We've all seen them - those LinkedIn posts that seem to take over our feeds, racking up hundreds or even thousands of views, likes, and comments.
But have you ever stopped to wonder what makes them so successful and to analyze the science behind why they go viral?
I bet you did! That's why you are reading this blog post, right?
Good news - we have, too!
And to help you in your quest to crack the code of LinkedIn Virality and to create viral LinkedIn posts of your own, we went ahead and gathered 8 viral LinkedIn posts and put them under the microscope.
We analyzed each post in detail, looking at everything from the way they are written, the topic they cover, the overall message being conveyed, and the way they are formatted to the words used, the questions asked, CTA's included, and even the emojis added to see what makes them so good and what made them go viral!
In this article, we'll be sharing all of our findings with you, so you can use and implement the same patterns, strategies, and tactics in your own LinkedIn posts. And make them more successful.
The way we are going to do this is we'll look at each of the viral LinkedIn posts examples one by one and break down what makes them tick.
Firstly we'll be looking at the first part of the post, one that is seen in the feed before someone clicks "See More".
After that, we'll analyze the rest of the post to see how it keeps people engaged once they've clicked 'See More' and what encourages them to interact with the post by liking, commenting, or sharing it.
So without further ado, let's jump right in and look at the first viral LinkedIn post on our list!
Let's kick things off with a bang by looking at a post from Charles Miller. He is an online writer, and his writing skills are on full display in this post that went viral.
The post starts with a brilliant headline (first sentence) that immediately grabs attention and makes people stop scrolling to see what he's talking about. To help you better understand what makes it so good, we'll break it down into two parts.
The first part is the I recently discovered is designed to trigger the curiosity of the reader. When you read that something is recently discovered, it makes you feel like you are on something new and exclusive that not many people know about yet and that you can use that information to your advantage. It also means that someone put time and energy into finding this out, which adds to the overall credibility of the message.
The second part is the hyper-effective LinkedIn post strategy, which uses the word 'hyper' to denote that this is an extremely effective strategy - one that is above and beyond the average.
And since most people, even those who are just reading content and still haven't started writing their own posts on LinkedIn, are looking for new strategies to help them write better and more effective posts, this headline immediately piqued the interest of thousands of LinkedIn users.
The next sentence is just as good.
By saying that he will let the reader steal this strategy today, Charles is not only continuing to build on the curiosity that was started in the headline, but he is also creating a sense of urgency.
He does this by using the word today, which implies that this is a time-sensitive offer and that if they don't act fast, they will miss out, and the word steal indicates that this is something valuable and worth stealing.
All of this in just the first two sentences! It's amazing how powerful words can be, right?
The last sentence of the first part, "_Here it is_**:**", is a great lead-in to the rest of the post, and it's there to push people to click 'See More' to find out what the strategy is.
By finishing it with a colon, Charles indicates that the hyper-effective strategy he discovered is just about to be revealed and that all people need to do is click 'See More' to find out what it is. Genius, right?
Now let's take a look at the whole post.
As you can see, the rest of the post is just as well-written as the beginning.
Charles continues to deliver on his promise of revealing a hyper-effective LinkedIn post strategy by giving a clear and concise explanation of what it is - combining significant life events with useful content.
He then goes on to provide three examples of how this could be done, which helps to further solidify the idea in the reader's mind.
And finally, he finishes with a call-to-action, telling people to try it out for themselves, and a P.S. with an emoji that indicates that the reader should check the comments where people can read about his newsletter and subscribe.
The body of the post is simple, and the formatting is on the spot, making it an easy and enjoyable read.
When you put all of these elements together, it's no wonder this post went viral!
And we are sure he got plenty of subscribers to his newsletter.
Richard van der Blom is one of a few people that really understand how Linkedin works, if not the number one person for everything about LinkedIn.
When he writes a post, people listen, and this time was no different. Let's analyze the post to see what made it so successful.
The first sentence is a great attention-grabber. By starting with Just a quick shout out to content creators! Richard is immediately speaking to his target audience and letting them know that this post is for them.
The second sentence addresses a pain point that all of them can relate to and are very concerned about - the decrease in impressions and reach on their posts. And by saying, It's probably not just you; he is letting them know that they are not alone and that others are experiencing the same thing. Coming from Richard gives this statement even more weight.
In the last sentence, the readers are informed that he and his team ("we") have also noticed this. It implies they did research, and he shared one thing that they discovered - the reach has decreased, but the engagement has stayed the same.
