How I accidentally created my most viral post ever on social media last summer
Analyzing the anatomy of an engaging LinkedIn post
If you use social media as one of the main channels for your digital marketing, specially LinkedIn, you probably know already how hard it is to make a post that brings enough (justifiable) return to your marketing organization. Most posts require a number of hours of creative work, plus a prominent budget for promoting the post online, often resulting in pretty low ROI.
Last summer, I published a post on LinkedIn that was not prepared by any marketing effort, nor it was promoted by using a budget. I simply posted a personal opinion about something that happened to met recently. Unintentionally, the post became, in less than a day, the most viral post I’ve ever created. Here’s what it brought in less than 48 hours:
- 57,726 views
- 321 likes
- 41 comments
- 1,579 visits to my profile
- 249 connection requests
- 28 new relevant connections
Here’s the post I am talking about:
So what was this viral post made of? Here’re the three main parts I identified:
1 — Motivation: Why would you spend time on posting?
First of all, the post was not inteded to be part of any campaign nor it wasdirected to any potential customers. It simply was, well.., something I felt with all my heart and provoked my feelings so strongly that I couldn’t keep inside. So I had to let it out.
The case: a sales person approached me repeatedly for over a year, always with creative emails and trying really hard for me to answer to one of his emails. Every email was becoming more creative, to the point he mentioned aliens abducting me for not answering to him. At that point, I was so tired of seeing his messages, that I decided to show his “latest creation” to everyone else on my network. Hence I took the screenshot of his last email and posted it on LinkedIn.
Secret ingridient #1: have a true cause that itches you, then post about it.
2 — Tell your (strong) opinion
When something really itches you, you should be able to complain. But when you complain, go big or go home. So I decided to tell my opinion about the creativity of this sales person.
If something is very right or very wrong, be bold about it. Because indifference won’t take you far. Also note that with a true cause and a strong opinion, you won’t need more than three lines of text and a picture (check my post, it’s no longer than three lines of text and a low-resolution screenshot).
Secret ingridient #2: share boldly what you believe in, no censure, all in.
3 — Proof
One important part of the post was the picture, specially because it was a screenshot. I believe the power of the screenshot resides in its nature of showing a fact, directly from the screen. As you know the saying goes: “Show, don’t tell”.
In fact, I have realized over the last two years that posts on LinkedIn perform way better if they have a picture attached. They perform even better than links to articles, and definitely way better than just simple text. So, whenever you can, attach a picture to the post to maximize its visibility and potential engagement.
Secret omgrodient #3: include a picture, preferably one that shows proof or facts.
See by yourself
After making this post, I got bombarded with notifications, emails and private messages. And, to be honest, there were many funny comments that made me have the laugh of the year, of people cheering this guy for his perseverance (which was phenomenal, to be quite frank).
The ROI of this post was among the highest I have seen from any other social media posts during my career, taking into account that I spent only two minutes to: 1) take a screenshot, 2) open LinkedIn, 3) type the post, 4) attach the image and 5) press “Publish”.
Here’s the link to the original post on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6285054476738973696/
I hope you enjoy reading the comments as much as I did, and learn something useful for your next posts on social media.
If you work in business development or marketing and want to know more about this topic, drop me a line. You can also follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn.