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The LinkedIn algorithm is a complex thing – shrouded in secrecy, it’s no surprise that it’s rarely discussed. Much like Facebook and Instagram, the LinkedIn algorithm prioritises the content that you are most likely to find relevant, and want to engage with, over the most recent content.

So what’s the best way to boost the visibility of a LinkedIn post?

Interestingly, and shifting from previous iterations of the algorithm, the best thing you can do to make sure that  a post reaches more people is to leave a comment. This tells LinkedIn that there’s something interesting and worthwhile to see, which increases the chance of the post being shown to more people.

Previously, sharing a post was the best indicator to demonstrate your engagement or approval of a post – but comments actually hold more value. When sharing a post, you’re effectively telling LinkedIn “This post resonates with me so much that I want to share it with my own connections”. Whilst you might think that it’s a big statement, it’s a very quick process. One click and it’s done.

Comments on the other hand, take much more time to write and are a bigger investment. If you totalled up the time you’ve spent adding comments onto posts on LinkedIn, for an average user it would be a substantial amount of time – so you can see why LinkedIn might equate post popularity with user interaction time. The greater the effort, the greater the reward!

Comments = A* behaviour

Because the LinkedIn algorithm views a comment as the strongest signal of engagement, make sure you’re acing them as best as you can. Interestingly, all comments are not equal – for example, longer, more in-depth comments are far better than short, succinct ones. There’s a reason that LinkedIn supports comments of up to 1750 characters!

Why is that? Although officially unconfirmed by LinkedIn, it’s likely because this mirrors networking and relationship building in real life. Good conversations are the best foundations for building relationships, and this principle remains the same even in the virtual world. Remember, LinkedIn optimises for “meaningful engagement” – it wants authentic, genuine conversation. Put crudely, conversations are the currency for LinkedIn’s bank account. Interesting and relevant conversations will keep you on the platform. The longer you’re on the platform, the more money LinkedIn will make. Simple, right?

What does a good LinkedIn comment look like?

The best comments are the authentic ones. Being sincere is the best advice I can give – don’t comment if you genuinely don’t have a thought, piece of advice or experience to share. There are a couple of technical pointers to optimise your comments though, too:

  • Add your opinion – keep it personal and add relevant experiences, facts or statistics.
  • Tag people – if there’s someone you know would be interested in, or add value to, the conversation then tag them in. Just don’t do this too often, it’s a sure-fire way to irritate people, which undermines the action entirely.
  • Use paragraphs – if your comments are getting meaty, work to a two-sentence per paragraph approach. Long blurbs of text is off putting – don’t forget, attention spans are short on social media. If you don’t make it easy for someone to read, they’ll simply scroll on by.
  • Stay relevant – don’t hijack the conversation for your own benefit!

Always remember, writing a good comment doesn’t just help improve the performance of the original post – it also helps to position you as an expert in your specific field, which is always beneficial. LinkedIn sorts comments by relevancy – so adding a valuable comment means it’s more likely to increase the prominence of not only the comment, but your name, headline and profile in general. Good comments often attract sub comments and likes of their own, which again can be great awareness for you and your brand.

Optimising your posts for comments

Knowing how to write a great comment is only half the battle – it’s also important to optimise your own posts to encourage other users to comment on yours. Aim to encourage debate by asking questions or sharing opinions e.g.:

  • Do you agree? Comment below and let me know your thoughts
  • I’d love to hear other people’s views on this!

Engaging on LinkedIn will also help how your own posts perform, as LinkedIn recognises and rewards those users who are more active than those who aren’t.

So next time you’re on LinkedIn, and you want to support a post or better your own performance – hit the comment button. This little action can make a powerful impact on you both.

Want to know more about LinkedIn? Contact our Group Social Media Manager, Jade at jade.margiotta@social.co.uk to discuss our bespoke social media workshops.