Behaviour At Christmas Parties Affected By Harvey Weinstein And Sexual Harassment Scandals, Poll Finds

Workplace Christmas parties have been affected by the recent spate of sexual harassment scandals, with a quarter of male employees worried colleagues could misunderstand their behaviour at this year’s events, a new poll has revealed.

A ComRes poll for ITV News one in four people expect their Christmas party to be more subdued this year as a result of the Harvey Weinstein allegations that have rocked Hollywood, which spread Westminster and beyond, fuelled by campaigns such as #metoo.

It also found a quarter of women had experienced some form of sexual harassment at work during their career.

In signs the revelations will have a lasting effect on the UK workplace, the poll found men in particular saying they expect to take more care over general conversations at work (39%) and to tone down jokes (32%).

Men said they would also take more care over both socialising and physical contact with colleagues (34% and 31% respectively).

Last month, HuffPost UK spoke to women who described their everyday experiences of harassment at work, from the young woman up against the “Harvey Weinstein of the New York restaurant industry” to a temp worker who has nowhere to turn after a manager groped her behind.


* Around one in four people in employment say that the sexual harassment media stories will affect their Christmas party in some way * 31% say it will make them behave more cautiously around their colleagues (37% of men and 25% of women) * 26% say it makes them worried that their workplace might become less sociable (31% of men and 22% of women) * 24% say it makes them think that behaviour at this year’s party will be more subdued (28% men, 19% women) * One in five (20%) are worried that a colleague could misunderstand their behaviour at this year’s party (24% of men and 16% of women) * Seven percent say that their party has been shelved over sexual harassment concerns (9% men, 4% women)

While the proportion of women who have experienced sexual harassment at work is high at 25% (and men at 9%), the poll also reveals a greater willingness among women to report harassment (66% expect more reporting as a result), and an expectation among 32% of women of less sexual harassment in the workplace.


* 17% say they’ve experienced what they believe to be sexual harassment in the workplace or place of study – 9% of men and 25% of women * The older the person, the less likely they are to say they’ve experienced it – 22% of 18-24s but only 12% of 65+ * Just 4% say they’ve reported sexual harassment to their boss or to someone in authority (we’re asking for a filter to exclude those who haven’t experienced it) * 26% overall, and 31% of women (20% of men) say that the news stories of harassment make them more likely to report it in future; just 3% say they’d be less likely

Andrew Hawkins, chairman of ComRes, said:

“Workplace practices naturally evolve over time but the #metoo campaign has brought about a sudden change in what is considered acceptable. “Even if some feel uncertain about what this means day to day, or are worried about their own behaviour being misinterpreted at this year’s Christmas party, the campaign has clearly succeeded in forcing Britain’s workers to consider more carefully the impact of their behaviour on other people and to be ready to call out abuse when it happens.”


Girls Still Regularly Facing Sexual Harassment At School, Disturbing Report Underlines

More than a third of girls have suffered sexual harassment at school, a disturbing new report reveals.

The research from the National Education Union and UK Feminista shines a light on an epidemic of sexism behind the UK’s school gates.

Sixth form students hear sexist language regularly and gender stereotyping happens “on a weekly basis” at primary schools, the ‘It’s just everywhere: Sexism in schools and how we tackle it’ report says.

The NEU also calls on Ofsted to target the problem and for the Government to give schools more resources for projects to combat the rising tide of sexism.

Findings include:

It also mirrors the findings of a Parliamentary report on the issue more than a year ago, suggesting little is changing.

Women and Equalities Committee chair Maria Miller MP and fellow committee member Gavin Shuker, a Labour MP, will launch the report in Parliament today.

A total of 1,508 students and 1,634 teachers were questioned about their experiences and views on sexism in schools.

Miller says: “Without doubt, there is clear evidence that sexual harassment is blighting the lives of girls in our schools. It is worryingly ‘normalised’ and often goes unreported.”

The committee’s own report detailed how widespread sexual harassment and sexual violence had become.

Miller adds: “Fourteen months on from our report, schools seem no better placed to tackle the problem than they were then. We made many recommendations and ministers urgently need to review the guidance, support and resources made available and send a clear message to schools that girls’ safety and equality must be prioritised.  

“Government has to take urgent action on this problem. Negative stereotypes, sexist attitudes, expectations about relationships and sexual harassment and violence not only impact on children’s lives, but create problems in later life.” 

