Why 21 of our 2021 LinkedIn posts went viral!

Here are 21 of our most viral posts on LinkedIn from 2021 to learn from. Your easy guide to going viral in 2022.


In the social media market, LinkedIn is a relatively new entrant.

So it hasn’t mutated quite as fast as the other platforms - in fact, it’s largely stuck to its roots

Think back to where Facebook was 5 years ago - that’s where LinkedIn is now! 

What exactly does this mean for you? 

In short, it means the battle for “organic reach” on LinkedIn is about to get much harde

And that’s because Linkedin is starting to change its algorithm

It means what was working 2 months ago might be irrelevant now


This guide shows you what’s currently working (and not working), in your vertical. 

 

It’s all about your LinkedIn brand - build it and keep it, even as the algorithm continues to evolve

By looking at our strongest posts, really picking apart what works, we can immediately improve your outcomes 

So let’s dive in

1) Hyper-Personal stories
Chris J lying in hospital with a smile showing hope
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This post from our client received over 248,000 views in only 3 days. 

How?

It contains a “hyper-personal story”

A story which you wouldn’t normally share with strangers. 

A story with a strong message which shows exactly who the author is

(not just what their product does, or what their office looks like or what kind of suits they wear)

Our client was going through something truly alarming - something he thought he was prepared for. 

After opening up about his struggles in the newsfeed, something amazing happened. 

People started contacting him, and his connections absolutely skyrocketed! 

The viral power of this post was mind-blowing - and solid proof that hyper-personal stories can really cut through



2) Relatable Material


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What people relate to best is … other people

That’s why personalising your feed, just as Chris before, saves a lot of work trying to tailor messages to each segment

As long as the piece is also relevant - a personal story can be engaging for your whole audience

Work-life balance is hard. It’s something we all grapple with

Especially when running a business. 

And even more so when running a business during lockdown

When Baba opened up about his struggle, it immediately validated a lot of his audience -  just by acknowledging the full realness of their own daily struggle 

It only takes a moment of reflection to put things in perspective. 

And in viral marketing, that moment is often all you need 

 

3) Praise those who support you

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This post has a kind and simple message: Nobody can do it all alone

A lot of leaders get stuck in a mentality of “only I can fix it”

That’s not only wrong, it’s a mark of weak and immature leadership

Delegating is very important (assuming you want your business to grow)

And this post was all about how to delegate

It’s advice?

Tell your team exactly who you are and what your company stands for

Don’t lie, don’t be fake. 

Once everyone is clear on that, let them take the reins

Good leaders, who want their businesses to grow, can relate to this message

No surprise then, it got a great reaction from business leaders - especially the good ones!

 


4) The workplace itself is in the frame
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Our world is constantly changing and remote work is the new norm. 

This Brave New World can feel disconnected and weird

Madalena spoke out about that 

Do you think the story resonated with a lot of people during a pandemic?

You bet it did - check out the stats!

People immediately connected with this post, because it speaks to the human cost of remote-work

Being a corporate happiness consultant, you can probably imagine the doors this post opened for Madalena

 

5) Important quotes by famous leaders

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A post about “staying foolish” by Licheng went viral because of this two-word quote from Steve Jobs

Why did it do well? 

At a geeky level, it creates a bit of mystery, seems counter-intuitive, it’s connected to Steve Jobs … all of that sparks interest

But it works on a much deeper level too…

To grow as an entrepreneur, you must first grow as a person

Great entrepreneurs, and those who aspire to be great entrepreneurs, understand this at a gut level - because living and making decisions has taught them

Sometimes more than any MBA could hope to

“Stay foolish” is a line which resonates with anyone who knows the joy (and pain) of pushing boundaries in business

It touched a lot of readers deeply - and earned Licheng a lot of new connections

 

6) Seriously, it pays to be hyper-personal as a follow-up
https://www.linkedin.com/posts/chrisjankulovski_millionaire-success-value-activity-6866872940068245505-DFmj/
Link to post

We cannot stress enough just how much hyperpersonal stories resonate with LinkedIn users right now 

The algorithm loves them too!

