Feb 24, 2023 - Economy

Why your LinkedIn comment section is getting crowded

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

If your LinkedIn comments sections have seemed busy lately, you're not alone.

The intrigue: The new phenomenon of “commenting for reach” is clogging up recent layoff announcements and hiring posts across the platform.

  • The theory goes that replying to posts can serve two purposes: uplift your friends, former colleagues or distant connections while also promoting yourself.
  • "The LinkedIn algorithm that determines which posts show up in users’ feeds is complicated, dynamic and secret, but the company says a large number of comments can make a post more visible," The Wall Street Journal reports

Between the lines: It's a way to get visibility by doing the least, and some are turned off by its self-serving nature.

  • "It’s slacktivism," Brian Collins head of sales at a software company told The Journal. "If the goal is to help someone’s post reach a bigger audience, then commenters should at least include the reasons why they feel moved to help."

The big picture: The more your name pops up in social media feeds, the more clout you have — and studies show that establishing a personal brand across various social media platforms can help you get ahead.

  • Those who modestly — but frequently — tout their expertise on Twitter are more likely to attract higher-paying job offers, per a Texas McCombs study.
  • Plus, leaders who consistently post on social media attract more talent and investors, plus navigate crises better, than their off-the-grid peers, the Brunswick Group’s 2022 Connected Leadership report says.

What they're saying: While posts that you comment on can show up across your network’s feeds, "The platform is not designed for virality, rather it is designed to be helpful, encourage knowledge sharing and insights," LinkedIn editor in chief Dan Roth told Axios.

  • If you are going to comment, it's best practice to actually add to the conversation by asking questions to the original poster or adding your insights and perspective.
  • "An example of this is the helpful comments we’ve seen in the conversations on layoffs where people are sharing job openings, tips and people in their network who they can connect them to," says Roth.

The bottom line: While 'commenting for reach' is often well-intentioned, users across the platform are starting to see through it and expect more.

Go deeper