post That Gets You Noticed”