And that’s not even the best part

In obedience with the laws of social-media physics…

Those initial impressions generate lots of new connections 

And those connections, over time, open up new business opportunities  - just as all the posts you see here have done for our clients

Posts which come across as real, authentic and sincere are always your best bet -  there’s no contest

But remember - the story needs to be relevant, attention-grabbing and engaging


7) Current events, issues and trends
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Current events always get attention

If your audience is on a bandwagon, jump right on it with ‘em

Quarantine, for example, was a BFD in 2021. 

Talking about quarantine, at that moment, got results!

Never ignore a timely, hot-button issue - but please don’t be cynical or fake about it

Otherwise, you might end up on a very popular YouTube channel

(see what I did there? …if you did, well done. You’ve been paying attention!)

See how easy it is? - give it a try in your next post

(just be careful if you’re offering a controversial opinion though!)

 


8) Acknowledging the struggle

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Success always looks easy in hindsight, right? 

Nobody see the late nights, the missed parties, and the humbling failures 

That’s why this personal post is so powerful: 

It gives people who are going through that pain right now a small hit of recognition

It gives people who’ve been through it before a feeling of nostalgia

This might even happen at time in they’re feeling close to defeat

Either way, expect them to remember who you are next time you post

On LinkedIn, beneath all the jargon and shop-talk, you’re providing so much more than information and advice

(if you’re doing LinkedIn correctly, that is)

 

9) Educational Content


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Posts with alluring captions and certain types of images do exceptionally well here

But this approach still needs to be targeted

Topics like work from home, great resignation, quarantine, mental health, and other relatable memes gain a lot of traction 

It needs to be very engaging - and specific to what you're talking about. 

As you can see in this great example from Licheng, what captivates people also captivates the algorithm

Your caption also needs to be relevant, whilst also complimenting your post. 


10) Inspiring success stories

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People assume no post can go viral without a picture

That’s not always true 

An engaging story, written in a compelling way, has every chance of blowing up

If it’s more authentic, it will create a connection with your audience

When you tell a story, capture how you felt when critical events happened

How the experience changed you, moment-to-moment

If you can connect that to your business and its values, you’ll make readers feel like they’re already on the journey with you

And as any sales coach will tell you, that’s the best way to sell

 


11) Sharing your own struggles

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Talk about your personal struggles, and how you’ve overcome them

Some types of struggle resonate more than others 

Your best bet is to talk about mental health, work-from-home problems, the economy, or any business wisdom you’ve picked up

It makes perfect sense if you think about it

People are on LinkedIn during the workday, so those types of issues are front-of-mind as they scroll

So keep building that connection with your audience, daily.  

Remember: Buyers trust people they already know and like - so be that person to them, before they’re actively deciding who to partner with for the solution you provide



12) High-value content post

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The fact that you’re still reading this tells me it’s teaching you something valuable

And you’re most welcome!

We’re all busy and most people prefer to read something useful

Therefore, if you want people to spend lots of time thinking about the solution you provide…

Tell them something useful - and lay it on thick

Give away as much good advice as you can, without putting yourself out of business

For example:

Literally everyone keeps asking me “Mel, how do I get more views on LinkedIn?”

So I wrote this guide. Simple

Is there a question like that in your life? 

One that everyone constantly needs answering, which you could easily write a small book about?

If there is - write that small book!

Then post it

Watch what happens next

And thank me later




13) Educational content 


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Even better than answering a common question

Is solving a common problem

Let me explain

Earlier in the year, we published this ebook, comparing HubSpot and Salesforce

In a fun, Street Fighter II format

It simply helps people find the right CRM, without overloading them with useless information

Because there isn’t a guide like that available elsewhere, this resource earned our client a ton of downloads and qualified prospects

Not to mention some valuable partnerships with other businesses

How’s that for results?

