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I am by no means a social media expert but today I want to share about how a random LinkedIn post got more than 440,000 views, more than 4500 likes and 100+ shares and 100+ comments, and what my insight on that post is.

A few weeks ago I landed in Portugal and took a snapshot of a policeman helping people get the right taxi.

You can read the post here: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6494340652027998208

It was a blurry photo, a few lines of text and I posted it without an after thought. And it went viral.

So why?

a) I think it triggered a sense of pride amongst the Portuguese.

b) The post is genuine in the appreciation of someone doing a job in a creative way.

c) It is not about the author, but about someone else.

d) It’s not written to be “viral”.

In other words: It was genuine.

I could have tried to do a flashy post, with hashtags and tried to write it in a way that would make people want to share it, and most likely nothing would have happened. (I know, since I have done posts like that where I thought I did “everything right” just to see the posts get no traction at all 😉

Now let me be clear: I am terrible at understanding how social media works, but I think the lesson about this post going viral can be useful for speakers too. People today want genuine, authentic real -life examples. Both on social media and in speeches.

Sure, the slick, polished, “perfect” speech with amazing graphics and videos and rehearsed stage performance can still work, but the genuine, authentic – human – speech is even more powerful.

Aim for that.

(And no, this post is not written to go viral, or to be seen as an example of what I am speaking about. It is just one of my weekly posts on ProfessionalSpeaking.com where I share my insights on the many aspects of building a professional speaking career.

And no, the viral post did not lead to booked speaking engagements, but it did lead to the policeman in question contacting me on Facebook as people where telling him about the post (!) and he gave me some more example of creative Portuguese police work that I am thinking of using in my upcoming book “The World of Creativity”. 😉

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