LinkedIn Algorithm Change Kills Virality, How Can You Drive Growth Now?

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A big algorithm update to LinkedIn’s content feed will change how you grow your following and drive conversions on the platform. In an interview on Jason Feifer’s podcast Problem Solvers, LinkedIn Editor in Chief Dan Roth and Director of Product Alice Xiong shared some of the major changes to how content is delivered to users’ feeds, eliminating virality as a driver of success. We’ll talk about some of these changes, how they’re affecting the reach of your experiences and how a referral marketing strategy using InGo can help you deliver value that grows your audience and drives conversions.

Dan Roth shared that activity on LinkedIn was higher than ever, with content published increasing 42% year-over-year from 2021 to 2023 as users shared their changing work environments and stayed connected to their professional networks. That meant a great deal more content for users to view and users finding less of what they came to the platform for in the first place.

Alice Xiong shared that, through user research, LinkedIn found that users were no longer finding as much value in their feed and what they were looking for was clear. “They find it most valuable when the content is grounded in knowledge and advice,” Alice said, “and they found it most valuable when it comes from the people they know and care about sharing what they’re up to, so they feel connected to their connection.” So the algorithm changed to reflect those values.

So what changed?

Virality StrategyNew StrategyHow InGo Helps
Who People SeeGather the largest audience possible and drive engagement that boosts your reach, even if it doesn’t add to the conversation.Experts in your community post about your experience. LinkedIn boosts that content to their connections and to an audience that it thinks will find it valuable.Empower advocates in your community to quickly share your experience with individual connections and their network at large, capitalizing on their connections and history of expertise.
What People SeePost content with the largest possible audience and ask everyone you know to like and comment to boost engagement, ensuring that as many people as possible will see it and some might convert.Post high-value, knowledge-sharing content and encourage your community to continue the conversation.

Share resources that your audience will love and recommend.
Make the messaging a no-brainer. Give your advocates the tools to instantly start conversations and share value with their audience.

Who you get content from

LinkedIn’s algorithm change now prioritizes updates from your network or from those you’re following over those of unknown users. Alice shared that, over the past month, content viewed increased by 10% when that content came from direct connections or the people they followed.

What kind of content you get

The second thing that LinkedIn users said they valued was content grounded in knowledge and advice. Alice used the example of an AI and machine learning expert sharing something about AI and machine learning. Even if they aren’t connected, that information could be valuable for a machine learning practitioner, so LinkedIn’s updated algorithm makes sure that they get a chance to see it.

By prioritizing this content focused on knowledge-sharing, Alice said that, in the past few months, LinkedIn saw a 40% increase in users engaging with content posted by people outside of their network.

What does this mean for you?

For creators, these updates will mean more engagement from the community you’ve already built and more reach to your content’s audience, the audience that will most likely benefit from your expertise. These changes mean that mobilizing the advocates you’ve already built is more important than ever.

Because LinkedIn’s new algorithm prioritizes content from users’ connections first, your best chance of connecting with a new audience is through their network and the best place to find people connected to your target audience is, well, in your audience.

In practice, it looks like this:

You’re hosting an event focused on sharing the latest tools, technologies and best practices for your industry. Your speakers are experts with networks full of practitioners who already know and trust the content. In the past, you would share content that may have given a general overview to ensure that as many people as possible engaged and shared. You got lots of impressions and tons of supportive (albeit not meaningful) engagement, and some conversions.

Today, you equip each of your speakers with personalized content to share about the event and empower them to connect directly with your audience and share the resources and valuable content that LinkedIn prioritizes. You get engagement primarily from their network, but also from others in their field who may not yet be connected. Your event gets a larger reach with audience members who haven’t engaged with you before and your conversion rate goes up.

Maybe you’re hosting an eBook on your site. Not only can you similarly equip the contributors to the ebook with posts sharing how excited they are to have helped make it happen, but you can give the audience of your ebook – anyone who downloads it – the opportunity to share it with their network. They get to share content that they found valuable with their network and your ebook is delivered directly to a network of people who are likely to be interested.

Finally, you run a membership-only association that provides incredible value to its members. Your existing members can invite their connections to join (maybe with a discount if they use a referral code), new members can share their excitement when they join, and when it comes time to renew your members might feel some FOMO seeing the activity of the other members in their feed.

This engagement may sound like a lot of work but your strategy for engaging your advocates will be critical, especially as professional platforms like LinkedIn reject virality in favor of value. And leveraging tools like InGo to create, personalize, share, and track your advocates’ engagement can make it not only more manageable but up to 10x more effective.


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