You have just 8 seconds to get your social audience engaged. Being in the news helps.
Because it turns out that ‘news’ is the number 1 reason people share posts on LinkedIn, especially among the tech and healthcare communities. That’s according to a recent study of shares across its own platform by LinkedIn, which it undertook with content analysis firm BuzzSumo. The report, entitled ‘The DNA Behind the World’s Most Successful Content’ found that ‘news and trends-related pieces’ are most likely to be among the most shared posts for both the tech and healthcare communities. And their impact increased when they referenced credible sources of research.
Looking at the posts generating the highest number of backlinks, the same LinkedIn study found a very similar mix of content, but this time with more focus on authoritative news articles, looking at specific launches and developments. So, once they are initially engaged, long form articles also work well for these audiences.
This is more important than ever in an environment of shrinking returns for content social sharing. According to BuzzSumo’s ‘Content Trends Report 2018’, content social sharing has declined by a whopping 50% since 2015 in the face of exponentially increasing competition for the readers’ attention. And, as if this wasn’t enough, a recent Microsoft report showed that readers’ attention span is also contracting – down to just 8 seconds by 2015. (A goldfish’s was measured at 9 seconds).
For digital marketers, this has ramped up the pressure. Obviously the goal is always to stand out from the constant and increasing media and digital background noise – but now this has to be achieved in 8 seconds or under. This is why social metrics such as ‘views’ and ‘impressions’ are no longer just vanity measurements but are actually measures of how many important windows one has had in which to grab your viewers’ attention.
And the LinkedIn survey shows that among the best ways to do this is by generating and featuring company news.
What LinkedIn’s report shows us is that our chances of attracting eyeballs and shares on social media platforms is significantly increased by having bona fide ‘news’ as the content and subject matter. And these eyeballs are somewhat qualified, because of course LinkedIn audiences are generally fairly selective by nature, with many of our first and second degree contacts generally focussed to some degree on our core audience.
In an age where we are constantly being told that the media is less and less important, and that self-generated content is king, LinkedIn’s own report shows us that this is not necessarily true, and that discerning readers are still more attracted to news stories in recognised publications with professionally checked sources.
Discerning readers are seeking out news stories they know they can rely on. The challenge is to pro-actively position your content to be part of it.
(Pic: Cow Parsley)