Make your social engagement skyrocket

Nailing all the elements to make a post take off on LinkedIn is an inexact science.

For one client, this week, all the stars aligned and we got a massive hit.

Today – Wednesday 22 April – I’m watching the stats creep up and over 5,000 LinkedIn views. The 100th person has just reacted to the post.

Much like parents rack their brains for what they did differently when their baby sleeps through the night – I’m trying to figure out why this post did so well.


This was a post about an article in a Scottish newspaper. The fact the information comes from gives this post immediate weight.

I chose my opening sentence very carefully – “Brilliant news in dark times”.

All communications during the Coronavirus pandemic have to be very carefully treated. I tried to be mindful of the sombre mood but also the basic human need for positive news.

I summarised the story in one sentence – “50 new space scientists will be trained at the University of Edinburgh over the next six years” – people have a very short attention span on social media. The fact I linked to the university directly also gave the post weight.

The next sentence was about context. Why is this an important story? Again I linked to two very important organisations.

The third sentence made it personal. Ed Mitchard is the key person in this story. I also tagged associated organisations.


This wasn’t a post in isolation. I often talk about space on my LinkedIn profile, I’ve built a good community around this topic. I know it’s relevant to many of my connections and hoped those tagged would share it. People only share things which reflect well on themselves, I knew this would reflect positively on all concerned.


I posted this on Saturday morning. It was the day the newspaper article was published and initially I thought we’d lose out as it was a weekend. On the contrary – people don’t often post on Saturdays and Sundays, but they still seem to check and scroll (most likely on their mobile phones) so it’s a very good time to be heard.


It’s a feature of LinkedIn posts that anything longer than four lines has a ‘see more’ button. You always want to encourage people to click that. They’re getting wise to the clickbait techniques, so you have to earn that click. I also like to space out my posts so they read well. If I hadn’t left the paragraph spaces it wouldn’t have been so easy to read, especially with all the blue links interrupting the flow. It’s a balance.


I’m not convinced how well hashtags actually work on LinkedIn. A few weeks ago I got a notification saying my post was trending in #space so I’m reluctantly sticking with a few of them.

The picture

It’s a good picture, isn’t it? It’s familiar like a holiday snap but professional enough for LinkedIn. People always respond best to pictures of other people (rule number 1 of Instagram) so here we have two guys, smiling, clearly having a great time. Where are they? Are they skiing? This is a story about space scientists – what are they doing in the snowy mountains? These are all the questions thrown up by the picture – it draws you in.

I reckon all of these elements combine to make a post ‘sticky’. There was no doubt a bit of luck involved too. 

What’s been your most popular LinkedIn post? What do you think made it so successful?

Kim McAllister

Kim McAllister is one of our communications consultants. Connect with Kim on Linkedin, by email  or give her a call on +44 (0)131 561 0025 to find out how we can help you grow your online audience.