The Art and Science of Building a Successful Social Media Presence

Aadil Verma

Hatched by Aadil Verma

Mar 30, 2024

4 min read


The Art and Science of Building a Successful Social Media Presence

In today's digital age, social media has become a powerful tool for individuals and businesses alike to connect with their audience and build a loyal following. Two recent examples, JD and DuoLingo, have successfully leveraged different platforms to expand their reach and engagement. Let's take a closer look at their strategies and discover actionable advice that can help others achieve similar success.

JD, a social media influencer, saw the potential of Instagram and decided to create a new account. Starting from scratch, JD documented his journey and shared his progress along the way. What's interesting is that he achieved remarkable growth without resorting to ads, bots, or tags. Instead, JD worked for free and focused on creating content that resonated with his audience. This highlights the importance of working on what brings joy and fun, even if it means not earning from it immediately.

On the other hand, DuoLingo, a language-learning app, chose TikTok as their platform of choice. The decision was driven by the fact that the platform had the highest monthly active users (MAU). But why TikTok? According to the Social Media Manager at DuoLingo, TikTok was a native platform for her as she grew up using it during college. She understood how it worked, what content made her laugh, and how to leverage its features effectively. This familiarity with the platform gave her an edge in creating entertaining content.

One key insight from DuoLingo's approach is the emphasis on the art and science of content creation. While having a creative background is valuable, understanding the platform's algorithm and trends is equally important. DuoLingo's hiring process prioritizes candidates who can take a concept, identify trending audio, and create engaging content with captivating captions. This combination of creativity and strategic thinking ensures that their content stands out and resonates with the target audience.

But is it enough to simply copy what works on the platform? Both JD and DuoLingo acknowledge the importance of authenticity and innovation. While initially, copying trends and giving credit can help gain traction, it's crucial to go beyond that. JD suggests "stealing like an artist" to get started, but as you gain momentum, it's essential to develop your unique storylines and build lore. DuoLingo treats their TikTok account as a sitcom, where each video is an episode that contributes to the overall storyline. This approach keeps their content fresh, engaging, and memorable.

Another valuable lesson from DuoLingo is the understanding that not every video needs to tie back directly to their app or product. Social media users often seek entertainment and value beyond promotional content. DuoLingo's creative process involves listening to their audience's comments and suggestions, treating them as social briefs. By giving the audience what they want and leaning into their preferences, they create content that resonates and builds a loyal following.

When it comes to repurposing content across different platforms, DuoLingo takes a nuanced approach. While they follow a rip and replace strategy for the majority of their content, they also consider the unique features and audience preferences of each platform. By dividing responsibilities based on generational divides, they ensure that each platform receives the attention it deserves.

Based on these insights, here are three actionable tips for building a successful social media presence:

  • 1. Work on what brings joy and fun, even if it means starting for free. Authenticity and passion are key drivers of engagement and growth.
  • 2. Understand the platform's algorithm and trends while leveraging your creative skills. Striking a balance between art and science will help your content stand out.
  • 3. Listen to your audience and give them what they want. Building a loyal following requires responding to their preferences and creating content that resonates with them.

In conclusion, building a successful social media presence requires a combination of creativity, strategic thinking, and understanding the platform and its audience. JD and DuoLingo offer valuable insights and actionable advice that can guide individuals and businesses towards achieving their social media goals. By embracing authenticity, innovation, and audience feedback, anyone can create engaging content and build a loyal following on social media platforms.

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