How to Create Viral LinkedIn Posts

What you will learn

As a successful content creator on LinkedIn you can achieve great things and anything from finding your dream job to finding new customers for your business becomes possible.

Your only problem? Nobody is engaging with your content!

If that’s you, then this is the perfect article for you!

It will show you how to create amazing content that your audience loves, creates huge amounts of engagement, and grows your network with the right people.

Also, check out my YouTube video about viral LinkedIn posts below.

Play the long game

Many people want to create a viral post and believe that once they get one, all of their problems are solved.

Once and for all.

Nothing could be further from the truth!

It is not possible to control all factors that make the difference between a normal post and a viral post.

Sometimes, the right content, at the right time is resonating just enough with the right people, to trigger the algorithm. Sometimes, if just one of the factors is off, the same post might just stay a normal post.

Here is what you should do:

Think about long term success by slowly and steadily growing your network with the right audience.

It is way more important to attract the right audience (even if it takes longer) than to create a viral post that attracts the wrong people. The wrong people are those who doesn’t resonate with any of your “real” content as well as the value proposition that you bring to the table!

A good analogy is this, and yes, it is a tweetable.

Become an investor who gets rich slow by working hard to make smarter investments daily, instead of someone who looks for shortcuts in life and ends up poor fast by wasting money on lottery tickets!

Who do you want to be? 🙂

Optimize for mobile-first

Posts will be displayed slightly differently on desktop browsers and mobile phones.

Desktop computers will display slightly more characters than mobile devices.

To be safe, focus on mobile devices first. You can fit in at about 140 characters into your first line before the text gets cropped below a “… see more” button.

If you’re using photos or videos, make sure that the image or first video frame looks great on mobile as well.

For example, if you want to display text on your image, use a larger font size to increase readability on small screens.

If your text doesn’t fit in with a larger font size, shorten your title.

Another technique that you want to use to maximize readability on small screens are shorter sentences, shorter paragraphs and line breaks (Insert one empty line between paragraphs).

I go into more details regarding optimizing the design and visual flow of your text further down the article.

Take Baby Steps

Don’t try to do everything at once.

Think in terms of small mico goals that only have ONE objective at a time.

Your intro’s goal?

To stop people from scrolling their newsfeed and to click the see more button.

Each subsequent sentence is guiding them from one sentence to the next.

Optimize Your Intro

The first 3-5 lines are the most important part of each post. If your headline is interesting enough it will stop people from scrolling and to click on “read more” to see the rest of your post.

To be on the safe side, keep your intro to less than 140 characters, followed by one empty line to look great on mobile and desktop computers.

The more you work on your copywriting skills, the higher the number of people who start reading the rest of your post.

This won’t happen overnight, you have to practice, practice, practice!

As you get better, your views go up.

The intro text has to

  • grab people’s attention
  • create curiosity and mystery
  • communicate that the rest of the text contains either value or is entertaining. Ideally both.
  • tease what is inside the full text without giving everything away

Optimize Your Core Message

The main body should be optimized for the mobile experience and readability. If you post a big blob of text, few people will read it.

Use simple words and grammar.

Short sentences.

Try to simplify everything as much as possible, this way more people will understand your message, get value from your content and engage with it.

Visually Structure Your Post

Use emojis to structure your content or important calls to action. Here are a few ideas.

  • Section Divider
    • ―――
    • Use one empty line between paragraphs
  • Text dividers
    • |
    • /
    • ¦
  • Titles
    • 🔥
    • ⭐️
    • ⚫️
    • 🔴
    • 🔵
    • 🔶
    • 🔷
  • Do lists
    • ✔️
  • Don’t lists
    • 🚫
  • Ordered lists
    • 0️⃣
    • 1️⃣
    • 2️⃣
    • 3️⃣
    • 4️⃣
    • 5️⃣
    • 6️⃣
    • 7️⃣
    • 8️⃣
    • 9️⃣
    • 🔟
  • Directions
    • 👈
    • 👉
    • 👆
    • 👇
  • Contact me
    • 📞
    • ✉️
  • Legal
    • ®️
    • ©️
    • ™️
  • Other
    • ☁︎ Cloud
    • 🦄 Unicorn startup

Tag Relevant People, Companies and Groups

Make use of the tagging feature to dive into new audiences. Here is a great approach.

