Today’s guest is a social media LEGEND.

Marketing Bestie, meet Elfried Samba, the man known for playing a pivotal role in growing Gymshark’s community from 1.5 million to 20 million in 7 years.

Now the CEO of Butterfly Effect, a best in class creative house, Elfried knows exactly how YOU can build a community on socials.

Here’s what he had to say on The Marketing Millennials Podcast in his own liiiightly edited words.

1. Before Growing On Socials, You Need This:

“Before a brand even thinks about community, it’s about making sure that the people driving your brand reflect the community that you’re looking to attract. 

You need to be able to engage in an authentic way. 

If you have to speak to experts to figure out ways to speak to your own audience, you’ve already lost (THIS).

There’s a lot of things away from the idealistic expectation of the community, such as the pain points, that you can draw on to set yourself apart.

2. Mass Market Shift:

We’re going away from this mass market, driving mass followings, to people focusing on more niche topics. 

I watched a documentary that highlighted how humans were only made to connect with seven people as part of their tribe (I have like 7 people I like lol).

The fact that in 2023 one person can have an audience of 1M people goes against our human nature. So mass content Marketing actually wasn’t sustainable in the first place.

What we’re seeing is platforms like Discord or BeReal allowing people to connect on a more niche level based on personal connection, and they’re thriving now. 

So instead of people focusing on mass market, you’re better at focusing on the niche you want to be a part of and how you can make your way as the thought leader of that community. 

There is a common misconception that you can own a community, that is dead wrong. You can’t own a community. 

Ultimately you’re there to join a community, showcase that you understand them, and eventually build trust to the point where they deem you as the thought leader of the community.

But you have to keep at it. Otherwise, somebody else is able to take you off your throne. 

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You’ve seen that in every single industry that exists, brands come and go and different people come in to fill in the spots (shoutout Blockbuster).

3. The Art of Community Building:

Community building is like marriage. You work hard to get to the point where you find the person that you love and then you get married. You don’t then stop. If you do, we know what happens there.

You have to keep putting in the effort every single day. You have to keep learning every single day. You have to keep romancing every single day. 

You have to keep adding value every single day. It doesn’t end. 

The art of community building and staying as the go-to authority for a community is how hungry you are to stay in that relationship (Yes 1,000x). 

I would advise brands to work as hard as they did to get there in order to stay there.

4. Why Apple Ruined Marketing:

The best observers of culture are comedians.

Comedians say what we think in our heads out loud. We find it funny because it feels like they’ve just entered our brain and they know those little awkward moments that exist.

(That’s why memes are SO powerful.)

Humor is a go-to tactic to get an emotional connection between a brand and consumer.

Brands in the UK like Ryanair and Aldi,  they hit with humor because they understand the audience to a TEE. They understand how to include that into that content. 

The Mt. Rushmore for your content should be that it always evokes emotion.

Now I know this will be controversial, but Apple actually ruined marketing. They were so incredibly successful that now everyone tries to emulate them.

The same style, mood, direction, everything became polished. “Think different” became “Think the same”.

But it worked so well that brands are able to say, we’re going to take the fundamentals of what Apple did and embody it in a modern day context.

When working with brands I tend to stray away from that approach.

5. Building Your Social Team:

While I know the fundamentals, I am not enough to provide a full offering because I know that I’m compromised. 

There’s areas of how to apply content for particular brands of niches that I’m not aware of.

This all goes back to self-awareness as a Marketer, you have to be able to know what you’re good at, what you bring to the table (EQ is everythingggg).

You have to know the industries you’ve come from, and to provide a full service offering you need to bring people on board that are specialized in the industries that you’re unfamiliar with.

6. Typos?! :

Modern day Marketing recognizes that there’s beauty in the imperfections. 

There’s a lot of things that happen when it comes to the understanding of human emotion and when to hit it at certain points and phrases.

For example for Gymshark’s Twitter we would purposefully write things in lowercase, just so that people understood there’s a person behind the account. 

(Lol that is genius.)

There are subtle things that people often overlook, with people liking the idea that they are speaking to a human right being at the TOP. 

What I would do as a Marketer is go imperfect and make mistakes on purpose. 

At least then your audience can trust you because you’re human. 

It’s all about zigging when everybody else is zagging.

When there is a trend, find the open space that exists and attack that shit.”

Daniel Murray
Daniel Murray
Level up your marketing game

Zero BS. Just fun, unfiltered, industry insights with the game-changers behind some of the coolest companies from around the globe.

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