Publishing on LinkedIn: Best topic, length, timing

A look at what topics get the most clicks and how long your content should be.

In June, LinkedIn published its 2014 Professional Content Consumption Report. This report was based on a study of how 2,701 LinkedIn members in the U.S. consume content.

Here’s a look at the results, including the benefits of sharing and consuming content on LinkedIn, and the content that works on the platform.

LinkedIn wants to establish itself as a destination for professional industry news content, and is making significant strides. According to the survey, 91 percent of respondents said they use LinkedIn weekly to find professionally relevant content.

The benefits of sharing content on LinkedIn

The survey found that people primarily share professional content on LinkedIn to increase their visibility and enhance their reputations. They also want to be seen as thought leaders.

LinkedIn actively encourages members to add and share original content. You can now create long-form posts directly on LinkedIn. Simply click the “Create a post” icon, which looks like a pencil and appears alongside your update box. LinkedIn is rolling out this facility to all 300 million members, so don’t panic if you don’t have it yet.

The platform’s potential reach is significant. Top posts can be shared tens of thousands of times—more than posts on sites like Forbes. I have created a few posts, and while they haven’t been shared as widely as the ones LinkedIn promotes each day, they get shared.

The benefits of consuming content on LinkedIn

The report found that high content users actually spent up to 8 hours a week consuming content. Seventy-eight percent consume content to keep up with industry news, while 73 percent do so to discover new ideas within the industry. The detailed findings are below:

What content works on LinkedIn

The survey found that the content that earns clicks and shares are:

  1. New research.
  2. Breaking industry news.
  3. Case studies.

The survey also found that articles with career advice are most likely to earn clicks. In our BuzzSumo research, we have found that career advice articles tend to dominate the most-shared articles on LinkedIn. For example, the top five most-shared LinkedIn articles over the last 12 months were:

We also found a direct relationship between content length and sharing. Our BuzzSumo analysis below shows the longer the post, the more it’s shared.

If you write about topics that interest LinkedIn members, long-form content works well.

LinkedIn is a business network, and most of its activity takes place during the work week. According to our BuzzSumo analysis below, the best days to publish on LinkedIn are Monday and Tuesday. Content you publish early in the week gets more shares, then declines over the week and is very low on the weekend.

What’s your experience with LinkedIn publishing?

A version of this article originally appeared on Business 2 Community.

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