The new report calls for the Government to issue national guidance to schools on how to prevent and respond effectively to sexual harassment and sexual violence, and ensure teachers receive the necessary training, resources and support to develop a whole school strategy. 

Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary at the NEU, says: “As we come to the end of 2017, we’ve lived through a year in which sexual harassment of women and girls has been at the forefront of the public eye.

“This study shows us how normalised and pervasive it is for young people also. Sexual harassment and regular sexist remarks are patterns that most girls and young women come to view as ‘normal’.”

Schools need more resources to respond to the concerns, he adds.

“Schools and colleges have an important role to play in breaking down stereotypes but education policy is making it harder and not easier. We are not giving schools and teachers the tools, time and teaching environments they need.

“The Government, alongside the profession, needs to develop teacher training about the best ways to reduce sexism in the classroom and to use the formal and informal curriculum to make a difference for girls and boys. In this study, only one in five teachers say the national curriculum gives them adequate scope and flexibility to enable schools to prevent sexism.”

Sophie Bennett, spokesperson for UK Feminista, says: “The solutions are clear; what has been lacking is the political will to act. All those with the power to make schools safe for girls must now step up – from Downing Street to the staff room.

“We need to stop schools being places where girls and boys learn that sexual harassment and sexism are routine, normal, accepted. It would transform school life – and society as a whole.”

7 Tips for Building a Career in Marketing (Advice and Insights From Top Founders and Investors)

“How did you get into marketing?”

At Buffer, members of our marketing team are often asked this question. And the truth is, the path looks different for each of us:

  • Alfred was in the army
  • Arielle was a health coach
  • Kevan, our Marketing Director, was a sports reporter

But for those of you out there who want to start a career in marketing or maybe build from where you are in 2018, we’d love to help you figure out:

  • How can you transition from your current role into marketing?
  • What should you focus on learning?
  • What skills do you need?

To help answer these questions (and more!), we’ve teamed up with Product Hunt, who recently published their first book on careers. The book highlights the best insights from top founders and investors on mentorship, overcoming challenges, and the best and worst career advice they’ve received.

In this post, we’ll share some of the insights from Product Hunt’s book – including lessons from Tim Ferriss and Reddit co-founder, Alexis Ohanian- as well as some advice on building a career in marketing from the Buffer marketing team.

Ready to jump in?

7 Tips for building a career in marketing

1. Form habits around your strengths

You are the average of the five people you associate with most. Also, you don’t need to get much right to be and feel successful. Just form habits around one or two strengths.

Tim Ferriss

In Product Hunt’s book, Tim Ferriss’ #1 piece of advice for anyone looking to kickstart their career is to “Form habits around a few strengths.”

And at Buffer, we’ve built our marketing team around our individual, core strengths. For example, as an Editor, I focus mainly on my strengths in content marketing and SEO:

As Kevan explains in our t-shaped marketer post:

Generally-speaking, everyone on the Buffer marketing team will have all the base knowledge and marketing foundation skills; plus, each teammate will have chosen at least one main channel in which they are an expert.

Try to form habits around whatever discipline of marketing you’re most excited about:

  • If you’re into video, download some stock footage and start editing it
  • If you want to become an SEO master, try reading as much content as possible from places like Moz, Ahrefs and Backlinko
  • If writing is your thing, set aside time in your calendar each day to sit and write

It can be daunting to look at marketing and think you need to fully master: analytics, data, CRO, SEM, advertising, copywriting, SEO, community and more.

But in reality, to be a successful marketer, you don’t need to be an expert in every channel: one or two areas of expertise will be enough.

However, before diving right in and choosing an area or two to focus on, experiment with a bunch of different skills to see what’s the best fit for you.

2. “No” is just a starting point

The best piece of advice I ever received was that “No” is often just the starting point, and most careers worth having involve a fair amount of determination, grit, and just general “try, try again”-ing.

Kathryn Minshewf, Founder of The Muse

When it comes to kickstarting a career in marketing-or even climbing the ladder, you’ll likely hear “No” and a lot more than “Yes”.

From pitching editors content ideas to applying for various roles and freelance gigs, throughout my career, I’ve been told “No” plenty of times.

But what I learned along the way was that each “No” was bringing me a step closer to a “Yes”. For example, each article pitch I had rejected helped me to eventually land my first paid writing gig with Crew.

And When I landed my role at Buffer, it was actually the second time I applied – Kevan, who’s now our Marketing Director, was also unsuccessful in his first Buffer application

Kevan used the above note as motivation and failing to land his dream job helped him to realize where he could focus his energy to improve.

