Social Media

How To Go Viral on LinkedIn

The LinkedIn as most know it, is gone. And it's replacement is an online social hub, flooding with career and networking opportunities IF you learn how to use it the up-to-date way.

Emma Smallwood
October 12, 2022
7 min

Let's clear something up right at the start... There's a high chance you, or those around have, or have had, the wrong idea about LinkedIn, and where the platform is heading in the very near future.

It’s not just a place to share your job promotion. It’s not just a place for 40+ year old corporate professionals. And, it’s not just a place to apply for jobs. Now, don't get me wrong, LinkedIn is perfect for all of those things, but in recent months, LinkedIn has become so much more than that.

LinkedIn is now a place to grow a community and network so you have multiple avenues to expand your personal brand and business/career. It’s a place to build your online presence... quickly. It’s a place that offers countless opportunities to excel in your career through event invitations, networking opportunities and of course, a place to push the Genflow founded, "Audience-first Approach".

For the last few years, LinkedIn has been seen as a place where you share content on your recent graduation, your job offer... or a place where you read long stories about a homeless chicken that became the CEO of a massive tech firm (if you've managed to miss any of those posts, I'm jealous).

But now, LinkedIn is rapidly becoming somewhere where you can create content and grow a community.

To summarise, the LinkedIn as we know it... has changed.

Going viral is not the main aim of LinkedIn, but it definitely helps if you're looking to grow your network or community and reach new heights in your career. So, let's get right into how to go viral on LinkedIn.

Step #1: Start with a hook

This is a big one. A hook on your LinkedIn post is the most important part of the entire post. It doesn’t matter how good the rest of it is…

So, what’s a hook? A hook is the first few lines your audience will read when they find your post on their feed. It’s the few sentences they see before they click on “Read more…” If your hook isn’t interesting, you can pretty much say goodbye to any decent engagement.

When coming up with your LinkedIn post hook, it's important to share a strong opinion. It can be helpful to be super controversial or ignite some form of fire-y response in the readers… Contrary to what you might think, this is actually a good thing!

If you’re worried about clap backs to your opinions, don't worry, you can soften the blow a little in the remainder of your post. It’s better to make a strong statement, then back track and say both sides within the post, than go in weak, and lose potential readers.

You should also aim to give context to the remainder of your post. Make sure your audience knows what they are about to see if they click the “Read more” option. What kind of information are you going to provide, and on what topic or niche?

Lastly, remember to get to the point… and fast. You’ve no doubt seen those near unbelievable stories and lengthy posts on LinkedIn that get insane engagement. But guess what? They all have that killer hook.

So make sure your audience is able to scan the first line and feel enticed. Delete any unnecessary words that overcomplicate it.

Stuck for ideas for a killer hook? Don't fear, check out these examples and why not use them in a LinkedIn post today!

  1. "LinkedIn reminder:"
  2. "How I achieved ___ in ___ amount of time..."
  3. "PSA..."
  4. "Stop doing ___ right now!"
  5. "Why is no one talking about this..."
  6. "This is why your ___ isn't working"
  7. "You won't believe this..."
  8. "The easiest way to ___"

Step #2: Talk about your expertise and what you know

From written content to more visual pieces, there’s an endless amount of possibilities for content on LinkedIn, based on your expertise and niche.

If you aren't sure on what exactly your niche is, start off by evaluating your passions and skills This sounds very basic, but it really makes all the difference. Don't just choose a niche because you're "kind of interested" in it, or you think it's "cool" to be an expert in it. If you don't LOVE it, then don't talk about it.

Consider if there is something you love to do in your free time, or that you'd do even if you weren't getting paid for it. This could be a great choice for your niche.

It's also important to think about which areas you have special skills or experience in. What do people regularly tell you you're good at? What's your training or education in? What special skills or knowledge have you developed through your work?

Then, when you've gained enough resources to post about that specific topic consistently, get started on your posting! And remember, it's more than okay to mix up your posting topic to cover a few avenues, or evolve your content as you evolve as a human. You don't need to pigeon hole yourself into one market for the rest of your life. Just try not to change things up TOO much, or else you'll make your audience confused and they'll leave.

Step #3: Don't be afraid to be personal and relatable  

The biggest mistake people can make on LinkedIn, is to not show their real and raw personality. Sharing your true personality on the platform is an immediate way to stand out amongst other users.

At the end of the day, people trust people! And you won't sound personable or relatable if you're try to sound like everyone else or worse, a corporate robot.

There’s a common and weird misconception that being professional means not showing the human side of yourself. And it's simply not true. You can be yourself with all of your opinions and quirks and still be incredible at your job!

Here’s some ways you can show personality and still be professional:

  • Introduce yourself, and make it fun! Share where you went to university, or maybe you didn't go to uni. Share why you chose to make that decision. Took a career break to go travelling? Amazing! Where did you go and what did you learn from your travels. Maybe you have a hilarious story that you can share that will make you stand out from the rest.
  • Share a personal story about your business or your time at work. No-one else has lived your life apart from you, you know it best! And you've no doubt had some obstacles to face or hurdles to jump over. So share them.
  • Share where you went on holiday and how you felt taking time off work. Often you'll find people sharing that they're taking annual leave. Despite what you might think, LinkedIn communities will often praise people taking time out of the hustle and bustle of the working world, and putting their personal life and mental health first.
  • Share a photo of your work set up and explain why you work in the ways you do. It's super trending right now to share how you stay productive working from home, so why not share your WFH set up and why you love it! Don't love your work from home space? Even better! Share why not and be relatable.

    Lastly, and this ones a big one... write how you actually speak! You're not writing your dissertation. This is YOUR profile, get personal and show off your personality.

Step #4: You've heard it before, but it's true... Be consistent

If you’re looking for new career opportunities, want to sign new clients, or you’re trying to build your personal brand, then you need to be on LinkedIn.

There are currently around 850 million members on LinkedIn in 200 countries around the globe. So we get it, it’s overwhelming when it comes to posting and sharing content.

But here’s how you can get going… Start with a particular big goal, then a couple of smaller goals for what you want to achieve on LinkedIn. This could be anything from making new connections for your business, getting people to attend your event, or booking guests for your podcast.

Then, set a schedule for how many times you plan on posting every week. This could be anywhere between 3 to 5 times a week to start off with. Remember: It’s important to set realistic goals when starting out, so it’s a lot easier to stick to your plan and achieve your goals.

If it helps, build yourself a content calendar on a Google Sheet, and set alarms in your phone to remind you to click on that "Post" button and share your brilliant ideas with the world.

If you take anything away from this blog post today, remember to have fun with your content and show off your the real YOU.

Check out Genflow's LinkedIn page and other social media channels for everything you need to know about social media and the creator economy.