This is very good news for content creators because it means that although fewer people are seeing their posts, those who do see them are engaging with them just as much as before, if not more.
By ending the first part on this note, Richard has left his readers feeling hopeful and curious to know more.
In the second part of the post, Richard shares the data that he and his team gathered, which he does in a very clear and easy-to-understand way.
After that, he asks his readers two questions that are relevant to the topic. Both questions are about them/readers. And both are easy to respond to. His target group already knows the answers.
By adding questions at the end of the post, Richard is encouraging his readers to leave a comment and start a conversation, which is exactly what you want when your goal is to get more engagement. The more people engage with your post, the more likely it is to go viral.
He then ends the post with a CTA, 3 CTA's actually, telling his readers how they can see more of his content by ringing the bell on his profile, following him, and connecting with him.
This post is a great example of how to make a LinkedIn post go viral because it hits all the right points. It is:
☑️ addresses a pain point many people are experiencing,
☑️ clear and easy to understand,
☑️ provides value,
☑️ engaging, and
☑️ has a strong CTA (we mean on the two questions here).
So if you're looking to make your LinkedIn posts go viral, take a page out of Richard's book and try using some of the same strategies he used in this post.
This is one of my posts that went viral on LinkedIn, and I thought it will be a good example of how to get attention by writing something very obvious.
I start the post with three commonly used phrases when companies are looking for new employees - "We are hiring," "Join our team," and "Here are our open positions."
When you look at it, it doesn't look like a powerful hook at all, but that's exactly what it is.
Why? It's obvious, and it's something everyone has seen before.
By starting with these three phrases, I'm immediately getting the attention of basically everyone because we've all seen these phrases a million times before. And when they see it, they're thinking, "Wait, why is she writing about this and what she has to say about it?"
This is a great way to get people's attention and pique their curiosity. They want to see what you have to say.
After I've managed to stop them from scrolling and got their attention, I hit them with the statement that they didn't expect, they didn't think about, and they certainly didn't see coming - If this is the way you are communicating your job ads on Linkedin, you are losing candidates.
This resonates both with my target audience at that time (hr managers, recruiters, and people who are in charge of hiring) and with the general LinkedIn community. The first group, my target audience, can relate to this because they are the ones who are responsible for writing these job ads, and they want to know why I think they are doing it wrong and how they can write better job ads.
The second group, the general LinkedIn community, can relate to this because we've all seen these job ads, and most of us have probably applied for a job that was advertised in this way. Plus, when we see someone doing something wrong, we want to know more to avoid making the same mistake. It's just how our brains are wired.
So by starting with something obvious and then hitting them with something unexpected, I managed to get the attention of my target audience and make them want to read on to see what I have to say.
I also added "Here is why 👇" at the end of the "visible" part of the post to add a bit of intrigue and make them even more curious about what I have to say.
Let's now look at the whole post.
After they click "see more", I explain why the current way of doing things is not effective; I show them three relevant target groups that they are missing out on and why it's important to target those groups. This is all practical and valuable information that they can use to make their job ads more effective.
I finish a post with a trigger that encourages them to rethink their strategy and take action.
I also added a few hashtags to make it easier for people to find this post when they are searching for information on this topic and to reach a wider audience.
Now, although this post went viral and although it ticks almost all the boxes of what makes a good LinkedIn post and what makes a post go viral on LinkedIn, it's not the best one, and if I had to write it again, I would definitely change a few things.
First, I would use Authoredin to add formatting and emojis to make the post more visually appealing and easier to read.
Second, I would add one or two more RELEVANT hashtags to reach an even wider audience. Note: Up to 5 hashtags are best practice on LinkedIn.
And third, I would add a question at the end of the post to encourage people to comment because that would lead to more comments, making the post even more viral.
This post from Kevin Indig went viral because it speaks to a topic that is relevant to anyone who is trying to rank a website or blog on Google - the idea that once you achieve a certain ranking, you can just sit back and relax.
Kevin begins this post with a very interesting line.
"A lot of Marketers assume SEO ranks are stable."
This is a great way to start because it immediately piques the interest of anyone who is involved in SEO. And when you say that many people assume something, it almost instantly brings the area of suspicion. If someone assumes something, it means that they might not have all of the information and that they don't understand the topic as well as they should, so you are already creating a sense of curiosity in the reader.
"Why do a lot of marketers assume this? And why is Kevin saying that it's wrong to assume this?"
These questions go through people's minds when they read this sentence, and it's the perfect way to engage them with your content.
