How To [in]Share Like A Boss

March 20, 2014

At LinkedIn, we’re all about making our members more productive and successful.  I believe a big part of that is allowing members opportunities to build up their personal brands.  Since the LinkedIn Influencer program launched, we have seen an increasing number of executive-level Influencers build their personal brands by publishing content on our platform.

So, how can junior level executives apply learnings from this more senior group on LinkedIn? If their dream is to become a C-level executive one day -- a boss -- there is no reason why they can’t start acting the part now, right?

I wanted to dig into this behavior and identify what types of content senior level professionals were sharing on LinkedIn. To get a better idea of how our members are taking advantage of personal brand building through the sharing of content on LinkedIn, and the extent to which seniority plays a role, we took a look at LinkedIn members in the C-Suite (CXOs) and compared them to Individual Contributors (ICs, typically junior employees without any direct reports).  We found some interesting differences in how and what they share:

CXOs are nearly twice as likely to share on LinkedIn.

cxo_vs_ic_chartCXOs were 86% more likely to have shared a piece of content than ICs

When they do share, CXOs add more of their own perspective.

brad_example_updateI may not be a CXO, but I can still act like one --

Shares from CXOs were 16% more likely have a blurb of their own context (not just a link).

Even though CXOs are much more likely to share overall -- as well as more likely to include their own blurb when sharing content -- we did find similarities between CXOs and ICs when it comes to the actual content shared.  For example, Forbes was the most popular publisher domain shared from for both CXOs and ICs, and The Myth of the Bell Curve was the most shared article for both audiences in the month of February.

So what can you do if want to share more like a CXO on LinkedIn?

0)     If you like what you’re reading, share this post to your network (oh and remember to add your own perspective!)

1)     Mix up who you follow on LinkedIn:

  • Try following Michael Moritz (Chairman, Sequoia Capital) - CXOs are over twice as likely to follow him than the average LinkedIn member (by contrast, ICs are 11% less likely to follow Mr. Moritz than the average member)
  • Try following the Entrepreneurship & Small Business channel which features articles from Influencers and top news sources pertaining to things like running your business and being more productive. CXOs are 30% more likely to follow this channel than the average LinkedIn member (by contrast ICs are 4% less likely to follow this channel).

2)     Share content from reputable sources on LinkedIn:

  • Follow Entrepreneur – CXOs were 2x as likely to share articles from Entrepreneur than ICs.

3)     Start prepping your own content so you’re ready to publish when our Publishing Platform opens to everyone.  Here are a few of my favorite recent additions to our publisher ranks for you to pull ideas from:

  • J Schwan (Founder and CEO: Solstice Mobile)

Regardless of whether what you’re reading is listed above or not, you should share what you find interesting with your network and build your personal brand.

Finally, don’t forget to measure your success!  Last year we added a new feature to your homepage so you can keep better track of how your shares are performing: Who’s Viewed Your Updates

Findings based on LinkedIn Internal data from February 2014.