June 4, 2020 Kahn Media

KM 101: Using LinkedIn to Grow Your Business

Welcome to Part 6 of Kahn Media’s KM 101 series, where we provide easy-to-understand information and guidelines for businesses that want to pivot to a “digital-first” model or enhance their online marketing efforts. Click on the links below to read our other KM 101 articles.

Launched in 2003, LinkedIn has grown from a professional networking and employment website to become the world’s largest online community of professionals. As of May 2020, there were more than 690 million users and 50 million companies on LinkedIn.

If you think Facebook and Instagram are where you promote your brand on social media and LinkedIn is where you look for a job, think again. LinkedIn is where business happens, and four out of five users “drive business decisions.” Especially if your company or brand is in the B2B space, you can’t afford NOT be active on LinkedIn.

Our KM 101 deep dive on LinkedIn provides you with key statistics to understand the site, an understanding of how its algorithm works and tips on how to leverage LinkedIn to grow your business. We also take a closer look at two recently launched features: LinkedIn Events and LinkedIn Live.


LinkedIn: Rapid Growth, High Engagement
With 690 million users, LinkedIn has grown by 17% since the end of 2018 and its user base now includes 12.7% of the world’s population of adults aged 18+. LinkedIn claims that “For the first time in the history of media, you can reach the world’s professionals—all in one place.” According to the company’s audience statistics, its users include more than 90 million senior-level influencers, 63 million decision makers, 17 million opinion leaders and 10 million C-level executives.

In terms of demographics, 57% of LinkedIn users are men and 43% are women (29% of U.S. men and 24% of U.S. women use LinkedIn), and three out of five users (61%) are in the 25-34 age group. In terms of usage by device, 57% of LinkedIn traffic comes from mobile.

LinkedIn says that engagement on the site has increased by 50% year-over-year, with nine billion content impressions and 15X more content impressions than job postings. Furthermore, videos on LinkedIn get 3X the engagement of text posts and 2X the engagement of photo posts.

But here are two little known facts you can use to your advantage: only about three million LinkedIn users (0.4%) create content, and only about 100,000 posts are shared each month. LinkedIn has hundreds of millions of users, but only a small handful generate useful content to be shared by others.

With a low barrier to entry and a large unmet need for original content, LinkedIn represents an excellent and underutilized opportunity for your brand. You can tap into your existing network of connections, as well as your connections’ connections (most users have 500-1,000 connections), to grow your brand through word-of-mouth. To do that, you need to understand how LinkedIn’s algorithm works.


Understanding LinkedIn’s Algorithm
The key to understanding and mastering any social media platform is a working knowledge of its evolving algorithm. Not all algorithms are created equal, but they have one goal in common: creating a community by actively engaging users and providing them with valuable content.

LinkedIn’s mantra is “People you know, talking about the things you care about.” In other words, the Linkedin algorithm prioritizes personal connections based around interests. What’s relevant trumps what’s recent — by default the homepage feed is set to “top” posts, but users can change the feed to “recent” posts. The algorithm prioritizes posts from people users actually know as well as content on topics users care about (the two are not mutually exclusive).

Top 3 Factors in LinkedIn’s Ranking Algorithm 

1. Personal Connections: The algorithm puts more emphasis on personal connections. It considers who you have interacted with, the type of content you engage with and what information you have shared on your profile and news feed.

2. Relevance: Just because you are connected to someone personally does not mean you are interested in the same content. To account for this, LinkedIn measures a post’s affinity to users’ interests based on the groups they belong to, pages they follow and content they post.

3. Probability of Engagement: Since engagement is critical to the success of the platform, the algorithm ranks interaction and engagement in two phases: Phase 1 evaluates multi-objective optimization (the likelihood someone will share, comment or like your post), and Phase 2 evaluates how quickly the post propels forward with engagement (the quicker the post receives engagement, the more likely it will be seen by a larger share of users). 


Driving Engagement
If you want to drive engagement for your brand on LinkedIn, you need to have a complete company page  — it will receive, on average, twice as many visitors as an incomplete page. You also need to post regularly — companies that post at least monthly generally gain followers six times faster than those that don’t.

