The Dos and Don’ts of Connecting and Selling on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the top social media platform used for business networking and social selling, helping companies secure leads at a fraction of the cost with a greater return on investment. According to The Social Media and Sales Quota Survey, 72% of salespeople who participate in social selling outperformed their peers, exceeding quotas 23% more frequently.

So, why doesn’t everyone take advantage of LinkedIn to reach their business goals?

According to that same survey, the top reason 21% of salespeople forgo social selling is because they didn’t understand how to use social platforms — which may not come as a surprise considering 75% of sales reps report never receiving social media training.

At the Austin Technology Council’s recent Sales Leadership Roundtable, CEO Thom Singer shared leading research by Richard Bliss and Richard van der Blom, experts in selling and marketing on LinkedIn. Below are some insights into their advised best practices, with statistics from van der Blom’s recent LinkedIn Algorithm Research report:


  • Create high-quality content by sharing your original thoughts and media. External links, while useful in driving people to your website, are not favored by the platform’s algorithm
  • Encourage “dwell time” with long-form text, slide decks or video. The “see more” button is the most important CTA on your feed, so be sure people click it.
  • Comment. A comment is four times more powerful than a “like” and seven times more powerful if posted within the first two hours.
  • Limit your hashtags. Choose three-to-five relevant hashtags
  • Drive engagement within the first two hours. Your initial post will be visible to a test group (8-10%) of connections. They are responsible for the success of your post.
  • Engage with other content. The more you interact with others across the platform the more eyes and action you’ll receive on your own.
  • Post on weekday mornings. Unlike other social medias, people are most active on LinkedIn during the week.


  • Automate your posts. The LinkedIn algorithm favors organically posted content. Plus, it can come off a bit spammy.
  • Tag people unrelated to posts. If the people you tag do not engage with your post it can hurt your chances of the post being seen by others.
  • Edit your post. If edited within the first hour, you may reduce its reach by up to 25%.
  • Be the first comment. Being the first person to comment your post reduces reach by up to 15%.
  • Post multiple times in a day. LinkedIn will divide your reach across posts.
  • Publish too much or too little. Posting more than eight times a week or less than once a week can reduce the reach of every post by up to 30%.
  • Turn your comment into a post. While sharing the original post to your feed will boost engagement for the creator, utilizing this feature results in up to 85% fewer views on your post than a regular post.

Overall, LinkedIn’s algorithm favors interaction. Long-from text posts, as well as comments are powerful because they offer original thought and drive conversation. While tagging people in irrelevant content or spamming new connections with automated or templated messages may come off as ingenuine.

“I tend to just think of LinkedIn as the professional outlet, so it was insightful to learn that adding a personal touch actually increases the engagement and impressions your profile and posts receive,” said Heather Trumpfeller, delivery manager at TEKsystems and president of Austin Women in Technology.

“The roundtable conversation was such a good reminder that LinkedIn was made for people-to-people connection. I’m going to be way more strategic now with my LinkedIn usage versus just taking the shortcuts like share and like,” she added.

For more information on this research, check out the Just Connecting LinkedIn Algorithm Research report, or read Bliss’s original post, 10 Dumb Things to Stop Doing on LinkedIn.