Tag all the people you met at a conference and write something nice about them. If you say nice things, you almost have a guarantee that the people you tagged will either like or comment, which will then be shown to their audience.

Have a Strong Call to Action

At the end of each post include at least one call to action.

Like Your Post

Let’s begin with low commitment activities first. Anyone can like a post with the click of a button.

The best thing, you don’t have to ask people to like your post.

If someone enjoys your post, they naturally want to hit the thumbs up button to show their appreciation, in the same way as an audience will start clapping if an artist has given a great performance on stage. 🙂

If you want to get even more people to engage, you can ask them to like your post.

A great approach to boost your likes count is to ask people to like IF.

  • Like if you agree
  • Like if you want to see more kindness in the world

Sometimes, especially if you’re talking about a heavy subject, “liking” can feel awkward. In those cases, it is important to redefine the act of liking, to remove the awkwardness.

Otherwise, you’ll end up with a lot less engagement, and your message to promote a positive change wouldn’t reach as many people.

  • Please hit the like button, if you want to support the fight against cancer
  • Like this post, if you want to think that we should all work together for a better future.

Leave a Meaningful Comment

Comments require a larger commitment than likes, as such, they are often fewer in numbers.

People will naturally comment if they feel strongly about something, positively or negatively. If you have polarizing opinions and beliefs and frequently share them with the world, your comments thread will always fill up quickly.

If you want to get more people to comment on your post or simply want to have a more guided discussion about something, direct the conversation by asking a specific question and tell people to answer it in the comments section.

  • Let me know in the comments if you agree with me or if you have a different opinion.
  • What is your number one recommendations for making a perfect first impression?
  • If you want to get a copy of my new LinkedIn Cheat Sheet, please let me know in the comments.

The key to receiving many meaningful comments, is to ask for something that is easy and quick to answer, for example, “Which animal is your favorite? Cats or dogs”. Most people don’t have to think the answer, they just know it.

Try to avoid complicated questions that require a long thought time to answer (What do you think about the meaning of life?) and anything that might lead to embarrassing answers that most people don’t want to share with everyone (Who is your least favorite co-worker in your current job? 🙂

To get even more people to actively comment, make sure that you meticulously reply to every single comment and to ask follow-up questions. The more comments and especially sub-comment threads you get, the more people will see your post!

Tag Someone in The Comments

A hybrid form of commenting and sharing is to ask people to tag someone in the comments. The tagged people will receive a notification that they have been tagged and usually check out the post itself.

Tagging happens naturally in two situations. You post about something very specific that is either perceived as very useful or controversial.

If readers perceive your post as useful, either for themselves or for someone they know. They will tag people who they believe would benefit from learning about your content as well.

If they perceive your post as controversial, or simply as new and surprising, they will often tag someone they perceive as an authority figure in that matter and ask for their opinion.

To get more people to tag others in the comment, ask them!

  • Share this with someone who is also interested in AI.
  • Tag someone in the comments who has to know about this.

Share Your Post with Their Network

The strongest engagement signals in the LinkedIn algorithm are shares!

They have the highest impact on views and are most difficult to get.

Not everyone is aware that the act of liking or commenting will be seen by people who follow them.

For shares, on the other hand, there is no confusion that this will be seen by their network. They are putting their name on the line to endorse your content, so it better be fricking good!

To get the highest possible number of people to share your post, you cannot just ask them to do so. There has to be more.

Your content has to be outstanding in terms of quality, value and trigger strong emotions.

The best way to create share-worthiness posts is to think about how you can create positive a-ha moments for your audience.

Another approach is to be the first person to share something new, for example, your commentary and thoughts on a breaking news event.

The last and most important factor is the way how you ask people to share. I highly recommend giving people a reason to share

  • Please share this post with someone who could benefit from this

Visit Your Personal Profile

Asking readers to visit your LinkedIn profile is always a good idea.

An optimized LinkedIn profile is working like a well-oiled machine when it comes to generating leads.

It informs new visitors about who you are, your background, what you have to offer them and how they can get in touch.

Make sure that you give readers a reason to visiting your profile, for example:

Connect with You on LinkedIn

You can also ask people to connect with you. It’s important to qualify people, so you’re receiving a connection request from the right people.

One way of doing this is by asking people to connect with you if they have a specific business challenge and are looking for a solution

The biggest benefit of being connected to someone is the ability to send each other messages for free, without the requirement of paying for LinkedIn InMails.

