By Kumuthamalar Sandaranaido & Ashlyn Kwong (BAC Apprentices)
“Are you on LinkedIn?” is probably a question you have heard many a times, whether or not you have started your professional journey.
Ah yes, LinkedIn – a platform widely used for professional branding and for employers to get connected with potential employees / jobseekers (or vice versa).
However, similar to most social media platforms out there, LinkedIn has an algorithm which helps sift through its many contents and attach prevalence to the relevant ones for its users to connect and engage with. Likewise, the growth and reach of your posts would vary, depending on the behaviour of users across the platform, and to master the LinkedIn algorithm is indeed pivotal for you to be able to maximise your exposure.
In order to achieve a more structured experience on LinkedIn, there is a need to understand and make use of the platform’s algorithms, and we may have a few ideas on how:
Connections, connections, connections!
The degree of connections can be summarised as follows:
- 1st-Degree Connections – People you have directly connected with
- 2nd-Degree Connections – People connected with your 1st-Degree Connections
- 3rd-Degree Connections – People connected with your 2nd-Degree Connections
It should be important to note that since LinkedIn feeds their users information depending on their ‘’interactions’, hence there is no surprise that 1st-degree connections will be key in optimizing your LinkedIn experience.
This means that by creating a strong profile and making direct connections with the right people, you are potentially placed at the TOP of the search results for recruiters and other users alike. Additionally, with the correct choice of connections, the content that is made available to you could be entirely within your area(s) of interest, depending on the nature of the profile of your connections.
Are hashtags even allowed on a professional network like LinkedIn? The short answer is YES! Just like Instagram and Twitter, you can add relevant hashtags to your posts to increase engagement. You can also follow hashtags where you will be led to related contents on specific topics which would direct you to the right connections for you to be able to start a meaningful conversation.
However, it is important to know the technicalities behind adding hashtags to your post. Avoid using hashtags such as follow, like or comment; this will only put you in the spam category that LinkedIn uses to segregate its posts. You would not want to be creating content just for it to fall into this particular category. What a waste that would be!
In order to fall into the “high quality” posts zone, remember not to bombard your posts with multiple hashtags; have three simple ones; one in a broad sense, the next a little more niche and the last one very niche.
Most importantly, format your hashtags. LinkedIn automatically edits the hashtags to lowercase but to capitalise the first letter of every word of your hashtags surely does better its visibility. Last but not the least, always check your spelling and grammar, it’s the basic simple mistakes that hinder your posts from great potential. Be a prudent writer!
As valuable as the term ‘golden hour’ sounds, it is as equally valuable if treated as a mantra when posting on LinkedIn. This simply means that it is important to determine WHEN most of your connections are active before posting, for better content reach! Research shows that there is active participation amongst users on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 11am. You may want to keep a tab on your timing so that you will be prepared. The worst days are the weekends and the worst timing would be after working hours.
Now that you have figured out which timing works best, DO NOT post and ghost. Research shows that you are required to interact with your comments on your posts within the first hour to institute a substantial amount of engagements. Failure to do so greatly affects the number of potential engagements later on, and we want to avert that. Respond to anyone who engages with your post with compassion and as soon as you receive them.
While the number of minor details may seem overwhelming, they will make an impact and with practice, things will get easier! In spite of its technicalities, LinkedIn is worth the exploration. In connection to all the tips mentioned above, it is also crucial to aim and achieve the All-Star Status as this increases the visibility of your profile, to the many potential recruiters out there, hence magnifying the likelihood of you landing your dream job. All the best!