Want your content to go viral on LinkedIn?
Here's what the network says works best on the world's largest online platform for professionals.
LinkedIn recently released its list of "top voices" from 2016, and in the process shared what made those bloggers so successful on the platform.
"When we compare these authors to all members writing in 2016, the Top Voices have received on average 64x more comments, 52x more likes, and 24x more shares on their articles," LinkedIn noted. "That viral activity on their writing led to an average of 73x more views from LinkedIn members than typical pieces and a huge growth in followers.
"Each of our top writers on average generated over 54,000 new follows this year -- almost 150 new followers a day."
I've said it before, and I'll say it again - in today's marketplace, your content is your currency.
Creating great content and then sharing it online is how you "purchase" the time, attention and interest of potential customers. It's also how you build the critical "Know, Like and Trust" elements that are key to every successful sale and business relationship.
Remember, anyone can claim authority online. Creating great content that demonstrates your expertise and helps others solve a pressing problem or reach a specific goal is the key being successful with online sales and marketing.
What follows are some specific tips LinkedIn says will help set apart your content from the rest on the network, so pay close attention!
Global Reach, Specific Topics
The beauty of publishing on LinkedIn is that it's the place where your ideal customers and clients in the global marketplace are already hanging out, looking for news, online training, resources, vendors, employees and more.
"With 460+ million members worldwide, the topics and conversations professionals want to engage with diverge in interesting ways. In the USA, writers tend to focus on entrepreneurship and innovation," LinkedIn noted. "In France, the economy and macroeconomics drive readership. India cares about branding and advertising; Brazil favors anything that's current.
"But across the world, the same formula worked to develop an audience: Consistency, depth and an authentic desire to create conversations (not just content)."
The Secret Sauce to Going Viral on LinkedIn
If you've nailed your topic with a well written post targeted at your ideal audience, the secret sauce to going viral is in everything else you do to set up your posts with the right timing, engagement and follow through.
"Some 66 percent of our Top Voices published at least once a month," says LinkedIn. "and the average length was just over 800 words."
(In my experience, publishing your LinkedIn blog posts during the middle of the week and during regular business hours is best.)
But it's not just the post that matters.You need to promote it and maximize engagement in order to have a chance to go viral.
"The Top Voices made 10x more replies to comments on their articles than did the average LinkedIn writer," LinkedIn shared.
Along with responding as quickly as possible to the likes, shares and comments your articles receive, you can also use other social media channels and your email list to drive traffic to your posts.
One of my favorite tactics is to also use LinkedIn itself! I leverage third party automation tools like LinMailPro to send a personalized, 1-on-1 note to hundreds of my LinkedIn connections with a link to the post.
As long as your message is sincere, your content useful to the connections you're sending it to, and with no sales pitch attached, you'll get almost zero complaints from your connections when promoting your content via 1-on-1 LinkedIn messages.
In fact, here's a simple script you can use right now to promote your next LinkedIn post via 1-on-1 messages to your connections:
"Hi [INSERT FIRST NAME] - hope you are doing well!
I just published a new post here on LinkedIn I thought might be of interest to you.
It's called, "[INSERT POST TITLE]."
LINK TO POST: [POST URL]
Hope you find the post helpful and excited to hear what you think of it!"
Using a non-spammy, helpful note like this works well on LinkedIn, provided the post you're sending to your connections is something they would genuinely be interested in reading or learning more about.
Bonus Tip: Let LinkedIn Know!
Another tip is to promote your LinkedIn Post on Twitter and tag LinkedIn's editors.
Create a clever, thought-providing "one liner" about your post to use on Twitter, and make sure you tag @LinkedInEditors on the network.
Speed + Engagement = Going Viral on LinkedIn
When you do this (send traffic to your own LinkedIn posts, be it via LinkedIn messages, your email list or other social media channels), LinkedIn takes notice.
The faster your post picks up views and the more engagement that happens in a short time frame, the more likely it is LinkedIn will take notice of all that activity and decide to promote your post and surface it all over the platform.
Once that happens, watch out - you're about to go viral!