Treat each “No” as an opportunity to learn and refine your skills.

3. Focus on timeless skills

Write every day. Even if you’re not a writer, I find this practice to be clarifying for many things.

MG Siegler, Partner at Google Ventures

There are certain skills that will never become outdated in marketing. To name a few:

  • Communication
  • Writing
  • Storytelling

These skills will always be valuable.

For example, whether it’s a blog post, copy for a landing page or captions for a video, writing will always be a key skill for marketers to have.

And before joining Buffer, Kevan used to write 2,000 words minimum every day to help improve his craft. Alfred also challenged himself to write every day before he worked at Buffer and again when he first transitioned into a content-focused role.

Try to find opportunities in everyday life where you can practice these timeless skills.

For instance:

  • Treat every tweet or email you send as a chance to improve your writing skills
  • Next time you’re speaking with a customer service agent, think about how you can make your communication really clear and easy to understand
  • The next time you compose a Facebook status, think about how you can effectively tell the story you’re looking to share (these storytelling formulas may help)

4. Pursue side hustles

If you’ve got things you want to build, just build them for the sake of learning a new thing.

Alexis Ohanian, Co-founder of Reddit

At Buffer, we love side projects.

And when it comes to marketing, side projects can be a great way to learn new skills and embrace areas you’re passionate about.

For example, when our content crafter, Alfred, was keen to learn more about design and coding websites, he set out on a mission to redesign his personal site and code the changes himself.

‘Horrific’ Suicide Rate Among Autism Community Must Be Tackled, MPs Demand

The “horrific” level of suicides in the autism community needs to be urgently confronted, MPs from across the political spectrum are urging the Government.

The SNP’s Dr Lisa Cameron will lead a debate in the Commons calling for the Government to do more to provide support to those on the autistic spectrum who also suffer from mental illness.

She will be backed up by Conservative MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who has described the suicide rate in the autism community as “truly shocking” and questioned whether the NHS was serious about tackling the issue.

A 2016 study in Sweden revealed suicide is a leading cause of premature death in people with autism spectrum disorder, while research from Coventry University in 2014 showed 66% of adults newly diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome reported having contemplated ending their own lives.

Speaking to HuffPost UK ahead of Thursday’s debate in the Commons, Dr Cameron said: “It’s one of the leading causes of death in the autistic community. It’s horrific.

“One issue is GPs aren’t quite sure where to send people and it’s not being picked up enough.

“There needs to be more information and more clear pathways to help people who are on the autism spectrum and who have a mental health issues.

“It’s true to say that people on the autistic spectrum might not come forward to talk about it as well.”

 Research carried out in 2007 shows that one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year.

Yet according to the National Autistic Society, more than 70% of those with autism will suffer from mental health issues at some point in their lives.

In May, Dr Sarah Cassidy – who led a clinical study into mental health and autism in 2014 – warned there is a “worryingly high prevalence of people with the condition contemplating and attempting to take their own life.”

She added: “There are significant differences…in the risk factors for suicide in autism compared with the general population, meaning the journey from suicidal thoughts to suicidal behaviours might be quite different.

“The models we currently consider best practise for assessing and treating suicidality need to be rethought for those with autism, and policy adjusted accordingly so new approaches are reflected across services.”

Writing on Conservative Home on Wednesday, Anne-Marie Trevelyan said there needed to be more research into which therapies helped those with autism and mental health problems.

Trevelyan, whose son is autistic, wrote: “Going to a GP can be really difficult for autistic people. It’s a strange environment, with unusual lighting, sounds and rules that cannot easily be escaped.

“You get a ten minute appointment with a stranger who asks you a disconcertingly unclear question like “how are you doing?”, and you either clam up or panic and talk about the first answer that springs to mind rather than the issue you really came for.

“If you’re suffering from anxiety or depression that already makes leaving the house a battle, seeking help from your GP becomes impossible.”

Trevelyan also claimed that while NHS England’s Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, recommends the development of autism-specific care pathways, “nothing has been heard since it was proposed last February.”

“This work is supposed to get underway in 2018,” said Trevelyan, adding: “Right now, it’s not clear whether the project is actually happening, let alone who’s going to lead it, what its scope will be, how autistic people will be involved and a myriad more questions. This is a crucial opportunity to begin transforming care for autistic people. It’s vital that we get it right.”

Sarah Lambert, Head of Policy at National Autistic Society, welcomed the debate, and a common cause for problems going untreated is because a lack of access to the right support at school or at work.

