Top Topics Companies Are Discussing on LinkedIn

July 1, 2020

Photo of man sitting at desk and working on laptop

The conversation led by companies on LinkedIn has shifted dramatically in recent months: from business-as-usual in January, to COVID-19 and remote work in March, to racial injustice in June. 

With a pandemic, recession, and anti-racist movement reshaping our world, companies aren’t staying quiet. They’re posting more than usual, according to LinkedIn data — and getting more engagement, too. 

With so much attention on what businesses are saying, the way your company responds to today’s crises could shape your employer brand for years to come. 

Read on to see how companies are speaking to the moment, how your employees can amplify your message, and where the conversation is going now. 

Companies have been communicating more, not less 

Brands are taking stands, as more people expect them to. In the past, many companies might have thought the safest thing was staying silent during a crisis; today the danger may lie in not speaking out

From sharing how the pandemic impacts their organizations to signaling support for the #BlackLivesMatter movement, companies are making their values clear to employees and candidates. 

LinkedIn data shows the rate of company posting has been steadily rising since the beginning of the year.

And people are listening to what companies have to say. In May 2020, engagements with company posts were almost 30% higher than the previous year.

Naturally, your own employees can play a critical role in getting your message out there. When employees from companies with at least 500 people post, it tends to reach over 3x more people than when the company posts. 

And in recent months, employees have helped drive the conversation by sharing content more than usual. In May 2020, the number of employees sharing monthly updates increased by 17% from the previous year. 

By crafting a message and taking actions that employees are proud of, you can amplify your employer branding to a much wider audience in this critical time. 

The conversation is shifting away from COVID-19 to injustice 

Early in the pandemic, the conversation largely focused on COVID-19 and remote work. But in recent weeks, the conversation has started to shift. 

Company posts with hashtags about COVID-19 (e.g., #coronavirus, #COVID19) or working from home (e.g., #WFH, #RemoteWork) are seeing engagement plateau or fall.

At the same time, engagement on posts about hiring and careers (e.g., #careers, #jobs) has been steadily rising. This is likely driven by two macrotrends: businesses slowly starting to reopen after millions lost their jobs, and the entrance of new graduates into the workforce. 

But the most dramatic rise in engagement is seen on posts about the #BlackLivesMatter movement, which addresses systemic racial injustices and saw a resurgence after the killing of George Floyd on May 25. Companies’ #BlackLivesMatter posts saw engagement grow by more than 5x in a single week.

As many companies pledge their support for #BlackLivesMatter, they’re also being challenged to take further action on racial inequity, especially in regards to hiring a more diverse workforce

It’s a powerful reminder that employer branding is equal parts messaging and action. Messaging without action rings hollow, and action without messaging can go unnoticed. 

Final thoughts

The world is changing before our eyes, and the conversation on LinkedIn reflects that. While businesses may have once preferred to stay out of current events, today’s moment calls for more. 

Employees, candidates, and consumers expect companies to say where they stand on these issues and how they’re addressing them — from the health precautions they’re taking to protect employees to the ways they’re building a more diverse, welcoming workplace.  

Methodology

Analysis based on global LinkedIn data from April 1, 2019 to June 15, 2020. Company posts include all organic (not sponsored) updates made to LinkedIn company pages. Increase in weekly volume of company posts are benchmarked against April 2019.

COVID-19–related hashtags include company posts that mention one of the hashtags #covid19, #coronavirus, #covid, #corona, #covid_19, or #pandemic. Hiring and Careers–related hashtags include #jobs, #hiring, #recruitment, #training, #job, #recruiting, #jobsearch, or #careers. Work from Home–related hashtags include #workfromhome, #remotework, #homeoffice, #wfh, or #workingfromhome. The Black Lives Matters hashtag is #blacklivesmatter.

Engagement with company posts is measured as a combination of likes, comments, clicks, and shares. Employees included are those who have a current position on their LinkedIn profile in companies that have at least 500 full-time equivalent employees. 

The reach of employees per company is measured as the number of LinkedIn members who received an impression from one of its employees in the past 12 months. This is compared to the reach of that company which is measured as the number of LinkedIn members who received an impression from one of the company’s organic posts over the past 12 months. 

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