Creating Viral Content on LinkedIn (+10 Tips)

Gaetano DiNardi
Gaetano DiNardi  |  May 31, 2019

With thousands of articles being published on LinkedIn every day, it's important to go the extra mile to stand out.

In order to rise above the noise and be heard, your content must be viral. 

Why utilize LinkedIn marketing? Because that’s where your customers (existing and prospective) are hanging out every single day, and as far as social media channels go, you have the best chance of engaging with them there. An authentic social presence bolsters your customer service efforts, too.  

If you want to crack the code to going viral on LinkedIn, catering to your audience’s interests, needs, desires, pleasures, and pains will be the deciding factors on whether your content hits or misses your target. 

If you have a poorly defined target and message, you’ll be lucky to get any engagement at all.

While you need to make sure you are creating relevant and current content, there are a number of additional factors that will determine your reach and viral success.

What content is most likely to go viral on LinkedIn? 

There are a few content types that are sure to get engagement. Let's check them out. 

  • Controversial videos: Be careful with this one, but if you want to see how I entered viral video bliss, then check out my video where I cold-pitched random people at the mall
  • Stories with an emotional hook: Everyone loves a good story, and if you can weave a story with a strong hook that keeps readers engaged and wanting to read what comes next, you have the makings of some highly engaging and shareable content. 
  • Data driven, targeted research pieces: Offering up a post with research derived from data or polls that either confirms a viewpoint or calls it into question makes for an intriguing read. When you can back up your article with data, it becomes more of a position piece than an opinion piece. 
  • Question-based content: Asking questions gets your readers engaged because everyone loves to give their two cents. It gives them a reason to respond. Just like asking questions improves your business communication, asking questions about experiences or opinions on a controversial topic is sure to drive up engagement. 
  • Content that "stirs the pot": An example of a major debate I always see on LinkedIn today is cold calling vs. social selling. The battle between proactive outbound selling vs. social selling is always epic, so you can bet dollars to donuts those posts will always get lots of engagement.

If you’re up for the challenge, stir the pot and sit back and watch the engagement stack up. Don’t forget the popcorn. 

Content angles on how to dominate LinkedIn 

Before you can dominate anything, you need to make sure you understand your audience so you can write content they will actually care about and not just scroll on by. Going the extra mile means having a good plan of attack.

Some things to consider: 

  • What’s trending in the news that you can capitalize on?
  • Leverage topics that you have credibility to speak on and keep it thought leadership focused.
  • Analyze viral LinkedIn content in your industry and then try to follow a similar formula.
  • You can be controversial, but be prepared to back it up with relevant sources and data. Or make sure it’s ridiculously funny and spreads like wildfire. 

Power of the LinkedIn newsfeed

Status Updates: Use mini stories / rants / hooks that are highly relatable in your status updates to earn clicks to your post.

Check out this webinar for the step by step breakdown on leveraging status updates!

  • Don’t use images.
  • Don’t insert links in the post; make them the first comment.
  • Tag influencers you’ve engaged with before to get them to comment or share
  • Use a strong CTA to encourage link clicks.

10 ways to structure your viral content

  1. Content length: While short and sweet may seem right, longer form content on LinkedIn tends to perform better. 
  2. Content length for newsfeed posts: Here’s where you’ll want to keep it short and sweet. 1300 characters, to be exact. Don’t think you can be effective with such a short word count limit? Think again and check out this example of how I got 40k views on one post. 
  3. Killer headline: you need catchy, benefit driven headlines that make people want to click on your article. 
  4. Sub-headers: Break up text OFTEN. A wall of text is a turnoff. Label your sections with enticing sub-headlines that makes readers want to continue. 
  5. Bullets and numbered lists: People love numbered lists and bullets because they're easy-to-read and easy on the eyes. 
  6. How-to guides: People love to learn valuable hacks and processes 
  7. Images and screenshots: Include real life examples or screenshots to anchor your text. 
  8. Add hashtags: Adding hashtags helps surface your article to members who may find it relevant. See which hashtags the influencers in your niche are using, and use them in your article. 
  9. Don’t be afraid to ask: Reach out to influential connections that you have a good relationship with and ask them to like, comment, and share. If you have employees, encourage them to share your post with their Social Media networks. Be open about it and tell them you have a helpful post that you’re trying to make go viral. 
  10. Timing matters: If you post at midnight, maybe a few of your pals in Australia might hit like, but your target market will be snoozing. In general, good timing for B2B audiences are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between 10AM and 5PM. 
  11. Send the post to your email list: This is content promo 101.  

Engage with the engagers 

Search for people who shared your post on other social media platforms and find them on LinkedIn. Publicly thank them for sharing your post by mentioning them in an update. Additionally, go on Quora and search for relevant questions to answer. Give a detailed answer related to your post. At the end, insert the link to your article for more insights. 

Using these strategies gives you the best chance of your article going viral and strengthening your credibility and your brand with your customers. It goes a long way in helping them know, like and trust you. 

Viral content isn't just a passing fad. Marketers are leveraging trends everyday and implementing viral marketing into their marketing campaigns. Learn more here:Related content: Viral Marketing: What It Is and How to Make the Most of It →

 

Gaetano DiNardi
Author

Gaetano DiNardi

Gaetano DiNardi is the Director of Demand Generation at Nextiva with a proven track record of success working with B2B SaaS brands like Sales Hacker, Outreach.io, and Pipedrive. Gaetano is an inbound marketing expert that leverages both technical & creative marketing strategies to win business results. Outside of marketing, Gaetano is an accomplished music producer and songwriter