The Water Cooler: Why Articles About the Human Side of Business Engage Readers on LinkedIn

October 31, 2019

LinkedIn Water Cooler

The Water Cooler is back, delivering the refreshing cold water of truth about what professionals are reading on LinkedIn!

With more than 660 million members on the platform, LinkedIn has become the global water cooler, the spot where professionals gather to discuss what’s on their mind. In this month’s Water Cooler, where we look at the 10 most engaging articles on LinkedIn during September, we discovered that the top article was, “A Message to Business Owners Struggling With What to Charge.”

Based on the headline, this article seems to be all business, promising a deep dive into how to set prices down to the penny. In reality, however, the article is a call to professionals to recognize how hard they’ve worked and the value they are delivering to their customers.

In the article, the author writes that business people often undersell their value when it comes to pricing. “Stick to your guns, she writes. “YOU ARE WORTH IT. You should never base your rates on what you think the client can pay. Base them on your experience and the value you'll bring to their business.”

The remainder of the articles in the top 10 also delve into the human side of business with titles such as, “Work for Someone who Appreciates your Ideas, Loyalty and Hard Work,” “Empathy is the Most Important Leadership Skill Needed Today,” “Great Leaders are Great Listeners,” and “A Toxic Work Culture is Forcing Your Best Employees to Quit.” Remarkably, all four of those articles were penned by one person, Brigette Hyacinth, who has a knack for writing pieces that get beyond the numbers and reach the human heart of business.

Top 10 Most Engaging Articles on LinkedIn, September 2019

  1. A Message to Business Owners Struggling With What to Charge By Scarlett Darbyshire
  2. Work for Someone who Appreciates your Ideas, Loyalty and Hard Work By Brigette Hyacinth
  3. Empathy is the Most Important Leadership Skill Needed Today! By Brigette Hyacinth
  4. Be Somebody Who Makes Everyone Feel Like Somebody  By Deepak Bhagat
  5. Boy Bullied for Homemade Tennessee Shirt has Logo Become Official Design By Jon Haworth, WABC
  6. Great Leaders are Great Listeners! By Brigette Hyacinth
  7. It's Later than You Think By J.R. Storment
  8. Great Employees Don't Complain — They Walk Away By Ian Daley
  9. A Toxic Work Culture is Forcing Your Best Employees to Quit! By Brigette Hyacinth
  10. Will the Real Leaders Stand Up? By Carlos T. Carter

Lessons for Marketers

In this month’s Water Cooler Top 10, two articles in particular demonstrate how LinkedIn members engage with stories that capture the humanity of doing business and not just the dollars and cents.

The first is “Boy Bullied for Homemade Tennessee Shirt Has Logo Become Official Design.” This article tells the tale of how a grade schooler who crafted his own University of Tennessee T-shirt, complete with his own logo design, was mocked by his classmates. A teacher’s post about the incident went viral and attracted the attention of the university, which ultimately produced an official T-shirt featuring the boy’s logo. When the shirt went up for sale, the surge in traffic crashed the website.

The second is the infinitely sad story of businessman J.R. Storment sharing the story of his young son’s death. In “It’s Later Than You Think,” Storment discusses his grief and encourages fellow businesspeople to reconsider their work-life balance.  

Ultimately, these stories underscore the concept that the marketing we’re engaging in is not B2B or business to business, it’s H2H: human to human.

If you want to dive deeper into the posts that are engaging LinkedIn members, previous Water Cooler articles can be found here. And to keep pace with the latest thinking in marketing, subscribe to the LinkedIn Marketing Blog today.