And when you publish content on LinkedIn, follow these guidelines:

7 Tips for Driving Engagement on LinkedIn

1. Publish content regularly
As with any social media strategy, the most basic way to build and maintain an audience is to publish content on a regular basis. Linkedin recommends at least one post per day from both company and personal pages.

2. Publish content that adds value
It’s easy to fall into the trap of just promoting your company on social media platforms like LinkedIn, especially given its business focus. But the key to engagement is an audience-first approach to content that adds value to the user experience. So instead of just promoting your company’s products or services, post industry news or articles written by your staff or other subject matter experts, or share relevant content that did not originate from your company.

3. Encourage employees to connect
Employees are your biggest advocates. By connecting them to your LinkedIn page you expand their network as well as your company’s network. Encourage your employees to link their personal profiles to your company page and add their positions. LinkedIn says that, on average, employees have 10X first-degree connections than a company has followers, so having employees share your company’s content increases reach and engagement.

4. Upload rich media
When it comes to engaging content, rich media is king. LinkedIn data shows that posts with an image or graphic get twice as many comments as text-only posts. Furthermore, Linkedin is one of the few social platforms that allows non-native videos to automatically play in the news feed.

5. Join Linkedin Groups
LinkedIn Groups allow “professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to share content, find answers, post and view jobs, make business contacts, and establish themselves as industry experts.” Use Groups to grow your network and be part of a community.

6. Build Showcase Pages
Showcase Pages are extensions of your LinkedIn company page, designed to spotlight individual brands, business units and initiatives. Companies can create up to 10 Showcase Pages under one parent company page, and they have the same posting options and analytics. LinkedIn users can follow Showcase Pages and subscribe to updates, but employees cannot be associated with them which limits some engagement features. 

7. Use Linkedin Ads
Like all social media platforms, LinkedIn gathers detailed information about its users. This allows for highly specific targeted digital marketing campaigns that deliver results. And the cost per lead for LinkedIn Ads is 28% lower than Google AdWords. There are several types of LinkedIn Ads:

  • Sponsored InMail: This feature allows you to send personalized direct messages to targeted LinkedIn members, which on average have a 52% open rate.
  • Text Ads: Like pay-per-click ads on other social media platforms, these ads can appear on the homepage, profile pages, news feeds, search results and group pages.
  • Sponsored Content: These ads increase your reach and help grow your audience beyond your company page’s followers. 

Special Focus: LinkedIn Events
LinkedIn Events is a new feature that provides an easy way to create and join virtual professional events in real-time, including online workshops, seminars, sales/marketing events, networking events and more. LinkedIn Events is another way to find and build communities as well as grow your company and its network. LinkedIn Events allow you to:

  • Create a public or private event
  • Generate an event landing page on LinkedIn with a unique URL
  • Stream to your event attendees using LinkedIn Live (see below)

LinkedIn Events are listed on your page, and you can easily share new events with your followers. In the near future, LinkedIn users will be able to find relevant events in their “My Network” tab and companies will be able to boost event registration with LinkedIn Ads.


Special Focus: LinkedIn Live
LinkedIn Live is a new feature that allows individuals and organizations to broadcast live video content to their network in real time, providing an opportunity to connect with users in a more authentic and engaging way. 

  • Live videos get, on average, 7X more reactions and 24X more comments than native video produced by the same broadcasters.
  • 87% of viewers would prefer to watch online vs. on television if it meant more behind-the-scenes content.
  • 73% of B2B marketers say video positively impacts marketing ROI.

LinkedIn Live is not for everyone. The feature is limited to a select number of users; if you or your company would like to use it, you must apply for access through LinkedIn’s website. Also, LinkedIn Live operates through a third-party broadcaster tool. To use LinkedIn Live, you must have the ability, knowledge and resources to operate the software and integrate it with LinkedIn. 


LinkedIn Strategy
Businesses today cannot afford to take an on-again, off-again approach to social media. Whether its Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or a business-centric platform like LinkedIn, you need a well-planned, well-executed strategy to get the most out of social media. That requires content creation as well as a hands-on, responsive approach to managing content and interactions with users.

Need help? Kahn Media manages a network of Instagram channels with more than 1 million followers, and we run the social media channels for dozens of clients. We can help you create content, engage with fans and improve your brand’s image. Email us at Help@KahnMedia.com.

