As publishers flee Facebook, LinkedIn rises

Frustrated with algorithm tweaks and diminishing organic reach on the world’s largest social network, marketers are redirecting resources toward different platforms.


Publishers and brands are increasingly turning to LinkedIn because of diminishing organic reach on Facebook.

Facebook recently announced that it will prioritize posts of users’ personal contacts and show fewer posts from publishers and other businesses in news feeds. LinkedIn, meanwhile, has implemented numerous changes that make it more attractive for content marketers.

Since being purchased by Microsoft, LinkedIn has added native video, enhanced its search features and improved its news feed algorithm to show more relevant content. LinkedIn’s professional audience is attractive for B2B product promotion, and it’s increasingly becoming a publisher-friendly hotspot.

LinkedIn emerges as a content-sharing network

Readership and engagement of the top 100 best performing articles on LinkedIn quadrupled over the past two years, according to NewsWhip.

“If nothing else, this proves that LinkedIn is becoming a genuine force as a platform where people read and engage with content, and as such it is worth paying attention to which publishers’ content is having the most success on LinkedIn,” writes Benedict Nicholson, a NewsWhip editorial researcher.

In terms of engagement on LinkedIn, top publishers for the second half of 2017 were Forbes, Business Insider and NBC—in that order. Top performing content focused on workplace advice for new employees preparing for job interviews and decision-making tips for veteran executives. Types of articles that performed well included:

  • The “one thing” theme, which tells the reader something that can add a positive or remove a negative from their life, such as an article titled, “The one word that can hurt your reputation at work”
  • Job advice, such as answers to challenging job interview questions
  • “CEO worship,” examples of how the best CEOs operate, communicate and lead

NewsWhip offers these tips for LinkedIn publishing:

Know the platform. LinkedIn is not like other social media channels. It was founded as a job advice site, and it still has that orientation. Content that succeeds on the platform reflects that job-centric tilt. For example, The New York Times enjoys outstanding engagement on Facebook and Twitter, but its content is not always conducive to lighting up LinkedIn engagement.

Size up your competition. Who are your rivals, and which strategies are they succeeding with on LinkedIn? Learn as much as you can about the major players in your field.

Know the content that works. Workplace advice performs well now, but that could change. Make sure you’re on top of evolving content trends.

Use social media data to perfect your strategy. “There’s no better way to see if your content is working than to see if the numbers back it up,” Nicholson says. Test different types of content and sharing methods until you find what works best for your strategy.

Publishers leave Facebook for LinkedIn

Despite earlier struggles and hesitance to dive into LinkedIn, many publishers plan to place less emphasis on Facebook and more on LinkedIn this year, according to Digiday. Although LinkedIn is known as a professional network, consumer publications expect to publish more content on the network or are exploring LinkedIn publishing options.

The Times has announced plans to make the network a priority, and HuffPost UK is developing work-related videos and text articles for the professional network.

Financial Times, The Economist and CNBC are testing native videos on the platform. Some results have been significant. The Economist’s video on artificially grown meat generated 2,000 likes and a few dozen comments. Engagement on LinkedIn—comments, “likes” and shares—increased more than 60 percent year-over-year due to product updates, new features and improved analytics, Digiday reports.

Facebook’s algorithm changes that thwart publishers’ ability to reach audiences account for some of the increased interest in LinkedIn. Due to Facebook’s constant algorithm tweaks—some of which have proved fatal for certain publishers—brand managers have started viewing Facebook as an unreliable source of referral traffic.

As publishers migrate to LinkedIn, businesses may also find a significant audience for content marketing and PR initiatives on the professional network. Content on business subjects will probably be well received. However, LinkedIn remains a relatively small driver of website traffic for most brands.

“The answer will most probably lie in a more diverse approach, gaining numbers on various platforms to supplement any Facebook declines—while also working to learn and adapt to the new Facebook reality,” says Andrew Hutchinson at Social Media Today.

A version of this post first appeared on the Glean.info blog.

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