What's in your LinkedIn Feed: People You Know, Talking About Things You Care About

We have a saying at LinkedIn: “People You Know, Talking About Things You Care About.” This is, simply, how we think about the LinkedIn Feed.

Our mission is to help people be more productive and successful, and it is what drives us daily. We strongly believe that people need their professional communities to help them along the way, whether that's current or former colleagues, peers in the same industry, or those that share similar interests or career ambitions.

The LinkedIn Feed is the home of these communities, and the conversations that happen within them. In this article, I’ll discuss how we think about conversations and ranking, and best practices for seeing your own posts be successful and appear in others’ feeds.

What goes into your LinkedIn Feed

Posts can appear in your feed because you’re connected to, or follow, the person or page that posted it. Or because a connection liked, commented, or shared someone else’s post. You may also see posts from groups you’ve joined, hashtags that you follow, and events you’re attending. Again, all with the goal of showing you the content and conversations that you care about.

Posts generally have some text, and can also include a link or piece of media such as an article, video, image(s), or job post.

Every time you open your LinkedIn app, we check for recent posts by your connections; the people, pages, and hashtags you follow; and groups you’ve joined — all so you can keep up with the latest conversations in your communities.

What goes at the top

The more valuable the conversation, the higher in your feed the post will be. How do we know if it’s a valuable conversation? We use the framework People You Know, Talking About Things You Care About.

People You Know...

In real life, most of us feel more comfortable talking with people we know. The same is generally true online. But how do we know who you know and are more likely to want to talk with? We start with your connections, and the assumption that they are people you know, and want to talk with.

Many of us have lots of connections, or follow lots of people and companies. That means we need to prioritize some over others when it comes to ranking the feed. To do this, we look at who you’ve interacted with directly (for example: in the feed through comments and reactions); we consider information on your profile to understand your interests and experiences you may have in common, and we look at more explicit signals, such as who you’ve told us you work with.

We also consider who would benefit from hearing from you, and may rank a connection’s post higher if their post needs more engagement. We call this creator side optimization.

...Talking About...

There’s a lot of sophistication that goes into understanding a good conversation. As a rule of thumb, the better conversations are authentic and have constructive back and forth.

… Things You Care About

A good conversation needs more than just the participants; the content also needs to be relevant and interesting to you.  We invest a lot in understanding what you’re interested in and matching that to what the posts are about.

There are many ways you can signal what you’re interested in: the most obvious is joining groups, and following hashtags, people, and pages. Along with posts from your connections, you’ll also see these posts in your feed. If a connection uses a hashtag you also happen to follow, it gets an extra boost!

Your Feed: People You Know, Talking About Things You Care About

To summarize, your LinkedIn feed is made up of the conversations happening across your professional communities: among connections; in the groups you’ve joined; and the people, pages, and hashtags that you follow. To decide what goes at the top, we use look at who’s talking (People You Know) and what they’re talking about (Things You Care About).

We’re constantly working on improving and evolving the feed experience. We’ll post updates when there are major changes, and if you have feedback please let us know by posting on LinkedIn and @ mentioning LinkedIn Help, or leave a comment on this article.

Tips and Best Practices

If you're an active poster on LinkedIn, you might be reverse engineering this article to figure out best practices for reaching an audience with the LinkedIn feed. I’ll save you the trouble…

Encourage conversations

  • Post things that encourage a response. For example, if you’re posting a link, express an opinion with it.
  • Think about using the best type of post for the topic. Despite the rumors, the algorithm doesn’t favor any particular format. We have video, images, multi-images, text and long-form articles. More are on the way.
  • Use @mentions to pull other people you know into a conversation when you think they’ll have something valuable to add. Be thoughtful: only mention people that you think are likely to respond, max five is a good rule of thumb.
  • Engage in the conversation, respond to commenters and encourage back and forth.

Niche over broad

  • We know from our data that members are more interested in going deep on topics they’re interested in. Consistently we see better conversation around niche ideas (eg #performancemanagement) than the broad (#management).
  • Use hashtags (we recommend no more than three) to help other members find the conversations that match their own interests.

Be you!

Authenticity is key: all the tips above work out better when members talk about things they truly care about, in a way that’s natural for them. Genuine conversation around real experiences spark better and deeper conversation. Better conversation, in turn, leads to stronger community and connection.