Not all posts are created equal. When and how you post on LinkedIn, as well as how you interact with content, determine visibility, reach and influence as much as what you post about in the first place. To level up your presence on LinkedIn – and maximize the overall impact of your content engagement – here’s the rundown on 3 key aspects: timing, commenting and tagging.
It doesn’t matter how helpful or interesting your posts are if no one sees them. Pay attention to when and how often you originate content because post timing and frequency affect visibility in others’ newsfeeds. Marketing research has repeatedly shown that posting more than once per day drives down reach. If you have a lot of meaningful ideas to share, spread them out over several days.
Additionally, editing within the first hour can reduce post reach by 25%, so it’s better to proofread carefully and avoid the need for corrections later.
As for when to post, experiment to identify optimal timing for your network and intended audience. There’s no singular “best time” for all users; the activity patterns of your connections, followers and people in your industry will vary from others’ networks.
That said, as a starting point, social media marketing experts often recommend posting Tuesday through Thursday from mid-morning to mid-afternoon, because there’s peak member activity on the platform (compared to evenings and weekends, when there’s a big drop-off). This is a general recommendation though.
Regularly look at the performance of your recent activity – which posts had the most views? Have certain days or times worked better for you than others? Let your own insights guide you.
Commenting – on others’ posts and in reply to comments on your posts – can improve post visibility and extend reach to broader networks. However, comments with fewer than 5 words have 15-20% less reach than those that say more. Be sure to write a complete thought, beyond, “Congratulations!” “Great post!” “Thanks for sharing!” You’ll also stand out for adding unique perspective instead of something generic.
Whenever you receive a comment, respond right away – especially to any activity within the first two hours of posting. Think of this as signaling to the LinkedIn algorithm that the post is generating conversation and, therefore, is high-quality content. This is critical for shaping the post’s trajectory for greater visibility and reach.
After an event, team achievement or project, it’s common to see photos or posts with multiple people tagged. Tagging isn’t a neutral action, however. If those tagged don’t engage, post reach can drop by 40-50%, so prioritize those who are active on LinkedIn. (You can always list other people without tagging them.) Even better, tag those who are most likely to comment. While there’s no enhanced benefit to tagged people liking a post, comments can increase post reach by 10-15%.
#Hashtags can also influence post reach with broader networks depending on quantity and quality. While recommendations have fluctuated over the past few years, current research indicates that 3 – 5 hashtags per post is the sweet spot. Fewer than three can reduce post reach by 40%, while more than five can reduce reach by 20%. Whatever you use, make sure they are relevant to the content and add value to the particular #topic.
Review the number of followers for hashtags before posting too. Similar words often have very different reach (e.g., 6,200 followers for #personalbrand vs. 10.4 million followers for #personalbranding). LinkedIn recommends mixing broad and niche hashtags to maximize exposure with the right people. Broad, high-follower hashtags have the potential to reach a huge number of viewers, but only briefly, because the sheer volume of other posts on the topic will drive your post from view quickly. In contrast, niche hashtags have fewer followers, but don’t have so many competing posts which allows that audience a longer opportunity to see your post.
The common thread across all marketing research is that quality content is one of the key drivers of visibility on LinkedIn. Add value and thoughtful perspective when you post, share and comment, and it will spark engagement, which is what LinkedIn really wants. Applying some strategy that draws on best practices and results of your experimentation will up your LinkedIn game even more. Put it all together and it will increase your visibility and reach, helping attract and connect with the right people to achieve your goals.