Are You Relevant?
Welcome to episode 277 which should have been 278 but I failed to get an episode out last week so apologies for that.
Despite missing a week and thereby needing to search the internet back across the last 2 weeks, I found hardly anything of interest! It seems Jan is a very quiet month for LinkedIn news – checking back this time last year was exactly the same!
We do, however, have a brilliant post of the week to talk about as well as the main subject of relevancy. More of that later but first here is what I could find;
Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week.
The Dolly Parton Challenge comes to LinkedIn
or maybe not!
If you haven’t seen it elsewhere on social media this is a trending ‘challenge’ started by Dolly herself on Instagram and replicated millions of times across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. The idea is that you represent yourself with four pictures of you in different ‘modes’ LinkedIn – Facebook – Instagram and Tinder.
It’s just a bit of fun so I wondered if many people on LinkedIn were doing it. When I searched the hashtag #dollypartonchallenge I was surprised to see plenty of posts but almost all of them were from company pages! The idea is to represent yourself but marketing peeps have decided to use the ‘opportunity’ to put out largely cheesy posts about their products and services. Here are a few examples;
To be fair, these posts attracted a fair amount of Likes. I decided to put my own spin on it by using my Bitmoji to make a point about what LinkedIn really is rather than how the majority of Dolly Parton posts represented it as (boring, suit & ties, job-seeking)
Relevancy on LinkedIn
This subject came up again recently when I saw a post from a jobseeker complaining about the way recruiters search results are heavily dictated by something he perceived to be out of his control – relevancy.
LinkedIn explain it as follows;
Relevance, however, is not restricted to search results, it quite possibly has an impact on much of what we do on LinkedIn.
- Who initially sees our posts or Articles
- Who sees that we have Liked or Commented on a Post or Article
- How often our profile appears in the ‘suggested connections’ section and to whom
- What we see in our feed
So when you think about it, relevancy has a big influence on our visibility on LinkedIn and for me, visibility is the key to success.
The LinkedIn algorithm is constantly undertaking complex calculations to decide who is ‘relevant’ to us on LinkedIn. This helps to form decisions that the algorithm makes with respect to the above points and possibly others.
I’m sure most of us think it’s doing a pretty average job of giving us the best search result order or the most interesting content in our feed but that’s not really the point. The key thing is to understand that it is looking for clear signs of relevance and those signs come from our actions. We obviously completely control our own actions and we also have the ability to influence the actions of others.
Example: The algorithm believes two people are of high relevance to each other because they have similar skills, industry, and keywords in their profile plus it also knows that they are both members of the same group(s) and they have conducted a DM conversation through messages or InMail.
We can have a direct impact on this by;
- Mirroring important parts of the profiles of those we wish to be visible to. Skills, industry, keywords, Groups and other interests.
- following those we are interested in and be followed by them – the chances of which are enhanced by the fact that our content is designed to be interesting to these people
- Connecting with them.
- Ensuring that DM’s are written in a way that encourages an answer and ideally develops into a lengthy thread.
- Follow up any connection to someone you are interested in being visible to with an authentic, customised DM (see episode 276)
- Visiting their profile and writing our headline in a way that encourages them to view our profile.
- Writing posts that are designed to stimulate engagement amongst our target audience
- Consistency in the above actions. Targeting the same type of people rather than covering multiple markets/target groups
The key is to understand what the algorithm is trying to do and to authentically play to that to ensure that it considers you highly relevant to those you wish to influence.
A big thanks to Carl Whalley for sending through this nomination. It’s amusing but also delivers an important message in quite a clever way. I like the structure – it’s an authentic and personal story that cuts off at “I’m good friends with your CEO” which makes you want to click ‘see more’ to see what her response was!
As normal with this type of post, the comment thread makes interesting reading. The author goes on to explain in the thread that she immediately followed this up with an invitation to connect…brilliant!
This week we have a voicemail question from AJ Wilcox
I have never been able to prove the theory that scheduling posts negatively impacts their distribution. That said, posting videos or images does not work well and you can’t schedule doc posts yet so in reality, you are just left with text-only posts and you can’t @mention tag anyone. Given all that and the fact that it is so very important to reply to all comments, especially those in the first hour it does seem like a technique to only be used when really needed.
That’s all for this week. I’m going to be away for the next couple of weeks so the next episode won’t be until 22nd February. In the meantime keep sending in your suggestions for the post of the week and any LinkedIn questions you want me to answer.