Digital Leadership on LinkedIn part three: Understanding LinkedIn’s algorithm and measuring the data that matters

Understanding LinkedIn’s algorithm and measuring the data that matters   This is the final blog in a three-part series about digital leadership on LinkedIn. The first article focused on how tech companies can use LinkedIn more effectively for social selling and establishing digital leadership, including how to set your team up for success. Part two […]

Understanding LinkedIn’s algorithm and measuring the data that matters


This is the final blog in a three-part series about digital leadership on LinkedIn. The first article focused on how tech companies can use LinkedIn more effectively for social selling and establishing digital leadership, including how to set your team up for success. Part two discusses engagement best practices and how to maintain and grow your social program to build connection and relationship with your target audience. Part three is all about the data: understanding LinkedIn’s algorithm, measuring what matters, understanding how to interpret the data and acting on it to increase audience engagement.

Doubling down on data 

You can take much of the guess work out of digital leadership on LinkedIn by studying each post’s data, compiling it into a monthly summary and comparing your impact and reach from month to month.  

LinkedIn provides a lot of data about how your posts are performing, including impressions, reactions, comments, shares and engagement rates. But some of these indicators are more important than others when trying to accurately judge if you are connecting with your audience. 


Impressions (or sometimes interchangeability referred to as to as views) are terrific as they show how many people saw your post and can be an indicator of how far you’ve expanded outside your network. But views could come from anybody. They aren’t necessarily the people you want to do business with. Therefore, while getting many views has great bragging rights, it is a relatively poor indication of how well you are connecting with your target audience.  

A good rule of thumb is to try and get more total post impressions per month than the number of connections you have. This is not an easy achievement, but success means you are reaching a whole new audience of second- and third-level connections. It indicates that what you are saying resonates enough with your network that they are sharing and engaging – taking the time to read your posts and react.  

Reactions and comments 

Reactions and comments are far more important. They are important to you if they are from your target audience because that means your most critical readers are reading and engaging with your post. They are also important to the LinkedIn algorithm, which we discuss further down. 


The number of shares is important as well, although not as weighty to the algorithm as reactions and comments. No matter who shares, your post gets in front of a new audience that may include the demographic you are trying to reach.  


Engagement is the percentage of the audience who viewed your post then interacted with it by comment, reaction or share. The engagement of a large audience with a high view rate will be lower than a smaller, highly targeted audience. That’s okay either way, but it’s better for you (and for the algorithm) if your audience is interacting, not just viewing.  

Here are two examples taken from our digital executives to illustrate (these are average stats based on audience size, captured over one month with no more than three posts per week): 

Executive with 1–999 connections: 

  • Post-view range 3,500–7,725 
  • Reaction range 50–304 
  • Comments 3–15 
  • Shares 3–4 
  • Engagement rate 1.59%–4.18% 

Executive with 3,000–10,000 connections: 

  • Post view range 3,100–68,500 
  • Reaction range 63–1,025 
  • Comments 4–60 
  • Shares 0–19 
  • Engagement rate 1.57%–3.71% 

For reference, a 2% engagement rate is considered a good engagement rate on LinkedIn. If you get an engagement rate over 1%, feel really happy. Anything above 5% is extremely rare – earn that and consider yourself a unicorn.  

How to create posts that make the algorithm happy  

To get your posts to reach more people and build your influence, you need to appease the algorithm. LinkedIn changes its algorithm often to create better user experiences.  

Richard van der Blom releases Linkedin Algorithm insights each year based on thorough research and analysis. The fifth edition shares important takeaways that we’ll share, along with our own insights and experience.  

Be authentic 

To make the algorithm happy, be authentic and share thoughtful, meaningful content that doesn’t frequently ask people to leave LinkedIn by linking to external sources.  

LinkedIn wants to keep the audience on the platform as much as possible, so publishing external links often results in that post being deprioritized. Text-only posts or text with single image are two good options. Always aim to educate, focus on one idea, and encourage dialogue.  

There is a time and place for each type of post. It’s important to align your objectives with the right type of post.  

Don’t cannibalize your posts 

In our experience, eight to ten meaningful posts in a month are enough. Too many, especially in a single day, looks like spam to your feed; multiple posts often get downgraded and “eat each other.” Then your views go way down, along with everything else. Also, people will start to ignore over-frequent messaging, especially if the posts are product-specific or promotional, rather than original content.  

The LinkedIn Algorithm report noted that LinkedIn “remembers” the performance of the last 10–15 posts. A series of poorly performing posts could lead LinkedIn to deprioritize your content. 

Ghosting is a no-no 

A lot of work goes into crafting posts. But even after a post is published, the job isn’t over. For the LinkedIn algorithm, your work has just started to see reward.  

Engagement is everything – comments in particular.  

Research in the LinkedIn Algorithm report shows that the first hour after publishing can set the momentum for the next six hours. The report recommends initiating 2 to 5 comments on your own post with further thoughts or tagging others directly to foster conversation. You should also address others’ interactions within the first hour, as that can lead to a 40% increase in post growth. The interactions received after the first day can extend visibility into a third day or diminish it altogether. 

Commenting as a strategy 

Comments are the most highly valued engagement. A winning strategy goes beyond just creating original content. Actively commenting on other’s posts can be an effective supplementary approach.  

The research in the LinkedIn Algorithm report noted that publishing 10 quality comments daily for a month can lead to a 40% increase of profile views, 25% higher engagement on one’s own content, and 20% growth in followers and connections. 

If you want to take the comment route or create a mix with your original content, apply similar best practices. Comments need to be high-value additions to the dialogue. Be sure to share a perspective, ask questions, and amplify the value of the original post. The report notes a comment that has 15 or more words can have double the impact of shorter comments.  

Use AI-assisted content thoughtfully 

GenAI tools are being used frequently for content creation. They’re great for accelerating content creation, but AI-generated content (if not altered) is obvious. The algorithm has caught on as well, and obvious use of AI impacts performance. The LinkedIn Algorithm report found AI-generated content experiences a 30% drop in reach, 55% decrease in engagement, and 60% lower click-through rate compared to original content. Original user comments receive 4.2x the author responses and 5x the overall engagement of AI-generated comments.  

When using AI, you need to be mindful. Always apply your personal creative touch to AI-generated content to ensure authenticity and reflect your voice. 

Test and learn on LinkedIn using data 

Embrace the adage, “you won’t know until you try.” Taking a test-and-learn approach gives you the opportunity to see what the data tells you. If your post garnered a lot of engagement with the industry, position, company, or geographic region you were speaking to, then it was a success! Do more of that.  

If your results were not what you wanted: 

  • Try different post types, lengths, and hashtags. 
  • Experiment with captivating openings and closing sentences. 
  • Tag the company or person you want to connect with. (Make sure the post is highly relevant or valuable to them. If you tag people who don’t react, the algorithm takes notice. If you tag the same person in repeated posts and they never like or respond, then LinkedIn might decide you’re spamming them.) 
  • Test posting timing for different time zones to reach a global audience. 
  • If you want to focus on a specific group, make sure you already have some contacts representing that group in your connections. 

If you can’t figure out why you’re not having the impact or reach that you want, or if you want to dig deeper into your data, why not grab a virtual coffee with one of our social experts? A fifteen-minute chat could translate into 1,500 more post interactions per month.