She added: “Parents and autistic adults tell us that, delays in getting diagnosed have led to the development of serious mental health problems, both for the individual and for the family.

“Far too many autistic people are living with avoidable mental health problems. If we can provide the right support for autistic people from the beginning, we can ensure that the lives of autistic people in England can be transformed.”

10 Free Tools to Help You Understand Your Social Media Audience

We often recommend crafting your social media posts according to your audience.

But how you know who the individuals that make up your social media audience are? And how do you know what content they like?

Answering these two questions is essential if you’re looking to execute a successful social media strategy. And often, you’ll find the answers by turning to data and social media analytics.

In this post, I’ll share a few ways of using data to find out more about your social media audience across the major social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

How to Find Out Who's Your Social Media Audience on All Major Social Networks

How to learn more about your social media audience on the major social media platforms

Here’s an overview of the tools that you can use to help you understand who your followers are. Feel free to click on any of the social media platforms to skip to its section.

Facebook: Audience Insights, Page Insights, and graph search

Instagram: Instagram Insights and SocialRank

Twitter: Twitter analytics, Followerwonk, and SocialRank

LinkedIn: Linkedin analytics

Pinterest: Pinterest analytics

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Audience Insights – Demographics, Page Likes, and more

Facebook Audience Insights

The most powerful tool to help you understand your Facebook Page fans is hidden within the Facebook Ads Manager: Audience Insights.

Here’s how to access your Audience Insights:

  1. Click on the dropdown menu in the upper-right corner of any Facebook page
  2. Select “Manage Ads”
  3. Click on the “Facebook Ads” menu
  4. Select “Audience Insights” (you might have to hover over “All Tools”)

Navigating to Audience Insights

Or you could access it via this direct link:

Once you’re at your Audience Insights, select “People connected to your Page and enter your Page name under Connections > Pages.

Enter Facebook Page

Facebook might have, by default, selected “All United States” under “Location”. If you want a global view of your Facebook Page fans, hover over “All United States” and click on the cross.

Now, let’s find out who your Facebook Pages fans are!

Under the “Demographics” tab, you can get the following information:

  • Age and gender distribution
  • Lifestyle
  • Relationship status
  • Education level
  • Job title

Under the “Page Likes” tab, you can get the following information:

  • Top categories that your fans might like
  • Pages that your fans might like

Under the “Locations” tab, you can get the following information:

  • Top cities
  • Top countries
  • Top languages

Here’s the other information you can dig into:

  • Activity – as in Facebook activities and their device usage
  • Household – as in household size, income, etc.
  • Purchase – as in purchase behavior

Household and purchase information is only available for audiences in the US currently.

You can get a good understanding of your Facebook fans from all this information. For example, here’s what I found about Buffer’s Facebook Page fans:

  • In terms of age, the biggest group (45 percent) is people between 25 to 34.
  • We have slightly more male (57 percent) than female fans (43 percent).
  • Most of them work in “Management”, “Sales”, “Arts, Entertainment, Sports, and Media”.
  • They also like software and internet companies like Hootsuite, MailChimp, and Social Media Examiner.
  • In terms of location, the biggest group is people in the US (31 percent), followed by people in the UK (9 percent).

What did you find about your Facebook fans?

Page Insights – When your fans are online

When your fans are online

Besides knowing your Facebook fans’ demographics, interests, and locations, you can also find out when they are using Facebook in a typical week and day.

In your Page Insights, under the “Post” tab, you have a section called “When Your Fans Are Online”. (It should like the screenshot above.)

Under the section, “Days”, you’ll see how many of your fans are active on Facebook on a given day. Under the section, “Times”, you’ll see how many of your fans are active on Facebook during each hour on a typical day. This is a great way to find your best times to post.

Most of our fans seem to be on Facebook every day of the week. On a typical day, they tend to be most active between 12 pm and 9 pm EDT. How about your fans?

Graph Search – Other Pages that your fans Like

Facebook Graph Search

While Audience Insights tells you the Pages your fans might like, Facebook’s Graph Search can tell you the Pages they have Liked.

To do this, type “pages like by people who like (your Page name)” on the search bar at the top of any Facebook page.

In the results, there’ll be a section, “Pages liked by people who like (your Page name)”. As the section title suggests, those are the Pages like by your Facebook Page fans. One thing to note is that the results seem to prioritize your friends. So essentially, these are Pages liked by your friends who also Liked your Facebook Page.

