How to avoid the “LinkedIn jail”

LinkedIn is the most powerful business platform. But many people are in “LinkedIn jail” and don’t know it.

The algorithms and back end processes impact content and profile visibility. This results directly from how you may have mismanaged, tried to game the system, spammed, ignored policies and shared poor content.

If you are in LinkedIn jail – or teetering at its perimeter – your content will be ranked at the bottom of the barrel (or off the radar), your visibility is compromised, as is your connection ability. And that means your business is not getting great results at all.

LinkedIn jails

  1. Invitations – I don’t know you, SPAM = Connecting jail
  2. Articles (Pulse) – Daily auto with no engagement = VOID jail
  3. Low Quality Content – 0-low engagement = Algorithm jail

Nos 2 & 3 are critical. There is a 4 step classification process which rates content and posts into Spam – Low – High/Clear.

Your historical data matters. Depending on the classification, content is distributed to a sample size of people in your network (circa 15-20 per cent). Once placed in front of these people, different actions have different weightings as to whether the post should be:

  1. Demoted because it’s low quality
  2. Shown to more people because it’s high quality.
  3. Extra editorial review re distributing beyond initial testing

The no of connections you have is also weighted against the metrics of your content. Essentially if your posts/articles have little to nil engagement – all future content goes to algorithm jail.

The quality of connections REALLY matter. High numbers of connections doesn’t always equate to higher metrics. Often it’s the reverse which impacts YOUR visibility.

Key do’s and don’ts

  • DO focus on top quality content.
  • DO minimise Posts that contain external URLs. Put external link in the comments section or reconfigure into an Lnkd URL. Mix up what and how you post.
  • DO check the per cent metrics of your content vs your connection no’s. For example if you 12,000 connections you would assume high engagement on your content. But not necessarily if the quality of your network isn’t in tune, aligned or relevant. LinkedIn know what is happening and historical engagement so can downgrade your visibility and feed of posts.
  • DO review your network – are they still relevant, on the platform and engage? Many find culling 10-20 per cent enhances their post engagement within the right audience.
  • DO the metrics – it’s logical if you have a highly engaged network that big connection no’s should equal big engagement (likes, shares, comments). If it doesn’t it is a warning bell for LinkedIn and for potential connections.
  • Do NOT engage in 3rd party automated volume based plug in invitation/connection Apps & Tools (the SPAM and rejections are too risky).
  • Do NOT post constant self-promotional content. Apply 80/20 rule – 80 per cent giving direct value/tips/inspiration, 20 per cent self-promotional.
  • Do NOT just comment “nice post, thanks” – really engage. It improves your brand and historical data.
  • Do NOT use 3rd party auto robot tools and extensions to post auto responder generic comments on posts. It also damages your expert authority and personal branding.
  • Do NOT use 3rd party content links masquerading as your content.

Sue Parker, Founder and Chief Human, DARE Group Australia