The Water Cooler: What Professionals Are Reading on LinkedIn, and What You Can Learn From It

February 20, 2019

LinkedIn Water Cooler

The first edition of The Water Cooler generated so much interest that we’re sharing what professionals are reading on LinkedIn again. Read on, and you’ll find the top 10 articles that LinkedIn members were engaging with on the platform in January.

As LinkedIn becomes the digital water cooler of global business, members are reading an increasing number of articles on LinkedIn. The number of updates viewed on the LinkedIn feed have jumped 60% year-over-year. Examining the articles that professionals are reading on the LinkedIn platform can provide valuable insight for marketers into what’s top of mind for professionals.   

In January, the articles attracting the attention of LinkedIn members fell into two main categories. The first kind of article offered some valuable and actionable insight into the thinking of prominent business people. For instance, the most engaging article of the month, “Elon Musk Sent an Email to Employees at 1:20 in the Morning, and It Just May Signal the End of Tesla,” promises some insight into the mind of one of the most famous executives of our time (as well as the fate of his equally renowned company). Other articles in the top 10 featured words of wisdom from Steve Jobs, Mark Cuban, Tom Brady (a leader of one of the most visible and successful organizations in the United States), and executives from Facebook and Accenture.  

The second kind of article offered career advice. Last month, two articles landed in the top 10 by examining the implications of the same LinkedIn study about the skills that companies most want in their employees in 2019. You can never go wrong by delivering helpful career advice to LinkedIn members.   

Lessons for Marketers: By studying the top 10 articles on LinkedIn, marketers can re-acquaint themselves with the elusive art of writing alluring headlines. Many of the headlines in the top 10, use the same structure: They promise an unnamed, tantalizing piece of advice by a prominent business person that has the potential to advance your career. Here is one example that so masterfully creates suspense that you just have to click and read on: “Steve Jobs Said 1 Thing Separates Successful People from Everyone Else (and Will Make All the Difference in Your Life).” How can you resist reading on to find out what secret to success the late business mastermind once revealed? (And I’m not going to tell you what it was: you’re doing to have to read on to find out yourself).

Top 10 Articles LinkedIn Members Engaged With on the Platform in January

  1. Elon Musk Sent an Email to Employees at 1:20 in the Morning, and It Just May Signal the End of Tesla  By Justin Barison, Inc.
  2. Steve Jobs Said 1 Thing Separates Successful People From Everyone Else (and Will Make All the Difference In Your Life) By Jeff Haden, Inc.
  3. A Former Facebook HR Exec Says Many Bosses Are Too Uncomfortable to Ask People a Hugely Important Question By Shana Lebowitz, Business Insider
  4. The 10 Most In-Demand Skills of 2019, According to LinkedIn By Abigail Hess, CNBC
  5. The Skills Companies Need Most in 2019 – And How to Learn Them By Paul Petrone, LinkedIn
  6. Mark Cuban Says the Best Employees Are Smart, Driven, and Curious. But 1 Skill Matters Much More (and Makes Them Invaluable) By Jeff Haden, Inc.
  7. Starbucks Just Announced a Shocking Shift in Strategy That'll Affect Every Coffee Drinker  By Chris Matyszczyk, Inc.
  8. Read the eMail Elon Musk Sent to Tesla Employees Explaining the Need for Job Cuts By Ryan Brown, CNBC
  9. Tom Brady Says the Same 4 Words to Every New Player on the New England Patriots, and It's Pure Genius By Bill Murphy, Jr., Inc.
  10. The CEO of an $18 Billion Consulting Firm Says if ‘You Can See Your Future' at Work, You May not be in the Right Career By Mark Abadi, Business Insider

For a deeper dive into content on the LinkedIn platform, look for this blog's regular feature:  "Content Insights Quarterly." And to keep pace with the latest trends in digital marketing, subscribe today to the LinkedIn Marketing Blog.