Welcome to Part 6 of Kahn Media’s KM 101 series, where we provide easy-to-understand information and guidelines for businesses that want to pivot to a “digital-first” model or enhance their online marketing efforts. Click on the links below to read our previous KM 101 articles.

Launched in 2003, LinkedIn has grown from a professional networking and employment website to become the world’s largest online community of professionals. As of May 2020, there were more than 690 million users and 50 million companies on LinkedIn.

If you think Facebook and Instagram are where you promote your brand on social media and LinkedIn is where you look for a job, think again. LinkedIn is where business happens, and four out of five users “drive business decisions.” Especially if your company or brand is in the B2B space, you can’t afford NOT be active on LinkedIn.

Our KM 101 deep dive on LinkedIn provides you with key statistics to understand the site, an understanding of how its algorithm works and tips on how to leverage LinkedIn to grow your business. We also take a closer look at two recently launched features: LinkedIn Events and LinkedIn Live.


LinkedIn: Rapid Growth, High Engagement
With 690 million users, LinkedIn has grown by 17% since the end of 2018 and its user base now includes 12.7% of the world’s population of adults aged 18+. LinkedIn claims that “For the first time in the history of media, you can reach the world’s professionals—all in one place.” According to the company’s audience statistics, its users include more than 90 million senior-level influencers, 63 million decision makers, 17 million opinion leaders and 10 million C-level executives.

In terms of demographics, 57% of LinkedIn users are men and 43% are women (29% of U.S. men and 24% of U.S. women use LinkedIn), and three out of five users (61%) are in the 25-34 age group. In terms of usage by device, 57% of LinkedIn traffic comes from mobile.

LinkedIn says that engagement on the site has increased by 50% year-over-year, with nine billion content impressions and 15X more content impressions than job postings. Furthermore, videos on LinkedIn get 3X the engagement of text posts and 2X the engagement of photo posts.

But here are two little known facts you can use to your advantage: only about three million LinkedIn users (0.4%) create content, and only about 100,000 posts are shared each month. LinkedIn has hundreds of millions of users, but only a small handful generate useful content to be shared by others.

With a low barrier to entry and a large unmet need for original content, LinkedIn represents an excellent and underutilized opportunity for your brand. You can tap into your existing network of connections, as well as your connections’ connections (most users have 500-1,000 connections), to grow your brand through word-of-mouth. To do that, you need to understand how LinkedIn’s algorithm works.


Understanding LinkedIn’s Algorithm
The key to understanding and mastering any social media platform is a working knowledge of its evolving algorithm. Not all algorithms are created equal, but they have one goal in common: creating a community by actively engaging users and providing them with valuable content.

LinkedIn’s mantra is “People you know, talking about the things you care about.” In other words, the Linkedin algorithm prioritizes personal connections based around interests. What’s relevant trumps what’s recent — by default the homepage feed is set to “top” posts, but users can change the feed to “recent” posts. The algorithm prioritizes posts from people users actually know as well as content on topics users care about (the two are not mutually exclusive).

Top 3 Factors in LinkedIn’s Ranking Algorithm 

1. Personal Connections: The algorithm puts more emphasis on personal connections. It considers who you have interacted with, the type of content you engage with and what information you have shared on your profile and news feed.

2. Relevance: Just because you are connected to someone personally does not mean you are interested in the same content. To account for this, LinkedIn measures a post’s affinity to users’ interests based on the groups they belong to, pages they follow and content they post.

3. Probability of Engagement: Since engagement is critical to the success of the platform, the algorithm ranks interaction and engagement in two phases: Phase 1 evaluates multi-objective optimization (the likelihood someone will share, comment or like your post), and Phase 2 evaluates how quickly the post propels forward with engagement (the quicker the post receives engagement, the more likely it will be seen by a larger share of users). 


Driving Engagement
If you want to drive engagement for your brand on LinkedIn, you need to have a complete company page  — it will receive, on average, twice as many visitors as an incomplete page. You also need to post regularly — companies that post at least monthly generally gain followers six times faster than those that don’t.

