The World Cup Discussion, What Students Are Reading, and More Learnings from LinkedIn’s Content Insights Quarterly

September 4, 2018

LinkedIn Content Insights Quarterly

In this quarter’s edition of the LinkedIn Content Insights Quarterly, we focus on two areas:

  1. Content that attracted the attention of students on LinkedIn
  2. The top content our members engaged with around a key moment from last quarter: The World Cup.

As always in the Content Insights Quarterly, we share the top topics and content that LinkedIn’s more than 575 million members engaged with over the last quarter. Read on for insights into how you and your company can better understand how LinkedIn members are engaging with content on the platform – and how you can use that to help drive your business forward.

Audience of the Quarter: Students

There are more than 46 million students and recent graduates on LinkedIn. The topics and content below show the range of ways in which LinkedIn’s content offers value to students.

Top Topics for Students

Between April and June, students on LinkedIn were thinking about… college! Top topics around school included graduate schools, admissions and not surprisingly, scholarships. As some labor market researchers have noted, STEM majors are accelerating as humanities degrees are declining. That said, it came as a surprise to see such interest in content around social sciences and the humanities, and the on-going interest in these areas. STEM-oriented topics were well represented with the  presence of topics, including biomedical engineering, and Block Element Modifier (a way to create reusable components and code sharing in front-end development). TOEFL, or teaching English as a foreign language, remained a classic and popular summer job choice for students around the world.

Lessons for Marketers 

The main lesson for marketers is that LinkedIn is not a platform just for working professionals. It’s also a platform for people who will soon be professionals. The audience on LinkedIn is broad, but the capability for marketers to target their messages is precise.   

Top Articles for Students

When it comes to the specific articles, students showed interest in some practical and directly relevant topics, such as university rankings. They also displayed interest in topics on diversity, such as an article on Nike launching a hijab for women athletes and another on the only full-time female trader on the New York Stock Exchange.

Students also sought out inspirational content on LinkedIn — from wisdom by Bill and Melinda Gates to emotive content of people achieving remarkable things from challenging starts. Finally, our data showed that students are, unsurprisingly, interested in hot tech topics, such as AI and Blockchain.

Lessons for Marketers 

Students are, of course, interested in school. Articles topping the list include rankings of colleges and commencement advice. But students aren’t totally ensconced in the education bubble. They’re also taking note of some of the biggest trends in the world — AI, blockchain, diversity — and they will soon have an outsized influence on where these trends go in the future.   

Top 10 Articles Engaging Students

  1. Elon Musk’s resume is out and it is giving everyone serious resume writing goals
  2. These are the world’s best universities
  3. Nike becomes the first major brand to launch hijab for women  
  4. Here’s my gift to college graduates
  5. Google’s new AI head is so smart he doesn’t need AI
  6. Teen who grew up in homeless shelters earns full ride to Harvard University
  7. IIT Delhi to allow Phd students to start a startup instead of thesis
  8. How this 23-year-old become the only full-time woman trader at the New York Stock Exchange
  9. Big Four giant PwC announces blockchain auditing service
  10. Melinda Gates: what graduates need to hear at commencement this year

Topic of the Quarter: The World Cup

The World Cup is the world’s biggest sporting event, so it’s not surprising that it’s a conversation point on LinkedIn. However, World Cup content on LinkedIn didn’t center on match results, rather it focused on the ties of the tournament to culture, leadership, technology and business.

Check out the article of Goldman Sachs’ AI simulation of the World Cup winner, which showed us that AI still has a way to go to compete with the unpredictability of soccer results!

Top 5 Articles on the World Cup

  1. After defeat, Japan's World Cup team leaves behind a spotlessly clean locker room and a 'thank you' note
  2. What the Croatian president taught us about leadership
  3. Goldman Sachs used AI to simulate 1 million possible World Cup outcomes — and arrived at a clear winner
  4. Traders get so distracted by big World Cup games that market volumes fall by 40%
  5. The winner of the World Cup is Apple

Hot Topics on LinkedIn

This quarter's fastest growing topics on LinkedIn reflected some seasonal trends and one-off events. Some highlights included:

  • Royal-fever hit LinkedIn with three of the fastest growing topics related to the British Royal family. With the birth of a new prince and a royal wedding, this doesn’t come as a complete surprise.
  • Former First Lady Barbara Bush passed away in April and designer Kate Spade’s sudden death was a shock.
  • June is Wimbledon tennis season, and content around the world-famous tournament was discussed on LinkedIn, too.
  • In April, Prezi, the presentation software company, announced it had more than 100 million users worldwide. They now boast the world’s largest database of public presentations, which have been viewed over 3.5 billion times.

Lessons for Marketers 

These popular posts highlight the fact that professionals, just like everyone else, are intrigued by current events. Increasingly, they are using LinkedIn as a forum to discuss the implications of trends in popular culture as well as in business. 

Top Topics on LinkedIn

Below are the top topics on LinkedIn in the last quarter. Management is, was, and continues to be the top topic. As a professional network, LinkedIn aims to remain a valuable platform for advice and insights on careers. Topics such as innovation and entrepreneurship remained popular, while ‘Culture’ moved into the top 10 this quarter.

Lessons for Marketers 

The “management” topic regularly holds down the top spot on this list. Management is hard; finding good managers is even harder. Professionals are constantly looking for advice on how to do both better. This list also reveals that the trend of personal branding hasn’t abated, with top topics such as “career advancement” and “personal development” indicating that self-improvement is top of mind for professionals.    

Top Articles on LinkedIn

Below are the top articles on LinkedIn in the last quarter. As usual, there is a diverse mixture of topics and themes. One key trend to emerge last quarter is around employee loyalty and value. Several top articles touched on this point.  

Not only was the royal wedding one of the hot topics on LinkedIn, one article made it into the top 10. Bill Gates’ recommended reading lists are always popular, and the summer doesn't technically end for a couple of weeks — so it's not too late to add these books to your summer reading list!

Content on gender and diversity often makes it into the top 10 articles list, and this quarter we included news about GM who became the first major auto company to have both a female CEO and CFO.

Lessons for Marketers 

An overarching theme in these articles is business culture. Professionals are interested in the culture of spectacularly successful companies, so insight into how Jeff Bezos does things at Amazon is always intriguing. Other posts about the value of employees are also attracting interest in these days of low unemployment when it’s imperative to hire and retain great talent 

  1. Jeff Bezos bans PowerPoint in meetings. His replacement Is brilliant
  2. GM's dress code is only two words
  3. Loyal employees are your most valuable asset
  4. People are ‘ghosting’ at work, and it's driving companies crazy
  5. 5 books worth reading this summer
  6. Work for someone who values your talents, hard-work and loyalty. Life is too short for anything else
  7. Why managers should care about employee loyalty
  8. Here's why there was an empty seat at the royal wedding
  9. "Your most important assets aren’t your clients; it’s your loyal employees. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients."
  10. GM becomes first major auto company in history to have a female CEO and a female CFO

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