Why your social media growth is stuck and what to do about it
Spoiler: it’s a simple fix, but most companies don’t do it right.
Dealing with stagnant social media growth is frustrating — especially when you think you’re doing everything right.
You’re posting daily. You’re engaging with your community. You’re following all the supposed social media ‘best practices.’
But your account is still stuck.
Hear me out. I’d like to offer a different way to think about this.
Sometimes, the best way to drive social media growth for a brand is to do meaningful stuff outside of social media.
Social media works best when you are amplifying interesting moves that your brand is making outside of it. This could be product drops. This could be new features. This could be events.
I work at Triple Whale — one of the fastest growing SaaS startups out there. And our social media presence has been killer.
I like to think I’m good at my job. I understand social media growth inside and out.
But I’m also humble enough to know that there are other factors at play. The product is dope. The team does not stop shipping features. The company just raised a $25M Series B round — with involvement from Shopify — in an economy that isn’t too favorable.
It’s a rocket ship.
My job as a social media manager is to amplify that.
On a similar note, the best personal brands usually stem from people who are doing dope shit IRL. There’s this guy Adam Robinson that’s blown up on LinkedIn from like 1K → 15K in 3 months (and growing rapidly). He’s become a celebrity in his niche.
He’s scaled a SaaS from $0 → $14M ARR in 2 years with 6 employees. And now he’s documenting the journey from $14M → $50M ARR by the end of 2023.
Oh and he’s also had a previous 8-figure acquisition.
The man’s got credentials. So his target audience (other startup founders) are going to follow. There’s no social media ‘best practice’ in place other than Adam being an absolute G that founders are dying to learn from.
Ok. So how do you take action on this as a social media manager? Or how do you put your social media team in a position to succeed as a founder?
Your cheat sheet
Ask yourself this question:
What is your brand doing IRL that’s worth amplifying on social?
Here’s an example. Last week, Triple Whale hosted the Whalies — a conference and award show for operators and brand builders in eCommerce.
We brought in top tier speakers. We rented out a dope venue. We pulled out all the stops.
My job as Head of Social was made easy. All I had to do was take this and distribute it on social in ways that are native to each platform.
You also need to involve the social team in wider marketing department meetings.
We don’t operate in a silo. And social campaigns don’t work when you put the entire campaign together without your SMM in the room and slap them with the ‘make this go viral.’
It’s like if there was one player on the basketball court that was locked out of the film session and practices leading up to a huge game. They’re not going to know any of the plays or defensive assignments, and are going to through the rhythm of the entire team off.
Seems stupid, no? Yeah. Yet this is pretty much what happens to social teams all over the place.
Thankfully, my CMO understands this. Social strategy was baked into the Whalies event from the beginning.
→ We had a photographer on site to capture assets
→ We invited guests and speakers with engaged followings on Twitter and LinkedIn
→ We live streamed the event to YouTube and our social platforms
And most importantly, we had enough lead time to plan out a proper campaign.
In start up world especially, it’s too common for social teams (and marketing teams in general) to find out about drops and events far too close to launch date. This leaves the social team with no time to build real hype and capitalize on that campaign.
You should be thinking about these moments the same way fashion brands think about drops.
Before the drop, there is always some sort of look book or campaign that teases it. They don’t just drop the collection and expect their audience to flock to it.
Leading up to the drop date — they promote it and build up hype + FOMO (fear of missing out) on social media and other marketing channels.
By the time the drop is there, their audience is foaming at the mouth to give the brand their hard-earned money.
This is obviously applicable for fashion and other consumer brands. But even B2B brands and other ‘unlikely’ candidates for drops should treat their marketing like this. My good friend and fellow SMM Darien Payton preaches this all the time.
The ‘drop model’ for social media strategy deserves its own piece. So I’ll probably publish that this coming Monday. Make sure you open that one when it hits your
But for now the TLDR is:
→ Select a major moment for your brand
→ Involve the social team in the development of the campaign or that moment
→ Focus most of your time and resources into creating FOMO for that moment
Treat your brand moments like a fashion house treats a major drop — even if you’re a ‘boring’ company.
It’s simple. But most brands don’t take full advantage of it.
That’s all I’ve got for today.
PS – remember to check back in on Monday when I’ll go over the ‘drop’ model even more in-depth