The Path To Increased Reach Via Posting On LinkedIn

Having lots and lots of connections

And it is maybe the most critical factor in more people seeing your post (or article, video or whatever it is you are publishing on LinkedIn). This is because of the way LinkedIn’s algorithms work when we publish. 

When we hit the “publish” or “post” button on LinkedIn, Linkedin takes our content and puts it in front of a very small fraction of our connections.  This number is thought to be 5-7%, though this is just an educated guess by the independent LinkedIn training and consulting community. Of course LinkedIn won’t confirm or deny anything, and to be fair, LinkedIn is always tweaking the algorithms, so maybe it is just as well they don’t tell us exactly how the system works. 

Once we have published our content, and  if we get engagement, the algorithm judges our content’s  relevance and puts it in front of more people, both more of our connections, and connections of the people who engaged with our post. That’s why you will get LinkedIn notifications saying “Bruce, a connection of yours, commented on Jeff Ball’s post.”

Let’s look at a couple hypothetical examples. Let’s say you have five hundred connections. You write a really good post and publish it. LinkedIn puts it in front of 5-7% of your connections, or around thirty people. Those people respond really well, and LinkedIn puts your content in front of another 20% of your connections, that is one hundred more people.  So you have been (possibly) seen by one hundred and thirty people. Meanwhile I post at the same time. LinkedIn puts my post in front of 5-7% of my five thousand connections, or three hundred people. But my post isn’t as well written or relevant as yours and gets a lot less engagement. So LinkedIn puts my post in front of only another 10% of my connections, which is five hundred people. 

So your  objectively better, more relevant post gets put in front of 130 people. My lesser post gets put in front of 800. The much larger number of connections I have gives me a huge advantage over you. 

The bottom line is that all other factors being equal, the more connections you have, the wider LinkedIn  will spread your post and the more new people will have the opportunity to see it. 

There are a couple unknowns here though, and those are how LinkedIn treats followers and subscribers. You can follow someone or subscribe (ring the bell on their profile)  to someone’s content on LinkedIn without connecting with them. LinkedIn says you will see all of their posted content, but I am skeptical. I think that LinkedIn has a vague definition of what “see” means. I do think that LinkedIn does put all of our content for people we follow or subscribe to in our feeds, but way down the feed where it is pretty unlikely that we will ever scroll down far enough to see. 

Note the one exception to this whole publishing algo thing seems to be LinkedIn newsletters. LinkedIn says they go to all your subscribers and this seems to be true.

So there you go. Quality of your content is of course really important. But LinkedIn controls the delivery system for that content and one of the few ways you can really work that system to your advantage is by giving it a bigger list of connections to work with.