Hadoken!



14) Turning research into marketing
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In some verticals, the “right answer” is constantly changing

Think tax accountants, investment advisors…

…marketing consultants (!)

If you’re in a vertical with those dynamics, always publish your research

You need to do the research anyway

And with a bit of effort, you can turn all that self-education into LinkedIn gold

If what you publish is high-quality - and if you strategically drip-feed it out

You will soon earn the holy grail of B2B - authority

Julian (featured here) is a past master of this

And he has the commercial success from the platform to prove it



15) Giving new insights into salient issues
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Once you master engagement through education, problem-solving and research updates

There’s an even more powerful way to build strong connection with your market

Once you find that hot-button issue to write about

Present it from a fresh angle

Present it in a way which reveals its deeper value (or consequence) 

In other words, use what you know to spark insight

Check out Baba’s example above if you want a template

And, no - you don’t need a by-line in Forbes or cutting-edge IP for this to work

What you do need is a fresh perspective on a compelling subject

And you probably have that already, assuming your business has USP

There’s a bonus to the last three suggestions too: they all give you a chance to share PDFs

And the LinkedIn algorithm loves PDF shares

Makes sense, considering the whole platform was originally built for sharing resumes!

 


16) Engagement via polls

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No matter how good your content, people won’t always have time to read it

And the discussion will generally be one-sided: You talking to them, not them to you

That’s not helpful

You need to be in regular “contact”. 

And you want readers to interact

How do you solve both problems at once? 

Let’s make this multiple-choice:

A - Stop posting altogether

B - Share more pics of your dog

C- yep, that’s right …use polls!

 

LinkedIn loves polls, users love polls

And unless you’re Nate Silver, you should love polls!

Ask a question everyone thinks about - especially if it’s controversial

Every time someone clicks, you’re starting a new conversation

And for everyone else, you’re still front-of-mind (without being annoying)



17) Polls as a framing device

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Polls can also give you a chance to challenge expectations

This question from Baba is thought-provoking

It asks readers to “imagine a world”

But does it in a very subtle and covert way

And check out the results - lots of views, high engagement

Oh, and a small matter of 953 new conversations!



18) For bonus points: Can you combine a hot-button issue, a poll and offer a counterintuitive insight?

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Yes you can!

As Julian proves here…

 


19) Being an ally to other leaders

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Don’t sell your solution - tell its backstory

If you want to really add credibility to your solution 

Position it as a serendipitous fix for a problem you faced internally

And then then revealed its wider potential as a commercial asset

You may have already picked up some elements which this tactic leans on from previous posts

And yes, this technique leverages several of them

A well-written story, told this way, can literally make a brand

And don’t think reach is all about numbers - take a look at some of the people who commented on this post and consider their collective influence

That’s a lot of extra credibility for Baba

 

20) Asking tough questions to define the audience



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The part of this post we want you to notice is the heading

It’s controversial, it’s counter-intuitive

And it’s the last thing you’d expect a happiness consultant to say!

Little wonder it got so many views

Madelena then goes on to discuss what happiness is and isn’t

And in the process, sets up authority, new connections and strong engagement


21) A question style video 


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Video, unfortunately, is not the asset it once was on LinkedIn

For whatever reason, the algorithm has downvoted video as a medium

That’s a shame, because it really converts

And it allows you to jam in so much content - which people consume very conveniently

However, if you already have a strong follower base - and you can get your video in front of people

It still converts 

Our top recommendation for posting video in 2021?

Use a header like this example

Pose a question. Make it about a common dilemma

Then use that question to establish authority

 

The takeaway:

There are a lot of ways you can tell a story, build your brand and go viral on LinkedIn. It is a matter of being authentic and using the right format of content to embody your story with magnificence.

If you are unsure how to tell your story or want to discuss your brand, reach out to us and we'll be happy to show you.

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