The Water Cooler: 3 Kinds of Posts That Boost Engagement with Professionals on LinkedIn

May 31, 2019

LinkedIn Water Cooler

With 280 billion updates viewed in the LinkedIn feed last year, the platform is increasingly global business’s digital water cooler for its more than 630 million members. LinkedIn is where professionals gather to learn more about business and glean tips and advice that will make them better at their jobs.

In “The Water Cooler,” our monthly feature, we share the top 10 articles that professionals were engaging with on LinkedIn — and examine how marketers can use this information to reach their target audiences more effectively.

Here are the top 10 articles professionals were engaging with on LinkedIn in April:

  1. I've Been Hiring People for 10 Years, and I Still Swear by a Simple Rule: If Someone Doesn't Send a Thank You Email, Don't Hire Them
  2. Toxic Environments Make People Sick, Make Projects Fail, and Make Best Employees Quit
  3. A 30-year Harvard Study Reveals the 5 Simple Habits That May Prolong Your Life by 10 Years or More
  4. A Day in the Life of a Lyft Vice President, who Wakes Up at 6 a.m. and Rarely Spends a Minute at Her Desk
  5. Leaders Who Don't Listen will be Eventually Surrounded by People who Have Nothing to Say​
  6. The Fear of Asking for Help
  7. Integrity is the Single Most Important Leadership Skill
  8. Top Companies 2019: Where the U.S. Wants to Work Now
  9. Adidas Unveils Running Shoes that Never Have to be Thrown Away
  10. Is Your Daily Regime as Brutal as That of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey?

In April, the top articles attracting the attention of LinkedIn members fell into three main categories:

  1. Business culture
  2. Leadership
  3. Life and how to live it

The top article, “I’ve Been Hiring People for 10 Years, and I Still Swear by a Simple Rule: If Someone Doesn’t Send a Thank You Email, Don’t Hire Them,” straddles both the business culture and the leadership categories. This post, written by Business Insider’s Jessica Liebman, offers advice on hiring, advice which clearly generated a lot of interest on LinkedIn. Another engaging post was “Top Companies 2019: Where the U.S. Wants to Work Now,” by Daniel Roth, LinkedIn’s Editor-in-Chief. Based on exclusive LinkedIn research, this post listed the top 50 companies in the United States that have cultures that attract and retain employees. The top five companies on the list are Alphabet, Facebook, Amazon, Salesforce, and Deloitte.

Leadership was another main category defining the top 10 articles on LinkedIn in April. One of these leadership articles, “Leaders Who Don’t Listen will be Eventually Surrounded by People who Have Nothing to Say,” has a compelling title and demonstrates the value of headline writing to attract readers on LinkedIn.  

The third category, which I’ll call “life and how to live it,” contains articles that offer advice to professionals on how to live healthier, more fulfilling lives. The highest ranking of these articles, “A 30-Year Harvard Study Reveals the 5 Simple Habits that May Prolong Your Life by 10 Years or More,” shares habits, such as exercise daily and limiting alcohol intake, that can make your life healthier. (I won’t share the other three: You’ll have to read the article yourself). The final article in the top 10, penned by Mindshare’s Steve Blakeman, takes a wry look at Twitter CEOs Jack Dorsey’s daily regimen, which includes a 15-minute ice bath first thing in the morning.

Lessons for Marketers

One key takeaway that The Water Cooler shows every month is that most professionals want to be better at their jobs and happier doing them, whether in their current role — or their next one. The articles on this month’s lists show LinkedIn members looking for advice on how to improve the culture in their current organizations, how to become better managers and leaders, and how to lead more rewarding lives.

For marketers trying to reach professionals, there’s a clear lesson: Your message should offer useful information that can help them be more productive in the office and even outside of it. It’s being said increasingly often — probably because it’s true — marketers should speak to the full human being when communicating with prospects and customers.   

If you want to take a deeper dive into the posts that are attracting the eyeballs of professionals on LinkedIn, previous Water Cooler articles can be found here and here and here and here. And to keep pace with the latest thinking in marketing, subscribe to the LinkedIn Marketing Blog today.