How The Mayor of Miami is a Masterclass in Branding & Community Building
Updated: Jan 17, 2022
TLDR: Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has quickly become a Twitter trend while generating waves of economic and cultural growth to his city. Millions began to take notice after he responded to a single tweet by @zebulgar. But how he’s remained consistent with community building and branding- attracting people, companies, and attention for Miami a masterclass for anyone wanting to build a raving community around their brand.
Strap in follow Mayor Francis's story while learning social media & community building strategies for Twitter and LinkedIn.
How To Grow On Twitter (from any stage) is down below.
Delian Asparouhov, co-founder of Varda Space, unintentionally gave Miami Mayor Francis Suarez the 'alley oop' for a slam dunk tweet igniting waves of attention and a series of events inviting all to visit Miami to experience it's milk and honey while simultaneously amplifying the Silicon Valley Exodus. Mayor Francis has focused on attracting economy boosting industries and communities in technology and crypto.
I had no idea who the Mayor of Miami was before his “How can I help” tweet. I was intrigued by his quick wittiness but am now so tapped into what he’s doing, I’ve become a huge fan of him while living over a thousand miles away (Indianapolis).
But I’m not the only new fan of the Miami Mayor.
Before we dive into how he’s done this, let’s first recognize two reasons why he was able to start this movement to Miami.
He was aware of WHY people are leaving Silicon Valley.
He was aware that there was no “Crypto City” in America yet.
Whatever you believe about cryptocurrency, you must at-least acknowledge it’s ever growing cult-like community. No city had yet proclaimed it’s support and acknowledgement of Crypto.
Mayor Francis listened to what the people wanted and gave them a city that has embraced crypto and blockchain technology more than any city has before.
Since Francis's "How can I help?" tweet on December 4th, he's accepted hundreds of media interviews, zoom interviews, Instagram Live interviews, podcast interviews, and meetings with journalists, VC's, influencers, CEO's, employees of companies, and anyone on Twitter. He replies often to tweets and will even engage in conversation in the DM's.
In December of 2020, Mayor Francis’s personal Twitter account (@FrancisSuarez) had around 32,000 Twitter followers. 28 days after his viral tweet, he hit 48.2k followers with a 3,000% increase in profile visits (see his profile stats below).
I’m writing this a year later (December 6th). He now has 127k followers on his personal account.
Key: Listen to what people want. Look for a need. Then give people what they want.
With social media use, it’s very easy to think of yourself. But step back. Think like an artist. Before posting, ask yourself the following questions:
How will people feel about this post?
Who can be helped or inspired from this post?
What ideas will this spark for the audience?
Would other people want to share this post?
Note: You don't have to have a perfect answer for all these questions. But if you have a good answer for at-least one, then you're putting more thought into your post than most. You're better off putting in a little thought into a post but not too much where it prevents you from ever actually posting.
Bigger key: Be consistent and authentic when giving people what they want.
Let’s dive into how he’s sharing the story of Miami giving people what they want, growing the brand of Miami, and cultivating a raving fan base for Miami.
Mayor Francis didn’t just give people what they wanted. He met them where they are. Consistently.
In the past, consumers (or constituents) who spent all their time watching TV, are now scrolling on social media. The advent of smartphones and social media has given anyone - politicians, celebrities, small businesses, brands, someone new to social media- the ability to interact directly with mass audiences.
The way consumers are entertained and educated has completely changed.
In my “How To Think Like A Media Company” blog, we learned there are over 4.75 billion mobile phones in use today, including over 2 billion smartphones, most of which possess supercomputer-like capabilities that can be used to create (and transmit) professional-quality recordings and content in moments.
And yes, each of these devices is, in fact, a broadcasting device (or channel) used to share audiovisual content on a one-to-one or one-to-many basis.
In other words, that’s over 4.75 billion Broadcast Channels alone just from mobile phones.
Then comes along the transformative emergence and explosive growth of the Social Media networks, platforms, services and apps of the last decade.
Facebook: Over 1.9 billion accounts (channels)
WhatsApp: Over 1.0 billion accounts (channels)
Facebook Messenger: Over 1.0 billion accounts (channels)
Tiktok: Over 1.0 billion accounts (channels)
WeChat (China-based messaging platform): Over 885 million accounts (channels)
Instagram: Over 600 million accounts (channels)
LinkedIn: Over 465 million accounts (channels)
Twitter: Over 200 million accounts (channels)
There’s thousands of other social services in use today with new ones being launched daily. And that’s without including YouTube with its over 1 billion Broadcast Channels.
Not only has technology made it easier for people to consume content, it has also made it easier to create, share, and distribute content.
Mayor Francis took advantage of the opportunity that social media provided him.
Social media gave him the opportunity to show up publicly and interact directly with tens of thousands of people with a single tweet.
Key: He focused on one platform: Twitter.
I’ve often talked about the 80/20 Rule with channels. Spend 80% of your time on one platform. Then 20% testing other channels. Focus on one platform.
Don't try and do it all at once.
Get really great at creating content on one platform before you move on to the next.
