As LinkedIn regulars know, LinkedIn isn’t just for job searches – it’s for news.
Over the last few years it has become clear that people are posting – and reading – more news on the platform. According to a recent Pew Research survey, nearly 20 percent of LinkedIn’s audience uses it to access news.
At Business Insider, we’re seeing this trend translate into a growing audience, increased referral traffic and an opportunity to interact with users who are among our most loyal and engaged.
- Photo by Nan Palmero on Flickr and used here with Creative Commons license.
For us, LinkedIn is part of a multi-platform (distributed) approach to content. It’s no surprise given the makeup of our readership – the “next generation of business leaders” – that LinkedIn is among our top sources of social traffic.
Here are a few key reasons Business Insider performs so well on LinkedIn:
It’s The Content, Stupid!
No amount of social media bells and whistles, no clever distribution strategy, can cause a post to go viral unless the content is irresistibly shareable. This goes for LinkedIn, too.
From our branded accounts we regularly publish links to our articles, YouTube videos and standalone graphics. We also promote content we’re creating for other emerging social platforms, like Facebook Live and Snapchat. Several of our reporters and editors, including Business Insider founder and global Editor-in-Chief Henry Blodget, also consistently post to their personal accounts.
While we share on the platform frequently, the biggest viral lift we get comes from our audience, which frequently shares career strategy articles, stories on major employers, articles related to workplace negotiations and our signature lists.
Zero-In on Targeting
My background includes managing social for various brands, and I can confidently say that all content is not created equal, nor does it perform equally across platforms.
Because our mostly professional and entrepreneurial audience is also likely to be active on LinkedIn, it’s no surprise that Business Insider content gets significant organic traffic from the platform — there is a fair amount of editorial overlap.
A lot of Business Insider coverage — the kinds of stories that may not go viral on Facebook, such as how to succeed at investment banking — can do extremely well on LinkedIn. Content from BI Intelligence, our paid research service service that covers all things digital, also performs well on the platform. (We tend to keep keep lifestyle, entertainment, politics and sports stories off of LinkedIn, unless they already happen to be gaining traction organically.)
And while Business Insider performs well on LinkedIn because of our business content mix, one interesting and welcome surprise is the success of INSIDER, Business Insider’s newest lifestyle brand, on the platform. While INSIDER was launched primarily on Facebook — where it has more than 1.5 billion video views each month — its lighter content can frequently be experienced on the career platform.
- Business Insider/LinkedIn
Ride the News Wave
Of course, an effective way for news sites to do well on social, including LinkedIn, is to leverage breaking news and hot trends. For instance, recently the world became obsessed with Pokémon Go, and LinkedIn was no exception.
As Pokémon madness was at its peak in July, Business Insider jumped on the bandwagon by publishing Pokémon Go stories to LinkedIn. From July 13 – 18, three of the top 10 most read Pokémon Go stories on LinkedIn were from Business Insider, according to Newswhip, which tracks content performance on social sites.
These top performers didn’t cover more lifestyle-y angles, like how to master the game, or the crazy things people were doing as they played it. Instead, they were about the success of the game itself — and the impact of that success on Nintendo.
The bottom line is that, like on other platforms, we let our content lead the way on LinkedIn. And we paid special attention to the signals our audience sent us.
While Business Insider’s social strategy has paid dividends with LinkedIn, our basic approach applies to any publisher or organization seeking to enhance their social impact: know your audience, know the platform, and stay laser focused on what kind of content resonates most on each.
Meena is the head of audience development for Business Insider where she oversees social media strategy and editorial audience development for Business Insider and Insider. This article originally appeared on MediaShift.org.