In the next sentence, Kevin expands on the first one by continuing to push on the idea that marketers assume SEO rankings are stable. Now, people are even more curious as to why this is the case and what Kevin's opinion is.
By using this strategy of starting with a statement that challenges a commonly held belief, Kevin was able to get a lot of attention for his post and get people to read on to see what he had to say.
Kevin acknowledges why that is happening. That's how it used to be. But not anymore.
He hits readers with the information that things have changed. And he gives a simple example that anyone can understand.
This fluctuation of emotions - first hearing that "you are wrong, then being told that you are not wrong for thinking that way, and then being told that things have changed" is a great way to keep people very engaged in what you are saying.
After this little rollercoaster of emotions, and after he is sure he has got their full attention, Kevin starts sharing with them the steps that they need to take to fix this problem.
By using this strategy of starting with a controversial statement and then following it up with valuable information, Kevin was able to create a viral post that got a lot of people talking.
And sharing. (Yes, 15 shares is huge).
This post by Sandy Zane is a great example of how to get people's attention with a strong headline.
By saying that 80% of LinkedIn is networking backwards, she immediately catches the reader's attention and makes them want to find out more.
When people read the majority of people are doing something wrong, they want to know whether they are one of them and, if so, how can they fix it. Even if you are pretty sure you are not in that group, you still want to read the post to find out what the correct way is. On top of that, starting with a number makes the statement profound. The stats don't lie.
Curiosity is a powerful motivator, you know?
The next sentence, People will HATE this post, is there to add even more fuel to the fire.
Sandy is not only increasing the reader's curiosity, but she is also planting a seed of doubt in their minds.
The reader is now thinking, "Why would people hate this post? What is there? Will I hate it too? I need to find out!"
And that's exactly what Sandy wants them to think. Not only will people read the post, but they go further. Curiosity will make them go to the comments section, checks the comments, replies to the comments, and writes their own ones.
When enough people do that, the post goes viral.
The final sentence of the visible part, But I'm calling it out regardless. shows that Sandy is confident in what she is about to say and not afraid of the backlash she might get. This confidence is very attractive to readers and makes them want to see what she has to say even more.
After reading Sandy's post is easy to see why it went viral.
You liked it, didn't you? Well, so did a lot of other people, and that's because it's relatable, it's interesting, it's controversial, and it's well-written. But what really made this post go viral is the topic Sandy chose and the way she approached it.
"Engagement pods" is a hot issue on LinkedIn right now, and many people are talking about it. A small percentage of those people use it, and the majority of them think it's wrong, and she knew that a lot of people will jump in to support her take on the issue. And calling out those who use it and portraying them as "bad guys" added even more fuel to the fire and got people talking.
After that, she talks about how she approaches networking on LinkedIn and how we should be more generous with our engagement because everyone starts from 0.
This makes the post very relatable, as most of us were in that situation, and easy to see how this can be useful for everyone. By taking the high road and being the bigger person, Sandy not only won the respect of her readers but also increased her chances of building more valuable connections and went viral in the process.
The next viral LinkedIn post on our list comes from Jenny Anderson. She wrote this post in response to the common misconception that women don't like sales.
Jenny starts her post by citing the misconception directly; Women don't like sales, and then she immediately debunks it by saying, No. You're wrong.
This is a great way to start a post because it not only hooks the reader in by piquing their curiosity about what she will say next, but it also sets the tone for the rest of the post by indicating that Jenny is not afraid to take on misconceptions and prove them wrong.
When people see that someone is going to talk about some misconception and why it's wrong, even if it's not something they personally believed, it still makes for interesting reading. Most of us enjoy seeing someone put a common misconception to bed.
She continues her post by saying, Women make up and then she finishes the sentence with an ellipsis which leaves the reader hanging and wanting to know more. By doing this, Jenny has created suspense and curiosity, which will push people to click 'See More' so that they can find out the rest of her sentence.
How does the rest of Jenny's post fare?
As we can see, Jenny finishes her sentence with some interesting statistics that back up her claim that women do like sales. Including statistics is always a great way to add credibility to your argument.
She then adds a list of reasons to explain why women choose other roles than SaaS Sales. She finishes with advice to those who want to know how to get more women in tech sales.
She also added relevant hashtags to ensure that her post would be seen by people who are interested in the topic.
By addressing a common misconception head-on and then providing valuable information and advice, Jenny has created a post that is both interesting and useful, two key ingredients for a viral LinkedIn post.
Next up, we have a post from Erin Balsa, an amazing content creator.