So what do you know about your Facebook Page fans now?

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Instagram Insights – Demographics, location, and more

Instagram Insights - Followers

With a business profile on Instagram, the best way to learn about your followers is through Instagram Insights – Instagram’s free native analytics. (If you don’t have a business profile and want to convert, here’s how. If you don’t want to convert, read the next section.)

Here’s how to access your followers’ information in Instagram Insights:

  1. Tap on your profile photo in the lower-right corner of the mobile app
  2. Tap on the analytics button (the chart icon)
  3. Scroll down to the “Followers” section and tap on “See more”

Navigating to Instagram Insights - Followers

Here’s the information about your Instagram followers that you can get from your Instagram Insights:

  • Gender distribution
  • Age range distribution (men and women)
  • Top locations (cities and countries)
  • Times and days when your followers are most active

Tip: If you tap on the bar charts for age range and location, the percentages will be revealed.

Our Instagram followers are quite similar to our Facebook Page fans.

  • We have slightly more male (52 percent) than female followers (48 percent).
  • In terms of age, the biggest group (45 percent) is people between 25 to 34.
  • In terms of location, the biggest group is people in the US (38 percent), followed by people in the UK (8 percent).
  • They are most active on Tuesday and Wednesday on a typical week and between 9 am and 6 pm for most days.

How does this compare to your Instagram followers?

The follower information in Instagram Insights doesn’t tell you your followers’ interests. A way to figure this out is to look at your top posts. In the third step above, instead of tapping on “See more” in the “Followers” section, tap on “See more” in the “Posts” section.

Here, you’ll find your top posts by impressions – the total number of times that each post has been seen. I would recommend filtering your top posts by engagement, instead, to find out which types of posts your followers like to engage with. To change the filter, tap on “Impressions” at the top and select “Engagement”.

Instagram followers' interests

Sometimes, it might not be immediately obvious which type of posts your followers like. In such cases, you could make hypotheses, test a few types of posts, and see what works.

Social Rank – Interests, activity, and more

Social Rank

If you don’t have a business profile on Instagram or prefer not to convert, you could use free Instagram tools like Social Rank.

Once you have connected your Instagram account to Social Rank, click on “Show Summary” in the top-center of the page. Here, Social Rank will show you the many different information about your followers, such as the following:

  • Gender distribution
  • Top followers locations
  • Popular bio words
  • Popular hashtags
  • Popular time to post
  • Followers distribution (how many followers your audience has)

The information under “Popular bio words” and “Popular hashtags” might reveal the interests, job title, or industry of your Instagram followers. For example, our Instagram followers like to use words like “marketing”, “social”, and “media” in their bio, which is what our ideal audience does – social media marketing.

The “Popular time to post” section shows you the times your followers are posting, which is when they are online and when it might be best for you to post.

Social Rank - Instagram audience

You could also make some inferences about your followers by looking at your most engaged followers. To do that, sort your followers by “Most Engaged”. Social Rank will show you the followers that have interacted with you the most in the past 45 days. Click on the top 20 to 30 profiles and check out their bio and websites. Are there any similarities?

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Twitter analytics – Interests, demographics, and more

Twitter analytics - overview

The native Twitter analytics provides comprehensive information about your Twitter audiences – your followers, your organic audience, and your tailored audiences.

Here’s how to access this information:

  1. Click on your profile photo in the upper-right corner of any Twitter page
  2. Select “Analytics”
  3. Click on “Audiences” in the top navigation bar

Navigating to Twitter analytics - Audiences

Here are some of the key information you can get from the various tabs (e.g. “Overview”, “Demographics”, etc.):

  • Interests
  • Gender and age distribution
  • Country
  • Occupation
  • Household income categories
  • Consumer buying styles

Here’s what I found about Buffer’s Twitter followers (again, they are quite similar to our Facebook fans and Instagram followers):

  • We have slightly more male (56 percent) than female followers (44 percent).
  • In terms of age, the biggest group (54 percent) is people between 25 to 34.
  • In terms of location, the biggest group is people in the US (36 percent), followed by people in the UK (12 percent).
  • They are mostly interested in “Business and news”, “Technology, and “Tech News”.

What about your Twitter followers?

Followerwonk – Job title, activity, and more


Followerwonk is a great Twitter tool that provides a bit more information than Twitter analytics. And it’s free for analysis of accounts with up to 25,000 followers.

To analyze your Twitter follower base, type in your Twitter handle and select “analyze their followers”.

