The potential for leveraging relationships on LinkedIn is still on the upswing — with a 145% increase in users last year, LinkedIn’s growth topped all other social media networks.

LinkedIn experts agree that creating quality content is one of the best ways to increase your visibility and build credibility on the network. You can showcase your leadership, expertise and personality by posting status updates and writing articles as well as engaging with other people’s posts.

All your connections get notified, so regular posting keeps you on their radar. Additionally, if one of them likes what you say and shares it, your content becomes visible to all that person’s connections who can re-share it. When that happens exponentially, you’ve gone viral.

Here are some tips based on recent research for creating content people want to read and share.

Contrary to popular belief, longer and simpler is better

While it seems logical that short, quick reads would be more popular with time-strapped professionals viewing posts on their smartphones — search engines and readers favor longer more in-depth content, shares Forbes Councils member Peter Boyd in an article on 2019 content marketing trends.

Content with less than 1,000 words was 16 times more prevalent than content exceeding 2,000 words, yet research from BuzzSumo showed that articles from a trusted source with 3,000-10,000 words are the most likely to be shared on social media.

Taking the time to construct a well-written and compelling article is one way to stand out in the crowd. Plusm this content remains visible on your profile for everyone to see.

Boyd adds, “It’s important to remember that the point of long-form content is not to waste readers’ time but to provide thoughtful information that can be used as a quality resource.”

Another finding goes against the conventional wisdom that it’s best to write at a level that reflects the educated audience found on LinkedIn. Contrarily, simple content easily read by the average 11-year-old attracts the most views.

Research pinpoints the qualities that really hook readers

What do professionals on LinkedIn consider compelling? Results of a BuzzSumo analysis of 228,000 articles published on LinkedIn and another 136,000 shared from other sites provide clues to what hooks readers most.

Author Susan Moeller calls them “The 5 Ps of Publishing.”

  • Practical
  • Professional
  • Personal
  • point to Peak experiences
  • portray Paths to change

An earlier BuzzSumo study analyzing the headlines and subjects with the most reads and shares on LinkedIn supports the idea that people want practical content. The most popular headlines included the phrases how to, you need to, and why you should.

Other highly shared posts, according to author Tim Rayson, were about advancing your career, habits to form or mistakes to avoid, and how to be successful as a senior leader or a team manager.

Write LinkedIn articles that personalize your professional life

Brainstorm ideas based on the five Ps. Consider practical knowledge you’ve gained from your professional life that can benefit people.

  • What important industry trends are you privy to?
  • What’s happening in your arena that inspires awe?
  • How’s your company striving to improve your industry or the world?

While LinkedIn is a professional network, the human side is what usually hooks readers. So, ask yourself what personal and professional obstacles you have faced and overcome in your career, and where you have adapted and changed. Most likely, others are dealing with similar challenges.

Recall the steps you took to get from where you were to where you are now and outline them for readers, with concrete reasons why they worked for you.

Similarly, when sharing peak experiences and great triumphs consider including the little foibles and bits of humor that were part of the process. In a breakdown of the emotions triggered by 10,000 of the most shared articles on social media, awe and laughter topped the chart!