Building posts that go viral and optimizing them for success
Written by Florian Eberhart on April 30 th 2020
"How to create content that goes viral?"

As an average post on LinkedIn (despite all the speech of its reach and power) gets only a handful of likes and barely any comments. Then how is it possible that it is still used by 92% of B2B marketers in their digital marketing mix? The answer is that there are strategies and techniques for making your content reach trending and possibly, the holy grail of content creation, viral.

The wireframe that has deeply shaped the content creation scenery of LinkedIn was also made by Josh Fetcher. The writer of “LinkedIn influencer” where he gets deep into the secrets of getting there. One of the main principles behind it is to create content that is well adapted for mobile users. Currently, 57% of users consume content on mobile devices and all people expect it to be an easy read. It is also important, like with a LinkedIn profile, to adapt content for the algorithms.

The three most important algorithmic functions are:
  • When content gets a lot of engagement in the first hour it will be boosted for more and more people.
  • ​Use of keywords and hashtags helps LinkedIn to push the content to the right people and help the followers of these hashtags find your content more easily.
  • ​Engaging on other peoples' content and answering everyone in your comments, when you build momentum for your brand and profile and LinkedIn is more likely to promote you, as well as when more people see you in their comments or engaging with their favorite influencer they might come and check out your profile.
"You have to optimize your content for people as well as for the platform. "

So what is the wireframe for viral content? In a way, LinkedIn "post" is a lot like a blog post in a condensed form. The maximum allowed character amount per post is 1300, which forces you to be brief, but attention-grabbing. This starts from the first 2-3 lines as that is how much LinkedIn shows of your post before someone has to click it open. These lines are what have to grab users' attention and create enough curiosity for the user to continue reading. A promise of some interesting information, a start snippet of a story, stating a problem, or a vulnerable start like “I messed up” are all fuel for curiosity that is needed for the user to open your post. However, even though the start would be attention-grabbing it is all for nothing if the content is not good. Also, the last lines of the post have to be value giving and thought-provoking, being as important if not more important as the first lines. So let me get this simplified.

One of the best wireframes for personal stories is one from Josh Fetcher, as aforementioned:
  • Start the piece by drilling down into the problem and “knife twisting” in a total of eight words. 
  • ​Explain the negative outcomes and release vulnerability within the next three lines. Powerful.
  • Dive into the aha moment. 
  • ​Reiterate a clearer picture of the problem with more confidence. 
  • ​Dive into the sacrifices you needed to make to solve the problem. 
  • ​The result of the sacrifices (first step of the hero’s journey).
  • ​Escalate the first step to the second step fast.
  • ​Beneficial outcome.
  • ​Problem solved.
  • ​Escalate the benefit to give more credibility to the learning.
  • ​Say directly or imply how you give back from your learning (15,000-person community).
  • ​What you can do if you have similar problems with a thought-provoking question eg. “If your life is not on a successful track, then ask yourself: Am I a consumer or a creator?”
This outline has been a defining LinkedIn content creation ever since and at the start with this simple technique, one could reach millions of views. Of course for different types of stories and content, one has to mix it around, however, the basic frame of storytelling as shown in this outline is always present. However as the scenery has been changing infinitely fast, more and more of other types of content has started coming up, skillful designs, interesting short-videos and sharing of valuable articles can all reach virality, however, the basic rules are the same: Grab attention, keep the content entertaining and share valuable information.

However often, there is more. The second part of it is optimizing it for the platform, the algorithm, and the users. Again, the biggest rule of LinkedIn content is good structuring, as over 50% of the users are consuming the content on mobile. Thus it is important to structure your text accordingly. For it to be easier to read, limit yourself to have no more than one or two lines of text in a paragraph. This makes it much easier for users to follow the flow of the text. The second thing that has emerged lately is the use of emojis. As that is the way digital media communicates emotions, it has become more and more important to also incorporate that in the short form content creation, better communication emotions, and making the text more alive.

Moving to the more technical part, you have to find the right keywords and hashtags for the posts as well so that the platform can share the post to the right people thus increasing its visibility. The best technique for this is: Searching the hashtag in LinkedIn, analyzing the following, and adding to your list if relevant. Plus, always have one keyword with what your following can always find you, like a signature. This will make sure that the right people find you. And lastly, remember to focus on getting initial engagement for your post. from this LinkedIn, algorithms evaluate if your content is relevant or not. For this, a growth hacker turns to engagement pods. These are groups where there are a lot of people who will like and comment on the post you post. And this can also be automated! The best tool for this is a software called Lempod that when joining a pod, makes everyone in that pod “like” and comment on the post ensuring instant engagement and making your post reach an exponential amount of people.

Combined with good content and consistency, you can build your brand up on LinkedIn, better than any other social media. And from that, you can slowly build an audience for your digital brand. An asset that can be used to mobilize thousands of people for engaging with the brand and becoming customers.

Want to learn more about how to leverage LinkedIn for your Brand?

Florian Eberhart

Florian Eberhart helps people start and grow successful consulting businesses.  He is an expert at helping people get clients using online methods and making things super simple to understand.
If you're interested in starting your own consulting business or scaling up and getting clients then definitely reach out and request a free strategy session today.
FB Comments Will Be Here (placeholder)

This site is not a part of the Facebook website or Facebook Inc. Additionally, This site is NOT endorsed by Facebook in any way. FACEBOOK is a trademark of FACEBOOK, Inc.