Followerwonk - analyze

Here are some of the useful information about your followers that you can get:

  • Locations
  • Most active hours
  • Word cloud of their bios
  • Gender

Followerwonk - Twitter followers

Tip: Followerwonk integrates with Buffer so that you can easily create a schedule based on when your Twitter followers are most active.

Social Rank – Interests, activity, and more

Social Rank can also be used for Twitter, and it provides similar information as it would for Instagram.

For example, here are the popular words and hashtags used in our Twitter followers’ bio and posts respectively (they are similar to those of our Instagram followers):

Social Rank - Twitter followers

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LinkedIn analytics – Job titles, locations, and more

LinkedIn Analytics

The LinkedIn Company Page analytics provides a good amount of information to help you define your LinkedIn followers (and visitors).

Here’s how to access your LinkedIn follower information:

  1. Click on “Manage Page” on your Company Page
  2. Click on “Analytics” on the top navigation bar
  3. Select “Followers”

Navigating to LinkedIn analytics - Followers

The LinkedIn analytics offers seven types of demographic data about your followers:

  • Country
  • Region
  • Job function
  • Seniority
  • Industry
  • Company size
  • Employment status

I find it helpful to look at the job function and industry data to get a sense of who our followers are. From our data, it seems that most of our LinkedIn followers are marketers and founders in the digital space.

LinkedIn analytic - Followers demographics

You can find similar information about your visitors – people who aren’t following your Company Page and have visited your Company Page. Instead of selecting “Followers” in the dropdown menu, select “Visitors”.

What does your data tell you about your LinkedIn followers and visitors?

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Pinterest analytics – Demographics, interests, and more

Pinterest analytics

If you have a business account on Pinterest, the best way to understand who your Pinterest followers are is to use Pinterest analytics. (You can set up your Pinterest business account here.)

Here’s how to access your follower information in Pinterest analytics:

  1. Click on “Analytics” in the upper-left corner of any Pinterest page
  2. Select “People you reach”
  3. On the right side of the page, click on “All audiences”
  4. Switch to “Your followers”

Navigating to Pinterest analytics

Or you could access it via this direct link:

Here’s the various helpful information you can get:

  • Audience size
  • Country and metro
  • Language
  • Gender
  • Interests
  • Boards (Boards by your followers with many of your Pins)
  • Brands (Businesses your followers follows and engage with)

Pinterest analytics - Brands

Our Pinterest follower base is slightly different from our follower base on the other major social media platforms. Perhaps because of the demographics on Pinterest.

  • We have more female (74 percent) than male fans (21 percent). 5 percent unspecified.
  • In terms of location, the biggest group is people in the US, followed by people in India.
  • They are mostly interested in “Technology”, “Design”, and “Travel”.

How does your Pinterest follower base look like?

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What do you know about your social media audience?

Understanding who your social media audience is can help you craft the right content for them, boost your engagement, and increase your reach. And by using the amazing social media tools around, you can learn so much about your followers – for free.

Once you have analyzed your social media following, I would love to hear what you have found out. Who is your social media audience? What are their interests? What do they do?

Also, do you know of any other analytics tools for understanding one’s social media following? It’ll be great if you are up for sharing.

P.s. If you found this post helpful, you might like our guide to optimizing your social media content – helping you decide what to post on each social media platform.

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The Silent Rise of LinkedIn to 500M Members: What Marketers Need to Know for 2018 [SSM069]

What if I told you that LinkedIn, a social media platform that is now 14 years old, is the next big opportunity for marketers and brands?

While much of the focus over the last few years has been on perfecting our Facebook and Instagram marketing strategies, LinkedIn has been silently growing their user base to more than 500 million users.

The reason for this sudden growth?

LinkedIn is no longer known only for their résumé and job searching capabilities. It’s evolving into a thriving network of incredible content, influencers, and networking opportunities unmatched by other social media platforms.

In episode #69 of The Science of Social Media, we explore the many features that make LinkedIn such a powerful platform for brands and what marketers need to know going into 2018.

Let’s dive in!

How to listen: iTunes | Google Play | SoundCloud | Stitcher | RSS

The Silent Rise of LinkedIn Marketing: What Marketers Need to Know for 2018

The silent rise of LinkedIn: What marketers need to know

The LinkedIn journey to 500M members

If you were to ask me to describe LinkedIn in 2015, I might have said something along the lines of, “a great professional network” or “the perfect place to find a job.” Now, as we close out 2017, it’s clear that LinkedIn is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with in the world of B2C and B2B marketing.

