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Why it is in your best interest to be an early adopter of a new social media platform


A quick note: It took me years to uncover what I disclose below, but it was worth it. It has helped me to grow my clients’ companies to more than $1,000,000 USD in revenue, faster than other companies grew to $10,000 USD. Really? Yes. Here are some case studies. So let’s dive in.


What is a social media algorithm?

It is a complex combination of logic and usage analytics that determine which social media users see specific content, in a specific order.

Social media algorithms are all around us, yet very few people know what they are AND how to leverage them. Learning how to make the social media algorithms work for you, is one of the cheapest & fastest ways to reach “influencer status” within your niche. Why? When you optimize your posts for the social media algorithm, you get more organic (free) views and therefore more free clicks to your website.


Here is an example:

You hop on Facebook and the first thing at the top of your newsfeed is a post shared by your friend from college, announcing he is engaged. You haven’t spoken with him in years and haven’t seen any of his other posts in your newsfeed, ever. So how did Facebook know to clue you in on his engagement announcement?

The post has 170 reactions and more than 80 comments. The biggest factor that most social media algorithms takes into account, is the amount of engagement a post receives within a specific amount of time. 

When a post from someone you barely speak to, displays at the top of your newsfeed organically (not as a paid ad) that’s the social media algorithm’s handiwork. 


Here is how that “phenomenon” works: 

  1. A social media platform will display your newest post in the newsfeeds of a handful of people. If they engage with the post within 10 – 90 minutes of you publishing it, the algorithm will push it to another 10% of your following. 
  2. If a certain percentage of that second group engages with the post within a set amount of time, the algorithm will push your post to appear in the newsfeed of an additional 30% of your following. 
  3. If this third group engages with the post within a short amount of time, your post will continue to appear in more newsfeeds until either the level of engagement slows or every one of your connections / followers has seen the post.


To make the most of this strategy you will want to know when to “hop on the wagon” and when to hop off and look for a new wagon.

If you want to learn how to spot the trends for yourself, read this. If not, skip to “Take Action”.

Stage 1:

When founders launch a social media platform, the first problem they need to solve is Empty Disco Syndrome. To do this, they invite a handful of growth hackers (like me 😄 *Yes, we sign NDAs to get access to this party*) to join the platform and create anywhere from 20 to 20,000 fake accounts. The developers at the startup give us what we need to automate the process. I’ve been a part of this stage on more than 8 social media platforms.

Wagon status: If you get an invitation to hop on the wagon in stage one, DO IT!!!

Stage 2:

The social media platform’s founders go to their next board meeting boasting about all of the new accounts on their platform. They get massive amounts of free PR talking about their wild success, which encourages real people to sign up, everyone is happy.

Wagon status: If you see an article about a new social media platform, set a calendar alert to join the platform 7-10 days after you read the publication.

Stage 3:

Marketing efforts are now directed to target real people. When real people join the platform, the startup team members (or their virtual assistants) engage with the human users to ensure they enjoy using the platform and receive a lot of engagement on their posts. 

In the marketing campaigns, the startup team brags about how various “influencers” from the stage 1 crowd are on that platform & you must be there to see their latest and greatest posts. [This tends to be the point where a ranking algorithm drops, or shadow bans, the organic views of external links & boosts the organic views of original content].

Wagon status: You can still join and get a decent amount of organic reach (free views) on the content that you publish directly to this new platform.

Stage 4:

The platform gets traction and passes critical mass. There are now more humans than bots and 100s of new users are joining everyday. The platform has officially “gone viral”. Novice marketers who are less experienced with using bots covertly, start spamming the heck out of human users on the site.

Wagon status: prepare to disembark

Stage 5:

The human users get annoyed with the bots spamming them. The platform’s founders make the platform bot proof (re-captcha, phone number verification, random questions each time the user logs in, etc). 

The risk with Stage 5 is that if done too early it encourages the users producing the most fresh & new content to leave in search of the next great platform. If done too late, your platform turns into a place where bot accounts are the only ones posting and engaging regularly.

Wagon status: If you have not reached “influencer status” on the platform and won over a huge following by now, move on to the next platform.


Example?

Twitter

Twitter had a few key people loose 1,000s of followers July 2018 when the platform decided to use various “human verification methods” to purge bots from its user-base. This was not the first time it happened. It is the circle of life in the world of digital, social & sharing platforms.

That being said, when you join a young platform, your newsfeed will most likely display the most recent posts shared on the platform. As the platform gains more human users (which leads to more funding and the ability to hire more developers), the team of developers will re-design the platform to use algorithms to rank content.


Take Action:

  1. LinkedIn is currently at Stage 4 (as described above). That means it is time to use the growth hacks available to us, as they will soon expire.
  2. Fortunately you don’t have to build your own automation, (as of May 21, 2021) you can use this link to create a free Podawaa account & redeem 500 credits for automatic engagement on your future LinkedIn posts.
  3. Once in Podawaa you can select how many “likes” & which comments you would like to have appear on your next post.
  4. LinkedIn is on the verge of Stage 5, which means this trick will not last long. Use it up while it is still available. #HappyGrowthHacking

Read more on this topic:

  1. How does the LinkedIn publication algorithm work?
  2. This Is Exactly How Social Media Algorithms Work Today by Christine Warner

FAQ

What determines the window of time in which engagement has to be made? The window of time varies based on a few factors including: the size of the user base of the social media platform, the time at which you are posting, in relation to the time zone your following is located in.



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