Gaining a following on social media can feel a lot like catching lightning in a bottle. Your numbers might fluctuate from day to day, maybe tick higher if you have a post that does particularly well, or drop suddenly for no reason at all. Managing the weird and wonderful landscape of social media can quickly feel unrewarding if you’re not growing each day. But with so much content being put out every second, how do you stand apart? How can you make a name for your site in the great, loud chasm of Twitter (X), or ceaseless scroll of TikTok?
Our CEO Tim Edwards was a pioneer in the field of gaming-focused social media growth. Before Publisher Collective and Network N Media, Tim was responsible for the significant growth of PC Gamer’s social presence. At a time when social media platforms were slowly coming into the conversation, Tim capitalized on a few key qualities of PC Gamer’s effective social media strategy. We’ll break them down for you here.
Be first, and be loud
Tim attributes some of PC Gamer’s runaway social media success to being an early adopter of Twitter (X).
“We got a Twitter account like two days after it launched,” Edwards says. “Just getting in there early and going ‘what do we Tweet about?’ It exploded.”
The key to virality on a new social media platform is being one of the first to arrive at the party. Posting often will please the algorithm, and will cause your content to be shown to new users. This could be bad news for site owners who are looking to make the move to Threads, if they haven’t done so already.
“Every platform has a sort of curve of how easy it is to get big,” Edwards says. “It’s being in there at the very start. If you’re interested in getting big on Threads, I would have joined two weeks ago. But I would do it now rather than in two weeks’ time. The level of engagement these new platforms want early on – they want to reward people as soon as possible.”
Seek out the superior platform and stick with it
Tim clued us in on his understanding that social media sites attract a set audience and reward particular content. Video is king across Instagram and Tiktok, but sites like Reddit and Twitter (X) still prioritize text-based content. Consider the time sink of content creation as well. Where you might be able to dash out a few successful Twitter (X) threads amidst some not-so-successful Tweets, you may only be able to make one or two videos for TikTok in a week. What if that content doesn’t do well?
“You have to understand what your site and site values are, and whether they are in the right sort of world for a social media platform,” says Edwards. “It’s knowing you have to align the platform with the site. It doesn’t just have to be ‘I’m on here for the sake of being big because that’s the new thing.’”
“If you’re making TikTok or YouTube videos, you have to either treat it as a hobby, or as a sort of community freebie that has secondary value. If you’re trying to say ‘I’m going to build this stuff over here and it’s going to deliver me web traffic,’ it won’t.”
We hold a quarterly webinar about different topics catered to site owners. Why not check out our back catalog here? Our webinars are free to attend, and there’s always an opportunity to ask our industry professionals your questions. Follow us on Twitter (X) and LinkedIn to be sure you don’t miss out on our next webinar.