Do you understand the LinkedIn algorithm?

How the algorithm in LinkedIn works and how you can hack it

It’s not easy to achieve a good reach – on any social media, but many underestimate the long-term necessity and overestimate their short-term success on LinkedIn as it seems we have understood the code.

The classic approach – markets are conversations

As in real life, it is not good to constantly praise yourself, promote your company and products, or spread any quotes from Bill Gates or Ariana Huffington. Think of LinkedIn as a regular exchange within the framework of an Erfa group. Some members come to the meeting every day, some a few times a week, some a few times a month – when time permits. Every time the persons enter the room – i.e. open LinkedIn – they walk through the room and listen to the conversations with one ear. Somebody’s talking about “ZUG! THE CRYPTO VALLEY! COME AND VISIT!”, someone talks about “how a lot of insurances companies are not worthwhile, except these…” and someone asks who can help me: that’s where I am: my network contains a lot of decision-makers, but I can’t get to the board of directors, what are they interested in topics on LinkedIn? What do you think? Which conversation are people more likely to gather for? Let’s imagine that the same person who asked the VR question refers directly to someone present and also asks “Dear @Felix – you know some exciting inputs during your management training? – now Felix enters the round and gladly gives information, thanks and passes the ball on to @Maja – and so on. Imagine now, that the person who originally asked does this irregularly, almost rarely. Accordingly, the people walking around in the room have hardly any points of contact with her and the round is rather small in the beginning. But if we know that the person – let’s call her Annika – puts these VR topics into the room sometimes, we also know that many people are already interested and like to listen when Linda asks a question or a post. Does that make sense so far? I hope so. Let’s always ask ourselves the question on social media platforms: what is the discussion topic I’m looking for in the long run, on which topic, who do I want to address, pick up and inspire?

Then we think in discussion blocks to keep the discussion going and we are actively participating as well as listening and commenting – giving and taking.  Be helpful and not advertising, networking and stimulating discussion.

By the way, the idea didn’t come from me, but from the 1999 Cluetrain Manifesto – markets are talks.

The new holistic approach – the 7C

In numerous articles and blogs, as well as on my own I have searched and combined different possibilities, tested and actively regularly and then again with a longer break – a secret tip to reset the baseline again – and I came across an exciting approach, which comes from the parent company of LinkedIn, namely Microsoft: LinkedIn is a knowledge company. Knowledge and experts should come together, get together, and advance each other – for the greater good – or simply to use the potential of swarm intelligence (for better or for worse, of course).

How is the 7C system composed now?

  1. Company connects all
  2. contacts looking around for
  3. content that leads to
  4. conversations where we need to
  5. be consistent in doing so
  6. and approach and build up a community
  7. and to increase the conversion with it

To this end, it must be noted that algorithms can only really work if we use, maintain, and implement the basic information correctly.


It helps to understand that the top element is the company (company, company size). It connects actively (currently employed) and passively (alumni) the persons with and among one another. So if you know who it works or has worked with whom, you can create information and knowledge clusters much better. In concrete terms, this means that all persons should be connected to a company website and have the corresponding correct company websites integrated into their profile.


This brings us to the second C: Contacts. On the one hand, this refers to our own profile, but on the other hand, it also refers to density and interconnectivity in our own network. This means: dense is beautiful.

Of course, a large network always helps, but those who have only a large number of people in the network primarily create thematic outposts without reference to topics and connections with one another.

That’s why it’s better to be constant and always related – thematically or locally or company-wise. Here, too, you have to do your homework: a complete profile (LinkedIn shows you that), recommendations (mutual), and of course, the third C: Content.


But before we go into the content here – similar to the one already described above – let me jump forward two C’s: on the subject of consistency – stay tuned. Because here the visibility rate differs strongly from the users who have 10 – 20% visibility and those who have 80% or even 120% visibility. Consistency means that you work on and record a topic not just once, but regularly and over a certain period of time. With knowledge bites, questions, interactions, videos, pictures – but more than just 3 – 4 posts. This is easier if you have only 1 topic, but if you are politically on the road, you simply have to remember that you may record a topic monthly or weekly. How this happens: analogous in the classical approach: with content that promotes conversation.

This is where the classic approach meets the holistic approach, but we are relying on a greater leverage than just 2C by taking the whole 7C into account.

Let’s never forget: Algorithms are programmed by people who want to imitate (mimic) social life and therefore the networks function similarly (not the same, but similar) when it comes to the implementation of fundamentals, technology, content, and interactions. Because what all networks want is our attention. If you spend more time on LinkedIn, you’re not on Xing; if you’re on Facebook, you’re cutting off time for Instagram and vice versa. And where do you like to spend time? Where you are among like-minded people: the community – the sixth C.


By community, I mean the group of differently engaged people who interact with us in different intensities. There is the “narrow circle” of people we often address, liken, comment, and follow. There is the “Frequent Contact” group, which we do liken and comment on from time to time, but rather on an “I follow you and you follow me and everything is okay” level. Finally, this “friend circle”, i.e. all the rest.

Conversations and Inbound Conversations

The attractive and challenging at the same time with the 3 steps are: Who belongs to frequent contact, can create it into the narrow circle, the acquaintances can migrate to the more frequent contact and also within the narrowest circle one can fine-tune.

The only important thing is: Steps 1 to 6 must always be repeated because step 7 is: the inbound conversion of digital selling. It is not selling directly, you are requested, you are recommended, you are mentioned. In descending order. If you are looking for a Quick-Win here, you are looking in vain. You can promote it by taking care of it yourself: who would I mention, who would recommend, who would book (inquire) for a topic and use it.

Roger L. Basler de Roca hat nach 12 Jahren im Ausland im Rahmen von Private Equity vor 5 Jahren begonnen, seine eigenen Unternehmen zu gründen. Zu seinen Spezialgebieten gehört der Aufbau von Digitalen Geschäftsmodellen und Wachstumsmodellen im Digital Marketing. Er doziert an diversen Instituten und hat zahlreiche Fachbücher und Artikel zu den oben genannten Themen veröffentlich in Deutsch und Englisch.

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