The Water Cooler: What the Next Generation of Millennial Decision Makers Are Reading on LinkedIn, and How Salespeople Should Engage Them Differently

May 30, 2019

LinkedIn Water Cooler

LinkedIn is the digital water cooler for businesses around the world. There are 630 million members on LinkedIn, and they are reading an increasing number of articles on the platform.

What articles you read and engage with, however, appears to vary by your age group, at least according to the most recent data collected by LinkedIn during April on what decision makers* were reading on the platform. In that month, we tracked the articles that attracted the interest of Millennial decision makers (members aged 22-37) and decision makers 38 years old and above.

Read on for the top articles engaged with by the decision makers in these two age groups — and you may be surprised by the marked differences between them.

Millennials

According to the top 10 articles engaged with by Millennials on LinkedIn in April, this age group is fascinated by start-up culture. Four articles, for instance, covered Uber’s IPO, including the top article for the month for this cohort: Uber has Dangled $100 Million at Dara Khosrowshahi if He Can Convince Investors, or a Buyer, that the Company is Worth $120 Billion. Three additional articles in the top 10 also touched upon startup or venture capital culture: He Sold His First Business to Google and Just Raised $120 Million for His Next Startup, Andreessen Horowitz Is Blowing Up The Venture Capital Model (Again), and Slack Just Filed to Go Public, but Experts Worry that Microsoft will Do to It what Facebook Did to Snapchat.

  1. Uber has Dangled $100 Million at Dara Khosrowshahi if He Can Convince Investors, or a Buyer, that the Company is Worth $120 Billion
  2. A Baby Boom in the C-Suite: How a New Generation of Leaders are Redefining Working Motherhood
  3. He Sold His First Business to Google and Just Raised $120 Million for His Next Startup
  4. Uber's IPO Valuation Makes No Sense
  5. Uber Will Soon Join an Ugly but Exclusive Club: Unprofitable Companies Worth More than $50 Billion
  6. Uber’s Venture Investors Set for a Windfall
  7. Andreessen Horowitz Is Blowing Up The Venture Capital Model (Again)
  8. Slack Just Filed to Go Public, but Experts Worry that Microsoft will Do to It what Facebook Did to Snapchat
  9. Google Has Opened Its First Africa Artificial Intelligence Lab in Ghana
  10. Jeff Bezos Is So Rich That He Just Lost $36 Billion and Is Still World's Richest

Professionals Aged 38+

The articles that engage professionals 38+ on LinkedIn are quite different than those engaging Millennials. The posts that appealed to older professionals dealt less with start-up and VC culture and much more with the work of maintaining an existing business. For instance, 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) was about hiring. Other articles in the top 10 covered leadership (Here’s How Google Knows in Less Than 5 Minutes if Someone is a Great Leader) and culture (Toxic Environments Make People Sick, Make Projects Fail, and Make Best Employees Quit). This age group also showed an interest in articles that we’ll group under “Life and How to Live It”: In the top 10 were articles such as, A 30-Year Harvard Study Reveals the 5 Simple Habits That May Prolong Your Life by 10 Years or More and For Fathers of Daughters: What You Can Do to Be Your Child’s Champion.

  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. Here's How Google Knows in Less Than 5 Minutes if Someone Is a Great Leader
  3. A 30-year Harvard Study Reveals the 5 Simple Habits That May Prolong Your Life by 10 Years or More
  4. Toxic Environments Make People Sick, Make Projects Fail, and Make Best Employees Quit
  5. 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
  6. Leaders Who Don't Listen will be Eventually Surrounded by People who Have Nothing to Say​
  7. A Leader of Perspectives
  8. Is Your Daily Regime as Brutal as That of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey?
  9. An Unhappy Marriott Rewards Points Customer is Leading a Revolt
  10. For Fathers of Daughters: What You Can Do to be Your Child’s Champion

Lessons for Salespeople

Salespeople know that personalization is the name of the game. Ninety-three percent of decision makers say they are more likely to consider a brand if a sales professional provides personalized communications, according to LinkedIn’s State of Sales report.

On LinkedIn, it’s the same as anywhere else: Decision makers want to interact with content that speaks to them. The key lesson then for salespeople is to create and share content on LinkedIn that is tailored to their prospects’ interests and needs. And remember that Millennials consume their content differently from other age groups.

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*Decision Makers are LinkedIn members with Director+: Director, CXO, VP, Partner, or Owner job titles.

 

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