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One Million Followers

How to get followers quickly ? The idea here is to test content presentation variations. You don't know what your best customer expects. You have to find out. So the idea is to try different writting styles, types of photographs, shooting angles, types of videos (short / long / didactic), ... By trying multiple variations at the same time, you will find out the one that get the best echo. By learning what works, you will maximise your user conversion rate.

One Million Followers

Brendan Kane, 2018

This book is about general technics to gain followers on Facebook. Getting followers on FB is easier than on Instagram. 1M followers on FB is equivalent to 100k on Instagram.

The author advertise that he won’t cover technics to create “good content”. There are many other books about this topic. Technics help to grow, but good content is necessary.

In this book, the first chapters are interesting, and mostly about A/B testing. For the others, it is more about general knowledge.

The last chapters present the other platforms: Instagram (IG), Snapchat and Linkedin.

In my opinion, this book is incomplete, or too much FB oriented. For instance, on IG, you must choose the right \# to send your post. Finding trends seems something easy for the author, but when you don’t know, that a difficult point.

Chapter - Introduction

The author start by presenting the story of Taylor, who made her own blog, answering all comments of her fan, meeting them, sending them present for Christmass. She created a connection with them, and get even more popular thanks to this approach.

Popularity of a brand is related to its ability to take into account customer feedback.

Getting fan requires to work, a non-negligible amount of time. Most people don’t have a specific strategy, so they often fail, because they rely on luck.

This book is not about creating good content nor writing post, but learning how to design a strategy. Also, getting one million followers was the author’s experiment. The book is not about long term popularity.

One reason why people fail to get quickly followers is that they dedicate too much time to one piece of content. Content is critical, but very fine details will not be noticed by the audience. The author used AB testing on quickly made media to test strategies. We can play on:

The strategy to choose depend on the people, there is no single recipe that work for all.

After content, the second best factor is shareability: let people broadcast the message for you.

When you grow, you may engage people. Otherwise, you will need to spend your time for shooting, editing, writting, monitoring…

Chapter I

Strategy are necessary, but content is critical. You cannot gain followers just showing your face everyday without any work.

The strategy the author propose is for each main content he wants to share, to create hundreds of variations. I.e, if you have a long video (a movie), make many trailers of 30 secs. If you want to sell bags, take many photographs with different view angles, and shape differently the message for each variation.

To test each variation, he used Facebook ads platform. For each variation, he allocate a budget of 20€, and see which of the variations gains the more attention. Then, when he found the good one, he share it to its followers. The goal is to reduce the acquisition cost per follower.

The goal is to find the content that “resonate with your audience”. You may make assumption, but they might be wrong, so try instead of supposing who is your audience.

With FB, you can target people that see your ad based on gender, location, interest. Try each factor separately, and see who get your message.

As you grow, engage people to help you create these variation and analyze the results.

The author approximate the budget to get the million of followers to 8000€. Supposing you spend 20€ per variation, 10 variations cost 200€. This budget is a lot if you have nothing to sell other than your image. But it might be worth it if you sell something.

To see how your ads perform, launch them all at the same time. Check their outcome over 24 hours. Keep your publishing date stable, so you can compare your results week after week.

Chapter II - Target your audience

Targeting the right people allows to get sustainable growth. In this chapter, there is a list of question to help you to identify your community. Then, try with A/B testing if your hypothesis are correct.

To reduce the cost, you have to make a call for action. Instead of “buy” or “subscribe”, use “share with your family/friends”

With FB, you can target very precisely people: select what they do on a specific radius, and push them messages.

When targeting you audience, you have to find your hook point. The thing that makes you different, to let your audience understand your value, which is unique. Don’t forget that many people have the same skill than you.

Good headlines help to catch the attention.

Chapter III

This chapter is about Process Communication Model, and how to use it. You have 6 traits of personality. People have one dominant trait + the other with less intensity.

Like the MBTI, people with some particular traits works on particular jobs. It is very infrequent to find “emotive” engineer, while it’s very common for nurses. To reach your audience, you have to speak the words they like, not the words you like. A message can be designed for all the types together. 6 lines, one for each personality.

Check national stats, it may help to focus on the main group.

Social currency: (I haven’t a clear definition in mind). What I understood is that it is a kind of reward you get when sharing the content of someone else. If you feel touched by a message, broadcasting it makes you feel rewarded.

Chapter IV - Fine Tune through Social Testing

Not much to learn there.

Searching is a pull model while social media and advertising is a push model. Ask your consumers, take into account their feedback.

Chapter V - Create Shareable Content

You may never know what will become viral. The best way to get something viral is to try different content, and to share regularly. You cannot put random content to your audience, they want you to have an identity.

Another key to get viral is to provide a service or some value to other, that does not exist yet on the web.

The author provide a list of question to help shaping/ selecting the content you want to share:

Said differently, why people should care about my message ? There is endless content on the platform. You need to have a clear message, easy to identify.

Also, people won’t naturally share. Ask them “If you like this video, share this video with your friend”. Call to Action. However, don’t force them.

Depending on your follower count’s target, finding the trending topic can help. Tap into emotion. Look at the meme, what gets popular. This change over time.

You need to be consistent with your brand, to keep your opinion, so you don’t lost followers.

For talking about your brand / product, you can speak about “related areas”.

Chapter VI - Strategic Alliances

Partnerships help to spend less money on ads. You need to know what is your audience.

You don’t need to be connected to superstars. You need to be connected to super-connectors, i.e. people connected to superstars. Find people close to your level.

Even here, ask what is the value you give to the other influencer. Why may he care about this partnership ? When asking for partnership, very few people answer. 5/1000 maybe. So don’t be frustrated because someone does not answer.

On your side, is there any benefits ? Will followers value this partnership ? Will it elevate your brand ?

Make reviews of products. You don’t need to ask the brand for that. Sometimes, brands give product for free.

Find what you can offer: music ? Photo-editing ? Writing a note ? Sharing content ?

Chapter VII - Go Global

Click in the US are more expensive than in India for instance. Also, in less developed countries, there is less competition (business might focus less on services). You have too many influencers fighting in US or Europe market.

Look at startups in the US: to be successful, you need to raise 50 Millions. You need much less in other country where cost are lower.

Sometimes, you may be discredited because you are a foreigner.

Try also to make non language-specific content to reach a more global audience.

Chapter VIII - Instagram

The consumption is very short here, a few seconds.

IG takes into account two metrics:

You need to post very frequently, because the content get lost with time. Find the good time to post. Get a fixed agenda.

To force people to follow you, make some content private, so only followers can see it.

To find local market, there are services like FameBit, Social Native, Grapevine.

Chapter IX - Youtube

Here, a specific metric is the watch time. The optimal time is close to 8 min.

There are three ways to find the content:

If you want to get money out of YT, keep posting. Better to post 5 videos there than 2 videos + 1FB + 2 IG.

You should talk to your audience. There are people that are very skilled at that. Sometimes, we may think that all good youtubers come from the same YT labs.

Be knowledgeable and passionate. Otherwise, people would notice it.

Find your style to make you different from the other. Keep consistency.

Chapter X - Snapchat

People are leaving Snapchat. First, it’s more for children, they don’t have the same needs than adults. Then, as your content disapear, it’s very difficult make your account attractive.

Chapter XI - Linkedin

The most expensive click platform: 5-10$. However, as people are asked for precise data, it’s very easy to target the right persons.

Don’t connect to too many people. That’s useless.

Chapter XII

The last chapter is just a remix of everything there is on this book.

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