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21 Bennett’s Hill,
Birmingham,
B2 5QP

That time I went viral on LinkedIn

A funny thing happened to me last month.

One Saturday, while innocently trying to avoid a few chores before my son’s football awards day, I spotted a video on Twitter that I thought was pretty funny.

See what you think.


It made me howl, so I posted the video to LinkedIn with a caption saying

“Flyers are often overlooked as a marketing tactic these days.

But when distributed effectively, as seen here, they can work well.

🤣🤣🤣”

Giving it no more thought, I headed out into the sunshine for an afternoon of footy and a few beers with my fellow coaches.

The early warning signs

Later, in the pub, my phone started pinging with LinkedIn alerts.

People to whom I had no connection were commenting, messaging and attempting to connect with me.

I took a look and to my amazement, saw that the post had received over 400,000 impressions within a few hours.

Not to mention a few choice comments.

One guy, a so-called creative at one of the larger networked agencies, commented

 

“What the f*ck is this.

Yeah get a skinhead white guy to kick an Asian guy in the street as a joke.

Hilarious

F*ck you, man.”

(I’ve added the stars in the text above. This dickhead wasn’t so considerate).

 

Another chap, who clearly has both a sense of humour failure and a lot of repressed anger, messaged me directly and said:

 

“If you Attempted [sic] / or tried to kick my arse you would be on your knees.

I would break your nose and chin in 2 easy steps / and when you fall to the ground break your jaw / It’s called self defence and this video content needs to be taken off.”

(Side-note: why does this type of idiot always lack basic spelling, grammar and punctuation skills? Has he never heard about the full stop?)

 

Anyway… by the time Monday morning rolled around the post had gathered over 900,000 impressions, 4,000 reactions, 300 comments and 700 reposts.

So job 1 was to reply to all of the comments.

Even those from the clowns who thought the post was racist or bullying.

After all, social media is all about being social – right?

So what did I learn?

At the time of writing, the post is still spreading across LinkedIn.

The current scores on the doors are:

1,518,814 impressions | 7,889 reactions | 625 comments | 1,341 reposts

With such a huge response, I’ve learned a few lessons.

Lesson #1: Not everyone understands sarcasm.

My post had a bit of it in the caption and while most people understood I was joking, some didn’t. So be careful using humour – not everyone will get it!

Lesson #2: Some people take life very seriously.

Ignore idiots like the two examples I shared earlier, they’re not worth your emotional energy.

Lesson #3: Sometimes you just get lucky.

Sharing entertaining video content with a few well placed hashtags and a brief caption seems to please the LinkedIn algorithm. We can speculate and try to ‘game’ it but sometimes, you just get lucky.

Lesson #4: It’s not all about numbers.

Quality counts in all aspects of marketing, and that applies to LinkedIn networks too. If I’d pursued the vanity metric of “how many followers have you got” I could have doubled or trebled the size of my community overnight, but instead I chose to only accept connection requests from people for whom I felt I could add value.

Weeks after that crazy weekend, I am still wondering what the f*ck happened.

Aside from some huge numbers that boosted my ego a little bit, I can genuinely say that I’ve seen no commercial benefit whatsoever, have very little explanation as to why the post blew up like it did nor a great trade secret I can share with you to allow you to enjoy some of the viral success that I enjoyed.

But as the Gangnam Style guy and those ‘Charlie bit my finger’ boys found out, it’s nice to be a star in your own little corner of the internet every now and again.