Who are typical LinkedIn users?

Stats from Pew Research suggest that LinkedIn is one of the few social media platforms where the over 50s outnumber 18-25’s.

It’s also somewhere where degree qualified early to mid career people hang out. 

This got me wondering. It got me wondering about the topics and tone of the posts I see in my LinkedIn timeline. 

What I noticed was that they fell into two broad camps. The first were all about ‘how to do business better’; better leadership, better processes, better tools. The second were all about personal values and the meaning and purpose of life, typically in format of ‘life hacks’, spirituality and philosophy.

Given the demographic of LinkedIn users it suddenly all became clear. The dominant user groups are at particular life stages and points of transition. 

Of course many of you will be familiar with the notion of ‘mid-life’ crisis. Less people know that this idea comes from the work of Daniel Levinson who examined the stages of life we pass through and how we cope with the change. 

So the we end up with two broad themes of LinkedIn post.

  • How to have a better career
  • How to lead a better life

The former contain problem solving tips and the latter contain philosophical reflections. 

The former I would guess are avidly read by early and mid career readers and the latter the post 55 year olds reflecting on achievements and what comes next.

So what does this mean for my blog posts? Typically I don’t post things like 7 ways to improve customer retention and neither do I go the life hack route of ‘we’re all at one with the universe’.

So what sort of posts do I write? And more interestingly why would anyone bother to read them? What is the pattern that connects (cf Gregory Bateson) my posts?

I suppose I would classify them as hopefully thought provoking and also digging at the assumptions that sit behind the content. The stuff that the writers don’t actually declare but I find really interesting.

Now that’s interesting. I seem to be applying the judgemental heuristic. That rule of thumb that is used by people who think what they find interesting is interesting to other people too. 

Looks like my reader stats may never be in the millions! 

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