LinkedIn is Democratizing Engagement – Do You Have a Playbook for That?

Holland Dombeck McCue ATS, Communication, Employment Branding and Culture, Holland Dombeck, in the news, Networking, Policies, Recruitment Marketing, Social Media, Social Media and Talent, Social Networking

If you’re one of the many LinkedIn users who noticed an uptick in your post engagement over the last month, you’ll be happy to know that democracy is alive and well in America (and everywhere else you can access LinkedIn). In a recent blog post, the social networking and recruiting/marketing/now learning giant shared that they recently made updates to their algorithm to give more attention to the bottom 98% of posters.

From LinkedIn’s blog:

More and more people are using the feed and giving feedback to their network’s posts: our members generate tens of millions of viral actions (likes, comments, and reshares), and the number is increasing more than 50% YoY. However, we found that these increases weren’t equally distributed. In fact, at the beginning of 2018, we were in danger of creating an economy where all the gains in viral actions accrued to the top 1% power users, while the majority of creators who don’t receive much feedback were receiving less than ever.

And for the visual learners, this graphic sums it up pretty well:

Now you can interpret this update in one of two ways – the Pollyanna view, or the smart business move.

I’ve been called a Pollyanna a few times in my career, and while it’s often intended as a dis, I’ve never taken offense to it. I’m mostly an optimist and feel you have to be to a degree to avoid getting eaten up by the world around you. So when I read this post I thought it was great – LinkedIn is democratizing engagement for all the non-spaceship owners out there, which is a huge win for small or emerging content creators to break through and gain traction.

LinkedIn built their previous algorithm on a set of signals and anticipated virality, which favored influencers and prolific content posters. But with this change “the feed ‘knows’ how much a given creator will appreciate getting feedback from a given viewer, and it uses this information when ranking the posts” – and it will keep them coming back to their platform.

In citing their reason for the change, LinkedIn points to user experience and its impact on return posters, sharing that, “members who receive 10+ likes when they post are 17% more likely to post again the following week compared to members who post but don’t get any feedback.”

LinkedIn had an “a-ha” that it is social gratification that really keeps people coming back to the platform to share content. They even went as far in testing to name their groups “ego clusters,” emphasizing that it is one’s desire for content engagement (the like me factor) to make them a return user.

Today the platform has around 260M monthly users, with 40% of those users visiting each day. If LinkedIn could increase that number by leveraging the ego effect of engagement, they’d benefit from that many more eyes being exposed to their learning push and enhanced media solutions revealed at Talent Connect and they’d have that many more engaged users to feed into their soon to launch ATS.

As a recruitment marketer, I love this change, which brings me to the second half of my post title – do you have a playbook for that? Now seems like a great time to revisit enabling your recruiters and employees to be ambassadors of your brand on LinkedIn.