3 Secrets to Business Insider’s Success on LinkedIn

    by Meena Thiruvengadam
    August 18, 2016
    Photo by Nan Palmero on Flickr and used here with Creative Commons license.
    Click the image for more in this series.

    Click the image for more in this series.

    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. In fact, 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 translate into a growing audience, increased referral traffic and an opportunity to interact with users who are among our most loyal and engaged.

    For us, LinkedIn is part of a multi-platform (distributed) approach to content. It is no surprise given the makeup of our readership – the “next generation of business leaders” – that LinkedIn is among our top sources of social referral traffic. Furthermore, each of our three brands, Business Insider, Tech Insider and Insider, has developed a strong presence on the platform.

    Here are a few of the key reasons why 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 publish links to our articles, links to our 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 post regularly to their personal accounts.

    While we post to the platform frequently, the biggest viral lift we get comes from our audience. Our audience frequently shares career strategy articles, stories on major employers, articles related to workplace negotiations and our signature lists.

    >>> Learn more about how to use LinkedIn to boost traffic in my DigitalEd training on Sep. 7 at 1 pm ET / 10 am PT! <<<

    Targeting matters

    Having managed social accounts for several different brands on multiple platforms, 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 active on LinkedIn, it’s no surprise that Business Insider content gets significant organic traffic from the platform. There is a fair amount of overlap in terms of the editorial interests of both LinkedIn and Business Insider users.

    A lot 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 the platform, unless we see they’re gaining significant traction there organically.

    While Business Insider performs well because of our business audience content mix, one interesting and welcome surprise is the success of INSIDER, Business Insider’s newest lifestyle brand, on the platform. INSIDER covers innovation closely, and its videos now aren’t just dominating Facebook but also LinkedIn as well.

    Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 11.38.53 AM

    Ride the news cycle

    An effective way for news sites to do well on social, including LinkedIn, is of course to leverage breaking news and hot trends. For instance, recently, the world has been obsessed with Pokémon Go, and LinkedIn has been no exception.

    As Pokémon madness was at a peak in July, Business Insider was 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.Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 5.07.06 PM

    These top performers weren’t about how to master the game or the crazy things people were doing as they played them. They were about the success of the game itself and the impact of that success on Nintendo.

    Like on other platforms, we let our content lead the way on LinkedIn and pay attention to the signals our audience sends us.

    It’s a pretty straightforward strategy, but perfect for a publisher that spends much of its energy covering workplace culture, some of the biggest employers in the world and some of the most interesting innovations out there.

    Learn more about how to use LinkedIn to boost traffic in this DigitalEd training on Sep. 7 at 1 pm ET / 10 am PT!

    Meena is the head of audience development for Business Insider where she oversees social media strategy and editorial audience development for Business Insider, Tech Insider and Insider.

    Tagged: business insider insider linkedin linkedin for journalists social media tech insider

    Comments are closed.

  • Who We Are

    MediaShift is the premier destination for insight and analysis at the intersection of media and technology. The MediaShift network includes MediaShift, EducationShift, MetricShift and Idea Lab, as well as workshops and weekend hackathons, email newsletters, a weekly podcast and a series of DigitalEd online trainings.

    About MediaShift »
    Contact us »
    Sponsor MediaShift »
    MediaShift Newsletters »

    Follow us on Social Media