What Marketers on LinkedIn Need to Know About Community Workers and Sustainability

Opinion: The professional network’s Content Insights Quarterly report sheds light on goodwill-minded buzz

There are nearly 7 million community workers globally on LinkedIn asiseeit/iStock

At LinkedIn, we recognize that communities are core to the success of every business. Employees, partners, customers and job candidates comprise a community, and together, they can help drive an organization’s growth through meaningful conversations. Our recent launch of LinkedIn Pages is just the latest way the professional network helps organizations create community on our platform.

To that end, in this quarter’s edition of the Content Insights Quarterly, we decided to explore two new areas that LinkedIn members engaged with on the platform.

The first is content that attracted the attention of what we’ll call “community workers” on LinkedIn—members who work in civic/social organizations, nonprofit organizations, fundraising or political organizations.

The second area is sustainability. Since climate change and the environment have been top-of-mind for a lot of professionals on LinkedIn, we examined the top articles and topics around sustainability that they engaged with.

If you’re new to the Content Insights Quarterly, we share the top topics and content that LinkedIn’s more than 590 million members engaged with over the last quarter. Read on for insights into how you and your company can better understand how LinkedIn members are engaging with content on the platform.

Audience of the quarter: community workers

On the LinkedIn platform, there are nearly 7 million community workers globally. Based on the topics and articles that they are engaging with on LinkedIn, many are using the platform to learn more about their sector in general and also how specifically they can help their own organizations thrive.

For businesses, selling product is how they make the money to pay their employees and invest in the future. On the other hand, nonprofit organizations rely on fundraising and grants to stay afloat. So, it’s no surprise that four topics related to raising money appeared in the top 10: fundraising, philanthropy, charities and charitable giving.

The top topics also gave some indication that politics at the national level is having an impact on the community sector: “Refugees” appeared in the top 10 topics, likely because of today’s global sociopolitical climate.

Lessons for marketers: The key lesson? Nonprofit companies and workers have buying power, and marketers should understand that community organizations also need things like health care insurance plans, software and office furniture.

With the current administration’s policies on refugees and immigration, many nonprofits are at a crossroads and may also need consulting help to figure out their next moves. Of the top 10 articles for community workers, seven (including the top article, “London Breed will become the first black woman to lead San Francisco after opponent concedes,”) explored diversity.

Also, marketers take note: Four of the top articles featured how big brands—Kate Spade, Starbucks, Weight Watchers, Johns Hopkins University—are getting attention by making big investments in diversity and mental health. These investments not only help important causes, but they are a great way to earn goodwill.

Here are the top 10 articles for this group from the quarter:

  1. London Breed will become first black woman to lead San Francisco after opponent concedes
  2. The Kate Spade Brand Is Donating $1 Million to Mental Health Organizations
  3. Netflix creates new executive position focused on inclusion and diversity
  4. Weight Watchers announces major change to name and mission
  5. Starbucks is opening its first “signing store,” where all employees will be fluent in sign language
  6. Unpaid Internships Are Going Out of Style
  7. Johns Hopkins Welcomes Its First Black Female Neurosurgeon Resident
  8. Why Women Volunteer for Tasks That Don’t Lead to Promotions
  9. Office queen bees bully female workers
  10. Black Girls Code has a new lab inside Google’s New York office

Topic of the quarter: sustainability

Although some sectors of the political world remain dubious about the science of climate change, 62 percent of Americans believe that global warming will affect them. The professionals on LinkedIn have also shown an interest in climate change, with four of the top five articles in the sustainability category addressing the topic.

Lessons for marketers: Clearly, LinkedIn members are interested in sustainability from a professional standpoint. Many companies, from Patagonia to SolarCity, are making big bets that consumers of all stripes will boost brands that promote sustainability and take steps to fight climate change. In other words, sustainability appears to be good business.

LinkedIn members also seem especially interested in solutions for sustainability. Whether through technology or diversity, there is a desire for a positive approach to tackling climate change among our members.

Below are the top five articles on sustainability:

  1. Tackling Climate Change Is Our Responsibility — and in Our Interest
  2. Climate change: An urgent threat to global health
  3. There is a forgotten solution to climate change that we must invest in – nature
  4. How AI could help prevent the next extinction (and you can, too)
  5. Women are driving climate solutions today and tomorrow

Hot topics on LinkedIn

Last but certainly not least, these were the top 10 topics trending upward during the quarter. It’s a wide variety of subjects, which underscores how the platform has grown from being about professional networking to also being about members’ personalities:

  1. Changing career
  2. Antivirus and malware
  3. Cybersecurity
  4. Natural world
  5. People management
  6. Education and learning
  7. Stock and shares
  8. LGBT culture
  9. Blockchain technology
  10. Digital currency

Jennifer Brett leads Americas insights for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.