Follow Your Personal Profile

If your account is running low in connection slots (LinkedIn has a built-in limit of 30,000 direct connections), you might be better off asking people to follow you instead.

Another reason why you might want people to follow you is the protection of your privacy and accessibility.

Followers cannot send you messages, without paying for InMails. They also cannot download your contact information, including your email address.

This is great if you have a specific process in place for people to contact you. On my profile, I ask people to get in touch via the contact form on my website.

By just asking people to take one extra step, you’re basically filtering out 99% of the usual spam messages.

You can reach out to LinkedIn support and ask them to replace the default “Connect” button with a “Follow” button instead.

In order to get more people to follow you, it is a great idea to tell them what kind of content they can expect from you.

The more relevant your topics, the more likely they’re going to take action.

Follow Your Company Page

We already talked about the unique capabilities that you can only do with LinkedIn pages, including the ability to run ads to followers or to specifically targeted certain segments of your followers, for example, different languages, etc.

If you want to grow the follower count of your LinkedIn company page, ask people to follow your page by tagging your company page.

First type in @, then wait a moment. A new drop-down will appear on the screen. Slowly type in the name of your company page.

Once it appears in the drop-down, click on it.

There you go, a clickable text-element with the name of your company, that will take anyone who clicks on it, to your LinkedIn page.

You will get more people to follow your page if you explain to them what kind of content, themes, and topics you’re going to post on your company page.

Join Your LinkedIn or Facebook Group

LinkedIn groups have long been horrible places with tons of spam message and little or no real engagement. This is about to change. LinkedIn has dedicated a new team to replace the old group system with a completely new and modern solution.

The best part, you can tag your LinkedIn groups inside of posts by typing in the @ symbol and then slowly entering the name of your group.

To get more people to join your group, have a strong value proposition.

Subscribe to Your Newsletter

LinkedIn is a great platform to build an audience of highly-relevant professionals.

With 590 million users and counting more and more people seize the opportunity and become active content creators. We have already seen a huge drop in organic reach for LinkedIn content creators in 2018. And as with any social media network, this might just the beginning.

To ensure that you will always be able to talk to your audience is to get them out of LinkedIn and onto your email list.

The best ways how to do this is using a lead magnet or opt-in bribe. This is usually a downloadable item, that people will receive as a reward for joining your email list.

I wrote an entire article on how to grow an email list from scratch, where I go into much more detail on how to set this up on your website. Make sure to check it out.

Here are a few ideas on how you can ask people to join your newsletter.

Visit Your Website

LinkedIn is very limited when it comes to lead generation and audience qualification.

You can write about your products and services on your personal LinkedIn profile and company page, but you don’t have much control over it.

Even if you invest $10,000+ per year to get access to LinkedIn career pages, you can only do so much.

A much smarter place to be is your own website.

Here you have total control and can guide new users step by step all the way from discovery to closing the deal.

The problem? LinkedIn doesn’t want you to leave! (Kind of like a jealous ex-bf or gf 🙂

When you share a direct link to any external website or page, you will notice that the number of views is extremely low!

LinkedIn actively deprioritizes any external content in favor of native content.

There are a couple of ways around this.

You can include an external link within the text of your post. Important: Whenever you start typing, LinkedIn will extract the first link and attach it to your post.

This turns a text-only post, which is favored by the algorithm, into a post with an attached external link, which is the worst content type on LinkedIn with the lowest organic reach.

To prevent this from happening, you have to click on the X in the top right corner of the “link attachment” and remove it before posting.

A safer way of sharing external links is to paste the link in a comment.

You can either

  • tell people to check out the first comment
  • or copy the link to the comment that contains the external link and paste it into your post text. This way you avoid LinkedIn penalties for external links. If the link to the comment appears to be too long, don’t worry! LinkedIn will shorten all links with their own URL shortener.

Conclusion

By explicitly mentioning what you would like readers and viewers to do, you increase the amount of engagement.

It always helps to combine each request for action with a condition, such as “Hit like, if you agree” or “share with someone who is looking for a new job”.

What’s next?

Next week, I am going to share how to promote your business with LinkedIn pages and personal profiles.

This is going to be incredible useful to anyone from solopreneur to big companies with hundreds of employees.

If you want to get an email notification when I publish it, make sure that you join my Inner Circle to get email updates.