And when you publish content on LinkedIn, follow these guidelines:

7 Tips for Driving Engagement on LinkedIn

1. Publish content regularly
As with any social media strategy, the most basic way to build and maintain an audience is to publish content on a regular basis. Linkedin recommends at least one post per day from both company and personal pages.

2. Publish content that adds value
It’s easy to fall into the trap of just promoting your company on social media platforms like LinkedIn, especially given its business focus. But the key to engagement is an audience-first approach to content that adds value to the user experience. So instead of just promoting your company’s products or services, post industry news or articles written by your staff or other subject matter experts, or share relevant content that did not originate from your company.

3. Encourage employees to connect
Employees are your biggest advocates. By connecting them to your LinkedIn page you expand their network as well as your company’s network. Encourage your employees to link their personal profiles to your company page and add their positions. LinkedIn says that, on average, employees have 10X first-degree connections than a company has followers, so having employees share your company’s content increases reach and engagement.

4. Upload rich media
When it comes to engaging content, rich media is king. LinkedIn data shows that posts with an image or graphic get twice as many comments as text-only posts. Furthermore, Linkedin is one of the few social platforms that allows non-native videos to automatically play in the news feed.

5. Join Linkedin Groups
LinkedIn Groups allow “professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to share content, find answers, post and view jobs, make business contacts, and establish themselves as industry experts.” Use Groups to grow your network and be part of a community.

6. Build Showcase Pages
Showcase Pages are extensions of your LinkedIn company page, designed to spotlight individual brands, business units and initiatives. Companies can create up to 10 Showcase Pages under one parent company page, and they have the same posting options and analytics. LinkedIn users can follow Showcase Pages and subscribe to updates, but employees cannot be associated with them which limits some engagement features. 

7. Use Linkedin Ads
Like all social media platforms, LinkedIn gathers detailed information about its users. This allows for highly specific targeted digital marketing campaigns that deliver results. And the cost per lead for LinkedIn Ads is 28% lower than Google AdWords. There are several types of LinkedIn Ads:

  • Sponsored InMail: This feature allows you to send personalized direct messages to targeted LinkedIn members, which on average have a 52% open rate.
  • Text Ads: Like pay-per-click ads on other social media platforms, these ads can appear on the homepage, profile pages, news feeds, search results and group pages.
  • Sponsored Content: These ads increase your reach and help grow your audience beyond your company page’s followers. 

Special Focus: LinkedIn Events
LinkedIn Events is a new feature that provides an easy way to create and join virtual professional events in real-time, including online workshops, seminars, sales/marketing events, networking events and more. LinkedIn Events is another way to find and build communities as well as grow your company and its network. LinkedIn Events allow you to:

  • Create a public or private event
  • Generate an event landing page on LinkedIn with a unique URL
  • Stream to your event attendees using LinkedIn Live (see below)

LinkedIn Events are listed on your page, and you can easily share new events with your followers. In the near future, LinkedIn users will be able to find relevant events in their “My Network” tab and companies will be able to boost event registration with LinkedIn Ads.


Special Focus: LinkedIn Live
LinkedIn Live is a new feature that allows individuals and organizations to broadcast live video content to their network in real time, providing an opportunity to connect with users in a more authentic and engaging way. 

  • Live videos get, on average, 7X more reactions and 24X more comments than native video produced by the same broadcasters.
  • 87% of viewers would prefer to watch online vs. on television if it meant more behind-the-scenes content.
  • 73% of B2B marketers say video positively impacts marketing ROI.

LinkedIn Live is not for everyone. The feature is limited to a select number of users; if you or your company would like to use it, you must apply for access through LinkedIn’s website. Also, LinkedIn Live operates through a third-party broadcaster tool. To use LinkedIn Live, you must have the ability, knowledge and resources to operate the software and integrate it with LinkedIn. 


LinkedIn Strategy
Businesses today cannot afford to take an on-again, off-again approach to social media. Whether its Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or a business-centric platform like LinkedIn, you need a well-planned, well-executed strategy to get the most out of social media. That requires content creation as well as a hands-on, responsive approach to managing content and interactions with users.

Need help? Kahn Media manages a network of Instagram channels with more than 1 million followers, and we run the social media channels for dozens of clients. We can help you create content, engage with fans and improve your brand’s image. Email us at Help@KahnMedia.com.