Microsoft must have seen something in the rising star as well – officially acquiring LinkedIn for $26.2 billion at the end of 2016 in one of the largest social media deals in history.

A quick look at LinkedIn’s journey to 500 million members:

  • 2003 (0 members): Launch
  • 2005 (1.6M members): Introduction of Jobs & Subscriptions
  • 2006 (4.2M members): Launch of public profiles for members
  • 2009 (33M members): Jeff Weiner joins LinkedIn as president
  • 2011 (140M members): LinkedIn goes public
  • 2013 (250M members): 10th anniversary of LinkedIn
  • 2015 (330M members): $1.5B acquisition of Launch of Pulse
  • 2016 (400M members): Microsoft acquires LinkedIn for $26.2B
  • 2017 (500M members): 100,000 new articles published weekly

What’s most astonishing is how fast LinkedIn has grown over the last six years. Between 2011 and 2017, LinkedIn’s user base grew from 140 million to 500 million – shattering the growth rate in previous periods.

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LinkedIn demographics

One of the more intriguing aspects of LinkedIn is the demographics of their users.

  • Twenty-nine percent of online adults use LinkedIn
  • Fifty-six percent of users are male and 44 percent are female
  • Fifty-one percent of users have a college degree
  • Thirteen percent of millennials (15 to 34-year-olds) use LinkedIn
  • Forty-four percent of users earn more than $75,000 a year
  • Forty-one percent of millionaires use LinkedIn
  • The average CEO has 930 connections
  • Statistical Analysis and Data Mining are the top skills on LinkedIn

CEO Jeff Weiner plans to “develop the world’s first economic graph” with the hopes of “digitally mapping out the global economy.” A goal not far from reach seeing how LinkedIn has an in-depth dataset of company, industry, and individual contact information for more than 500 million members.

In the long-term, this will be a game-changer for marketers and brands in the B2B space.

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Becoming a content-first platform

Written content

Did you know that LinkedIn Pulse started as the Pulse app – a class project at Stanford University in 2010? It wasn’t until 2015 that LinkedIn fully integrated Pulse into the platform and established themselves as a content-first social media network.

LinkedIn Pulse Acquisition

Before Pulse, LinkedIn didn’t offer users or influencers much in the form of organic content. When they announced that they’d be opening up their Pulse publishing platform to the public in February 2014, it opened the floodgates to a world of content.

Today, Pulse no longer operates as a separate application within LinkedIn. It’s seamlessly integrated into members’ feeds as articles to help enhance the content-first experience.

It’s working, too! More than 100,000 organic articles are published weekly on LinkedIn, many of which are written by top-level executives at brands around the world. Startup Founder, Gretta van Riel, explains just how powerful LinkedIn has been for her content:

Gretta van Riel LinkedIn Post

Video content

On August 22, 2017, LinkedIn launched what might be their biggest update since Pulse – native LinkedIn video.

Just a few months after launch, the evidence seems to be pointing towards videos performing extremely well on LinkedIn. Videos from the limited release are getting shared 20+ times more than any other content. Our team has been hearing the same sentiment from marketers everywhere.

We also had the wonderful opportunity to speak with the LinkedIn team at MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum this year. LinkedIn plans to roll out the native video feature to brands and businesses in the near future – an update that we’re all excited for!

Our teammate, Paul Thomson, has been experimenting with native LinkedIn video with great success.

Paul Thomson LinkedIn Video Example

Several of his videos are performing two to three times better on LinkedIn than they are on other social media platforms. A great sign for LinkedIn as a video publishing platform.

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Becoming a platform for influencers

An interesting trend that we’ve been keeping a close eye on is LinkedIn’s development of their invite-only Influencer Program.

As Daniel Roth, Editor in Chief at LinkedIn writes, “LinkedIn’s Influencers – an invite-only group of some of the top minds in business – have access to briefings, data, and experts that the rest of us can only dream about.”

Offering Influencers an exclusive platform to publish content was a brilliant move on the part of LinkedIn. One, because it offers Influencers a guaranteed way to get their content in front of hundreds of thousands of members. Two, because naturally, Influencers will bring their own audience to the LinkedIn platform by simply sharing their content with their followers. And three, it bolsters LinkedIn’s reputation as a thought-leader in multiple sectors.

LinkedIn Influencer Program

The Influencers so far include Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Sallie Krawcheck, James Altucher, and more.

