If you post status updates to LinkedIn on a regular basis, your updates are reaching fewer members of your network these days.
This is because LinkedIn is filtering status updates in member news feeds. “Top updates” are the default display and they are shown according to LinkedIn’s internal ranking algorithm.
No one knows exactly how the algorithm works, but we do know that LinkedIn wants to display status updates in the news feed that are relevant and personalized to each member.
You do have the ability to switch your homepage news feed view from “top updates” to “recent updates”, but every new page load will revert back to “top updates”.
Competition for news feed visibility has also increased. You are competing against LinkedIn Influencer content, sponsored updates (ads), trending LinkedIn Pulse content (and relevant Pulse content in general), updates from company pages, updates that “your network is talking about”, updates from your connections that do make it into the news feed, and activity updates such as group discussions.
If you want your status updates to be seen by your connections and beyond, you will need to be more strategic about your sharing.
Here are some suggestions for increasing the visibility of your LinkedIn status updates:
Make Your Updates Highly Relevant
Just because something is interesting to you doesn’t mean it will be interesting to your network.
According to LinkedIn, 6 out of 10 members are interested in industry insights. They want informative, useful, and interesting insights that can help them improve, achieve more, or overcome a challenge.
It is critical to have a good understanding of who you are connected to on LinkedIn and what they deem relevant. Your updates don’t always need to be specific to your industry, but they do need to be relevant to the business and work life issues that many of your connections face.
For example, let’s say you work in the healthcare industry. Posting status updates about healthcare topics would likely work well if most of your connections are in the healthcare industry. Let’s also assume that most of your connections are healthcare sales professionals. In this case it would make sense to share status updates that are helpful for how sales professionals can improve their selling skills in addition to industry insights.
LinkedIn members are generally interested in how to improve their businesses, careers, and productivity levels. Review popular LinkedIn “Pulse” posts by Influencers and consider sharing some of these posts as status updates as well.
Utilize Image Posts
You may notice that some images appear larger on your LinkedIn homepage news feed than others.
This is because image posts (where you actually upload an image file) take up more real estate than link posts. Link posts will pull in an image from the actual article you share, but that image will appear smaller.
With image posts, you can add a message and a link to your status update along with the image you upload.
In the example below, I uploaded the actual image from this article and created my message to go along with the update.
Tip: You can include a link within the text area of your status update even when it’s an image post
Keep in mind that when you post image updates from 3rd party sharing tools, they may not resolve correctly in the newsfeed. It is best to upload image posts directly to your status update within LinkedIn.
Share Relevant Slideshare Decks and Videos
Shared slidedecks from Slideshare and videos from YouTube will play inline in the news feed when clicked on. Using this type of visual content for your status updates can create higher engagement.
Remember that LinkedIn owns Slideshare. Slideshare is a great way to repurpose your content and make it more visual. Consider turning some of your own blog posts into slide decks and sharing those as status updates on LinkedIn.
Ask Relevant Questions
One of the most engaging status updates I’ve ever experienced resulted from a question I posted as a LinkedIn status update. Posting a relevant question to your network as a status update is a great way to get them engaged with you.
You can either post a question by itself (consider incorporating an image for greater visibility), or you can add your question within the text area for any status update that you share.
Personalize Your Status Updates
Regardless of the type of update you share on LinkedIn, personalize it with your own commentary. Personalization allows you to provide context for the updates you share.
Recently I shared an article on LinkedIn about how practicing yoga can have many benefits for entrepreneurs. As someone who practices yoga regularly, I could attest to this and mentioned it in the text area of my status update.
When you add your own comments (or questions) to introduce your status updates, you have a better opportunity to spark engagement and create common connection points with your network.
Leverage LinkedIn @mentions
LinkedIn allows you to @mention anyone in your 1st degree network within a status update. When you do this, the people you @mention will be notified by email.
In my experience the people I’ve mentioned in status updates have almost always commented on the update. This increases the engagement and reach of your status update.
You can also @mention companies that have LinkedIn company pages.
Make sure when you use @mentions that you have good reason to. A great way to leverage this tool is when you share content that is written by or about the people you mention.
For example, Jason Miller of LinkedIn wrote a recent post that showcased favorite graduation gifts from a few digital marketers. When sharing this status update below, Lee Odden @mentioned the people who contributed to the article that he was connected to at the 1st degree level:
Post Updates More Frequently
Frequency seems to matter quite a bit when it comes to visibility on LinkedIn.
There are a few people in my LinkedIn network who post status updates 3-4 times a day. Inevitably when I visit my homepage, these are the people I see status updates from consistently in my news feed.
Be careful not to go overboard with your status updates. If you post too many, you run the risk of being hidden by your connections. LinkedIn members with fewer connections may end up seeing too much of you.
I would suggest that you are safe with no more than 3 updates per weekday.
Increase Your LinkedIn Activity Level
Becoming more active on LinkedIn can increase your visibility in the news feeds of your connections.
LinkedIn continues to support its groups functionality. As a result, you will likely see updates from people commenting on groups you belong to in your own news feed.
When you like or comment on group discussions, you may also have an opportunity to gain visibility in the news feeds of your connections.
Following companies and making new connections are activities that create news feed visibility as do comments, likes, and shares on status updates in your news feed.
Strive for Engagement
Getting lots of views on your LinkedIn status updates is great, but views don’t actually grow your reach. LinkedIn also doesn’t give you much data about the number of views your status updates receive.
It is the likes, shares, and comments on your updates that can expand your visibility and reach beyond your 1st degree network.
LinkedIn favors status updates that have higher engagement levels in the news feed. Notice in your own news feed the updates that say “your network is talking about”. These are status updates that have received higher engagement within your network.
Share status updates that are likable and shareable!
Post at the Right Times
LinkedIn is a professional network. It is more active during work hours and weekdays. Mornings are more active than afternoons and evenings. Weekends aren’t nearly as active as weekdays.
Don’t rule out posting updates outside of the typical active days and times, however. There will be less competition.
I recommend sharing status updates consistently throughout weekdays at various times. See which of your updates receive the most engagement. Keep in mind that higher engagement can be a factor of both the relevancy of the content you share as well as the timing.
The idea is to share the right messages at the right times. This is more an art than a science.
Measure Your Success
One way to measure the success of your status updates is to watch how this activity affects your profile views. More activity leads to more profile views.
Profile views lead to good things such as more relevant connections, more engagement, and even more visits to your website!
To see how your profile views change over time, visit the “Who’s viewed my profile” section on LinkedIn.
I have seen my profile views double simply from sharing relevant status updates more frequently.
If you are interested in tracking clicks from the links that you share, you will need to rely on a 3rd party tool for this. In some instances LinkedIn may un-shorten your link in which case it will not be tracked. Check with your tool provider to see how to manage this.
The reality is that it’s becoming more challenging to grow your network visibility through LinkedIn status updates. Taking the time to be more strategic with your updates can help significantly!
I’d love to know what’s working for you, or if you have tried any of the ideas mentioned here. Leave your comment below:
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