This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr
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So at little old team SaaStr, we historically did not really track social followers as a core metric. We’re B2B folks 🙂 But as SaaStr grew, first we started to build a list. That became our core community metric (list growth). But we also wanted to track engagement on Quora more closely. And then we saw a big pick-up on Twitter. And after that, LinkedIn. So we decided to do a bit of a conceit and create a “Total Social Followers” metric. We have no idea how much overlap there is in here — probably a lot. But at least we can measure it. So we started measuring it about 30 months ago. And growth in 2018 for both our list and our social followers were pretty flat. And then in 2019, we went further, and for the first time, set
goals and KPIs. And then magic happened — our followers and list grew 🙂 To a million. So the one re-learning is even if you measure it, if you don’t make it a Top 5 goal, it doesn’t happen. And it wasn’t a total 5 goal until 2019. And it wasn’t a goal at all in 2018. The year it didn’t grow at all. Beyond that, as B2B folks living in a B2C world, here are my top learnings. They aren’t really that new if you’ve read similar posts in the past, but I still thought I’d collect them: 1. Each channel is different — and wants different content. You probably know this already, but if you don’t put in the work for each channel, it doesn’t perform. For us at least:
- on Twitter, folks want micro-blogs and new content (at least for us). 240 characters of new content that helps them. Importantly, recirculating content does NOT work for us on twitter. promoting yourself works a little, but not a lot.
- on LinkedIn, you can promote yourself and your product a lot more. You probably already know this. Also, recirculated content seems to perform a lot better than on twitter.
- video really works on Twitter and LinkedIn
- on Quora, the game and algorithm have changed. Quora has grown 100x since we started answering SaaS questions there back in 2012-2013, and on a relative basis, other content is being promoted more. that’s OK, our presence there is still pretty strong, and we added a ton of subscribers to our Cloud Daily! news feed on Quora. But what worked in the past doesn’t work as well today.
- on our blog, all the traffic comes from social + Google search. You probably know this, but destination blogs are dead. what performs best on the blog is data-rich content. in 2019 and 2020, folks want data. actionable data. provide that, and you’ll get the views.
- Every channel plateaus. We’ve written this before, and we’ve seen it again in 2019. Our Cloud Daily on Quora blew up in 2019, but now that it is at 300,000 subscribers, growth is much slower. Same with LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.