Battling the Algorithms
Whether you are the social media manager for a well-known brand, a small company or your own business, getting your content seen is a battle against the algorithms.
Up until a few years ago the word ‘algorithm' was one for the mathematicians and scientists and not in the marketers' vocabulary. Now it's top of mind when it comes to dwindling reach of organic marketing on social media.
Your newsfeed shows you what the social media algorithms ‘think' you want to see. Unless you specifically select to follow a company or person, or have notifications set to ping you when someone posts, the likelihood of you seeing a broad spectrum of content is very small.
Why is this? For 99% of companies, social media is now a ‘pay to play' model. Like all social media platforms, much of LinkedIn's revenue comes from advertising. If you want your content to be seen a large audience matching a specific set of criteria, then advertising one option.
However, all is not lost. Follow these tips and benefit from increased reach.
1. Post high value content
Post high quality, relevant content which educates, informs and entertains. Include updates which show the human side of your business. I am not recommending trivial, jovial content just to fill the newsfeed. Even a light-hearted post needs to be well though through.
Unless relevant to your business, avoid content which takes an extreme stand on sensitive issues. That said, taking a stand which reflects the mission of your company culture which is likely to resonate with your audience is preferable.
Remember no-one likes to be ‘sold at' so keep you promotional posts to between 15-20% – hint at your products and services focusing on your value proposition.
2. Post content consistently
Like all marketing, consistency is key. On a LinkedIn Company Page I recommend posting at least 3 times a week.
Although the exact make up of the algorithm is kept under wraps, evidence suggests that posts with links are likely to be given less reach – LinkedIn wants to keep users on the platform and not direct them to another website.
3. Notify your team of posts
For the majority of B2B companies a large proportion of employees will have a LinkedIn profile which is associated with the LinkedIn Company Page. If you are posting to your Company Page regularly, I recommend that you use the Notify feature to remind employees to like, comment on and share the page post.
The Notify Employees function can be used once a day and its effectiveness relies on your employees having notifications switched on and acting.
4. Use your “Invite Connections To Follow”
Increase your LinkedIn Company Page following by inviting connections to follow the page. For admins there are 100 invitations per month in total. These are not rolled over, so use them up. You will need to work out who to add as an admin each month or so. This can be done on rotation.
5. Cross Promote on Social Platforms
All posts on social media have a link. Cross promote your LinkedIn Company Page Posts across your other social accounts.
6. Use ‘My Company'
For companies with more than 10 employees there is a My Company tab on a LinkedIn Company Page gives the opportunity to view coworker milestones, to engage with trending coworker posts and company recommended content, and connect with other employees through dynamic suggestions.
7. Use a Company Hashtag
Create a company hashtag which is included on all company posts which when clicks will show all the posts from the company page and, if used, relevant posts by employees. For example #EY or #Shell.
Ensure your company hashtag is unique.
8. Share Employees' Posts
Posts shared by employees on their own newsfeeds can be used as content for the LinkedIn company page. This can only by done by admins.
9. Disseminate internally
Although unwieldy, you can use your internal communications system to notify employees of your latest LinkedIn company page post. In addition, employees can share their post with their colleagues on the company Slack channel, intranet, WhatsApp, Workplace from Facebook, etc.
10. Use employee advocacy software
The ideal solution for SMEs with a team of 20+ employees is the use of employee advocacy software. Although the term 'employee advocacy' is used within the industry, I don't believe it describes the benefits of using the software. I like to think of it as social champion or social ambassador software.
In essence, each employee connects their social profiles to an app which sends through notifications of a selection of posts to post or like, comment on and share.
The benefits of social champion software are:
- It is easy to install
- It is time efficient – accessible on-the-go on a mobile phone without the need to log into the social platforms
- Content is company approved and therefore employees can be confident to share
- It doesn't require the employee to create content if that is not their forte
- You are able to give employees options for the text and images
- Detailed analytics show the reach and engagement data by post which drives planning better content in the future
- Incentive programs can be added in, although in many cases it is in the employees' interest to participate once they have had the appropriate training and recognise the overall benefit of joining in.
For a social champion program to be successful it is not necessary for 100% of employees to participate. In fact, it is unrealistic to expect everyone to join. For sales and marketing, client-facing employees, customer services, and recruitment staff where brand awareness is an integral part of their roles it is in their interest to be an active participant.
With the right training and planning these tips can make a significant difference to the effectiveness of your social media efforts.
While LinkedIn Company Pages have, up until now, taken second place to Personal Profiles, ignore them at your peril. The introduction of LinkedIn's My Company feature signals that there is more to come. Most corporate websites have links to their LinkedIn Company Page, so ensure it represents your company in the best possible light.