By looking at the title of Erin's post, we can immediately tell that she is going to address a common misconception. As we already saw with Jenny's post, posts that set out to debunk a misconception tend to perform quite well because they are both informative and useful, and people enjoy reading them. Although this misconception might not be as widely known as the one Jenny addressed, it is still a relevant topic for Erin's audience.
Marketing is a very complex field, and even marketing professionals can sometimes get confused about the various concepts, terminologies, and strategies. That's why posts like this are really helpful, and that's why they usually get a lot of attention.
Erin starts her post by stating the misconception clearly, and then she goes on and writes what an editorial calendar actually is. By finishing the "visible" part with only this definition, she entices the reader to click 'See More' so that they can find out what a content strategy is and what else Erin has to say about the topic.
In the "rest" of the post, Erin not only provides a definition of a content strategy, but also lists some of the elements that she usually includes in the content strategies she creates for her clients. This is very valuable information for anyone who is looking to create a content strategy for their business or wants to improve their current strategy.
When you take all of this into account, it's no wonder why Erin's post performed so well.
Last but not least, we have a post from Nick Bennet.
Nick's post is different from all the other posts we've looked at so far as it's not about marketing or sales or any other business-related topic; instead, it's a personal story about Nick's career journey.
Personal stories are always popular, not only on LinkedIn but on all social media platforms, because we, as humans as human beings, love stories. We are wired to enjoy them, and that's why posts like this tend to get a lot of attention and go viral often.
Nick starts his story by talking about how much he used to earn when he first started his career. When people see a post like this from someone who is successful, they are naturally curious to find out how that person got to where they are now, what their journey looked like and what they can learn from them.
In the second sentence, Nick mentions that he's gone through three acquisitions and been let go once. He doesn't elaborate on this yet, but the mere mention of these makes the reader want to find out more.
Let's take a look at the rest of the post to see how it continues.
Nick continues his story by talking about how he increased his earnings with each new job and how he's learned to structure his pay better. He also talks about how he's focused on creating an audience for himself, which is something that will benefit him in the long run.
There are 3 sentences I want to go over here.
The first sentence is, "Some may call it job hopping, although do people even say that anymore, considering you have to look out for yourself?"
This is a great sentence because it's provocative. Job hopping is something that people have divided opinions on. By adding this sentence, Nick pokes at the reader a little bit and gets them thinking about their own opinion on the matter.
The second sentence is, "Not bad for a marketer who was a terrible student and only cared about playing baseball through school."
This sentence is amazing because it's inspirational and motivational. It shows that even someone who wasn't the best student can still be successful.
The third and final sentence of the post is "Don't let anyone hold you back or put a label on you."
By finishing the post with this sentence, Nick leaves the reader with a powerful message and adds an extra layer of depth to the post. Viral LinkedIn posts typically have a message that resonates with the reader and makes them think about it 'long; after they've finished reading. And that's exactly what this post does.
Writing viral LinkedIn posts is not an exact science, and there's no guarantee that your post will go viral.
However, by looking at viral LinkedIn post examples and analyzing them, as we did in this article, you can get a better understanding of what patterns, strategies, tactics, approaches, ways of writing, and types of content tend to perform well on LinkedIn, so you use when writing your posts to increase your chances of viral.
After reading all these viral post examples and their analysis, you may find yourself confused as there are many different routes you could go when writing your post.
The best way to figure out what will work for you is by trial and error. Try out different techniques and strategies and see how your audience reacts to them.
What's important to note here is that you shouldn't try and use every single tactics and technique that we've listed in this article in one post.
Doing that will make your post seem all over the place, and it won't be as effective. Instead, focus on incorporating a few of them into your post and experiment from there.
Over time, you'll develop a feel for what works best for you and your audience, and you'll be able to produce viral LinkedIn posts repeatedly.
One thing that can help you a lot with writing viral posts is AuthoredUp.
It's a new all-in-one content creation tool that we created for those who want to take their content game to the next level and start writing viral posts consistently.
With AuthoredUp you can:
- Preview the post on LinkedIn and see how each will look in the LinkedIn feed before publishing
- Format LinkedIn posts however you like
- Keep all your ideas and drafts in one place.
If you are serious about writing viral LinkedIn posts and want an easier time doing it, AuthoredUp is definitely worth checking out. And, trust me, once you try it, you won't be able to go back to the old way of doing things.
We hope you enjoyed this post and that you found it helpful.
Do you have any viral LinkedIn posts that you would like us to analyze? Let us know; we'll be happy to take a look and give you our thoughts.
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