Two Benefits to this approach:
1) Focus - It's easier to be a Master at creating content for one specific platform when you give 100% Focus
2) Once a platform is built up, it accelerates the growth of the next platform (Ex. having 10k followers on Twitter or LinkedIn makes it easier to build a 1k email list).
Mayor Francis isn’t winning on social media just because of some good social media strategy. He’s authentic and genuine. He responds to anyone.
By being so accessible to almost any Twitter user (like sharing his Twitter metrics) he's inviting us into his recruitment campaign of making Miami an innovative tech hub. We become invested in his mission. Additionally, through his interviews, we can clearly see how personally passionate he is about this campaign and from this transparency, we feel like he's invited us to join him in his personal mission.
And all I have to do is follow him on Twitter? I'm in!
The Power of Twitter
Mayor Francis sharing his 28 day Twitter summary:
- 22.9M Impressions (1,177% increase)
- 999K Profile visits (3,002% increase)
- 17K Mentions (825% increase)
- 15,794 New Followers
The beauty of Mayor Francis's campaign as Twitter user Chris Berry put it,
"It's organic, viral, and made possible only on Twitter. The platform of choice for tech and entrepreneurs. It didn't cost millions of dollars. All it took was a Mayor who seized an opportunity and ran with it."
Jessica Bursztynsky wrote for CNBC how Mayor Suarez is using Twitter to "build the next Silicon valley".
"Miami Mayor Francis Suarez was leaving lunch at tech billionaire Peter Thiel’s house and on his way back to City Hall when he got a text from an unknown number.
Spoiler alert: the unknown number was David Beckham.
Each social media channel has a unique preference to the content that is created and the content that gets consumed. Tiktok for short videos. YouTube for long-form videos. Twitter is community and text based. Just like Reddit. Instagram for pictures and aesthetics. Facebook for pretty much anything haha.
Twitter and LinkedIn are similar in that they are both community focused.
HOW TO GROW ON TWITTER:
You don't need to start with 1000's of followers to grow on Twitter.
You can leverage someone else's audience.
All you have to do is:
Step 1: Find an authority figure in your niche.
NOTE: There are different "Types" of Twitter.
Black Twitter. Marketing Twitter. Asian Twitter. Finance Twitter. Money Twitter. Esports Twitter. Copywriting Twitter. Furry Twitter. OnlyFans/18+ Twitter. Tech Twitter. No Code Twitter.
You get the point. From furries to no-code startups, you can find a close knit community of like-minded people around specific topics. To start, choose the "Interest" categories that are interesting to you. Overtime you will see particular accounts constantly popping up on your feed. Their tweet is organically performing very well for a specific topic (relates back to the "Types" of Twitter terminology). So the Algorithm pushes that tweet to other Twitter user devices who are following that "Interest" on Twitter OR if they have liked similar tweets in the past.
So take advantage of this.
Step 2: Follow them
- Comment on their posts.
They key is to differentiate yourself and be consistent.
Bring value to the conversation. Disagree with them, thoughtfully.
Create thought-provoking conversations in the comment sections of their posts.
Their audience will gravitate towards you. And so will the original poster.
Here’s the four point formula for growing quickly on community based platforms:
Make your mission accessible and clear.
Share your mission with others so they will want to join.
2. Posting frequency
Consistency and often is key. Start small and grow over time. Don’t burn yourself out.
3. Replies and comments are gold mines.
The algorithm feeds off of engagement. People can only like a post once. But they can reply as many times as a conversation goes. Respond to everyone who replies to your tweets. Engage with them in a deeper discussion based off the original tweet.
Additionally, commenting and replying to other posts is how you get more like-minded social media users to find you. Find the top 5 - 10 influencers in your industry, niche, or interest. Throw on their post notifications and reply to their tweets. Don’t be annoying. Don’t self-promote. Contribute. Add to the conversation. Add a different perspective to their post. Or you can edify their post with an example, stats, or deeper discussion.
Comments and replies are essentially the formula for growing quickly on community based platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn.
4. Highlight others. Don’t make it just about you. You might be the figurehead and hero of the community you’re building, but you want to create a culture of lifting others up in your community. And you have to be the example.
Check out my checklist on highlighting your community in my post, “How To Get Your Customers To Speak For You (The Best Storytelling)”.
Recap & Biggest Takeaways:
Actively listen on social media. Give people what they want.
Engage in conversation organically. Be accessible. Respond to comments and DMs.
Be your own media agency. Highlight others via interviews. Let yourself be interviewed by others. Even if they have 10 podcast listeners. Then share their content.
Focus on one platform.
Be authentic in why you do what you do. Mayor Francis frequently shares his mission and intention. You invite others into your mission when you “build in public”.
I'll be writing about the future of the internet, branding, storytelling, digital marketing, and the creator economy. Stay tuned for more.
SERIOUSLY. Thank you to everyone who's been sharing the newsletter and giving me feedback. I'm super grateful!
Please give me feedback on this edition. Tell me how I can make this better for you!!