In fact, 36 percent of LinkedIn members now read interesting articles they find in their feed, an increase of 20 percent since 2014. Activating influencers to write great content gives LinkedIn a unique advantage over other social media networks.

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Becoming a platform for personal branding & networking

Personal branding

Ultimately, LinkedIn’s biggest value proposition and its reason for growth lie in the ability for members to develop a strong personal brand.

  • Seventy-nine percent of professionals say that networking is valuable for career growth
  • Sixty-one percent of professionals say that regular online interactions with networks can lead to job opportunities

But what does this mean for B2C and B2B companies?

When brands have employees that feel empowered to build a brand and start side projects outside of their traditional work, it’s a win-win for both the individual and the brand.

Having creative hobbies has been shown to make people more helpful, collaborative, and creative in their job performance.


I can’t tell you how many relationships I’ve made by simply reaching out to someone on LinkedIn and saying hello.

Many of the guests we’ve featured on The Science of Social Media were first introduced to us via a private LinkedIn message.

Whenever I have a question about social media or marketing, one of the first places I turn to is LinkedIn.

Check out this incredible infographic put together by the folks over at Number Sleuth showing just how important LinkedIn has become for personal brand and networking:

The New LinkedIn

Where we go from here

We predict that 2018 will be an amazing year for LinkedIn – both as a social media platform and a marketing channel for brands and businesses.

It’s a fast-growing network with exciting features being released regularly. These features will continue to open up lots of great opportunities for marketers to connect with highly-targeted audiences in new and engaging ways.

Keep an eye on the growth of written and video content as well as an increased focus on activating influencers by brands within their community.

It’s a great time to be on LinkedIn!

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Thanks for listening! Feel free to connect with our team at Buffer on Twitter, Buffer on Facebook, our Podcast homepage, or with the hashtag #bufferpodcast.

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About the show

The Science of Social Media is your weekly sandbox for social media stories, insights, experimentation, and inspiration. Every Monday (and sometimes more) we share the most cutting-edge social media marketing strategies from brands and influencers in every industry. If you’re a social media team of one, business owner, marketer, or someone simply interested in social media marketing, you’re sure to find something useful in each and every episode.  It’s our hope that you’ll join our 10,000+ weekly iTunes listeners and rock your social media channels as a result!

The Science of Social Media is proudly made by the Buffer team. Feel free to get in touch with us for any thoughts, ideas, or feedback.

Image credit: UnsplashTechCrunch

EU Planning For Failure Of Brexit Talks, Says Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier

The EU’s chief negotiator has warned that the union is drawing up contingency plans in case of a “no deal” Brexit.

Michel Barnier said that the collapse of talks with the UK was a “possibility” though not his preferred option.

He told French newspaper, Le Journal du Dimanche: “It’s not my option, but it’s a possibility.

“Everyone needs to plan for it, member states and businesses alike. We too are preparing for it technically.

“A failure of the negotiations would have consequences on multiple domains.”

Negotiations to unravel more than 40 years of union have stalled, and Britain may miss a December deadline to move the talks to a discussion of future trade ties, which businesses say is vital for them to make investment decisions.

The key sticking point is the financial settlement the UK is prepared to offer as part of the divorce deal. Last week, Barnier said Britain had two weeks to spell out how far it would “honour its obligations” to break the deadlock.

But Brexit Secretary David Davis said on Sunday said Britain will not offer a figure for how much it believes it owes the EU.

Davis told Sky News the EU had agreed Britain would not need to offer “a number or a formula” for the financial deal when London accepted the bloc’s schedule for the talks – first a discussion about the divorce and second, about future trade ties.

“In every negotiation, each side tries to control the timetable. The real deadline on this is, of course, December,” Davis said, referring to the next EU summit when Britain hopes the bloc will launch the next phase of the talks.

″(British taxpayers) would not want me to just come along and just give away billions of pounds. So we’ve been very, very careful, and it’s taking time and we will take our time to get to the right answer.”

Prime Minister Theresa May says she cannot offer a figure for the financial settlement until her government knows what the future relationship will be. But she also does not want to inflame Brexit campaigners who have suggested Britain walk away.

Barnier also told Journal du Dimanche that Britain had to detail which financial commitments it would honour.

“Theresa May has committed to paying the contributions of 2019 and 2020, as well as other commitments, without specifying which ones,” Barnier said.

“The European taxpayer should not pay the price of a decision made … by the United Kingdom.”

The two sides must also reach agreement on the UK border with EU member Ireland, something that Irish officials say is still a long way off.