The Water Cooler: Marketing Leaders Embrace Lessons from Bill Gates and Richard Branson

edited November 2020 in Business and Finance
LinkedIn Water Cooler Series





There are now more than 722 million LinkedIn members, and every month on the platform these professionals engage with and discuss content that’s important to them — inside and outside the office.

In this edition of the Water Cooler, we’re taking a deeper dive into the articles that are receiving the most engagement — comments, shares, and likes — from marketing leaders on LinkedIn.  In October, marketing professionals looked to our platform for influencers willing to tackle both today’s – and tomorrow’s – big challenges.

Bill Gates shows up repeatedly on our top ten list this month. The No.3 article provides details on Gates upcoming book about climate change, while No. 4 showcases the inaugural episode of his new podcast, The Big Question. In the first episode, Gates and actor Rashida Jones explore a big question that is top of mind for many people: What will the world look like after COVID-19? “I know it’s hard to imagine right now while new cases are surging around the world, but there will come a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us,” Gates writes. “I think it’s safe to assume that society will be changed forever, given how disruptive the virus has been to virtually every part of our lives.”

Richard Branson, another visionary leader, also appears on our top 10 list multiple times. The No. 10 article is a post from Branson’s blog, “Virgin Hyperloop makes transportation history,” that examines how Virgin’s new high-speed train will change “how the world moves around,” while the No. 6 article details Branson’s Strive Challenge, a 100K cycle and swim: “That’s what the Strive Challenge is all about: having a growth mindset. It can be really easy to stay in your comfort zone but that’s not where the magic happens. When I hear that little voice in the back of my head telling me to stop or to slow down, that’s when I know I must keep going. When you reach your limits and you push past them, there really is no other feeling like it,” Branson writes.

Here are the top 10 articles marketing professionals were engaged with on LinkedIn last month.

Top 10 Most Engaging Articles on LinkedIn in October

  1. Quiet People in Meetings Are Incredible By Tim Denning | Medium
  2. Use this new resume template and example to land an interview today, says hiring manager of 20 years By Peter Yang | CNBC
  3. A few details about my new climate book By Bill Gates | GatesNotes
  4. What will the world look like after COVID-19? (Podcast) By Bill Gates | GatesNotes
  5. Building new bridges: Our thoughts on the U.S. election By Brad Smith, Microsoft President | Microsoft on the Issues Blog
  6. Strive challenge: 100k cycle and swim completed By Richard Branson | Richard’s Blog on Virgin
  7. A room, a bar and a classroom: how the coronavirus is spread through the air By Mariano Zafra and Javier Salas | El Pais
  8. The World's Best Employers 2020 Edited By Kristen Stoller | Forbes
  9. ‘I want to lead this enormous ordeal’ (’Ik wil leiding geven aan deze enorme beproeving’) By Inge Lengton and Wouter De Winther | De Telegraaf (Subscription required)
  10. Virgin Hyperloop makes transportation history By Richard Branson | Richard’s Blog on Virgin

The list of top topics discussed on LinkedIn ranges from Technology to Society and Culture to Politics and Law and Health. The wide variety of the topics exemplifies the broad nature of the conversation on LinkedIn.

Top 10 Topics Discussed on LinkedIn in October

  1. Technology
  2. Business and Management
  3. Science and Environment
  4. Politics and Law
  5. Finance and Economy
  6. Society and Culture
  7. Health
  8. Careers and Employment
  9. Management
  10. Marketing and Advertising

The list of top hashtags is a recent addition to the Water Cooler. This list reflects some of the fastest-growing conversations on LinkedIn. At least two of the top 10 — #kamalaharris and #blacklivesmattter — illustrate marketing leaders look to LinkedIn for dynamic conversations around top societal issues.

Top 10 Hashtags on LinkedIn in October

  1. #kamalaharris
  2. #sridharvembu
  3. #linkedintopvoices
  4. #amazonjobs
  5. #blacklivesmatter
  6. #powergeneration
  7. #jobopportunities
  8. #textiles
  9. #love
  10. #solarpower

Lessons for Marketers

Bill Gates and Richard Branson are leaders who specialize in turning the impossible into the possible – it’s no wonder that marketing professionals are looking to trailblazers like these on our platform during these trying times.

Businesspeople on our platform want to learn what these leaders are going to do next — and whether they can learn something from them about how to navigate the biggest professional and personal challenges we’ve faced in our lifetimes. Networks like LinkedIn can connect us to professionals and innovative leaders who are experiencing similar transitions, providing a chance to collaborate in times of change.

If you want to take a deeper dive into the posts that are attracting the readership of professionals on LinkedIn, previous Water Cooler articles can be found here. And to keep pace with the latest thinking in marketing, subscribe to the LinkedIn Marketing Blog today.

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