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Brendan Gahan


NYC. Ad agency exec. Running social for Fortune 500 brands. 👇Newsletter👇

If you don't know @timm chiusano - you should

He's got a million followers, was featured in Rolling Stone, and is an all around good dude

And master storyteller

I wanted to learn his secret

After taking a bit of a break from posting here I needed some inspiration

So I met up with Timm, went for a jog, and I asked him -

What makes a great story?

His answer?

The details. The nuances.

Timm's life is a testament to the power of details—the intricate brushstrokes that transform an ordinary canvas into a masterpiece.

From meticulously crafted TikToks to the artistry in his tattoos, his devotion to the nuances is evident.

As I sit down to reflect on his advice I’m reminded of the words of Anton Chekhov, the Russian playwright, who eloquently captured this same idea when he wrote, "Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass."

Thanks for the advice Timm
What advice does @Mark Manson have for creators?

What dies think about the future of the creator economy? #markmanson #creatoreconomy2023 #markmansonquotes
TikTok thumbnails are a great way to make your account standout

But what’s even cooler?

If you look at my tiktok account you’ll notice my thumbnails are pinned together at the top of my profile to make this awesome banner

It’s a great way to really highlight a call to action and is shockingly easy

So, In this video, I’m going to breakdown how to make your own in 5 easy steps


First up you’re going to want to design the banner

The one holistic image that is going to be cut into three sections and then placed into three tiktoks to create the appearance of a single banner image

To do this you’re going to be creating one image that is 1260 X 654 pixels

That’s the size of three tiktoks side by side

You can create this in canva or adobe suite - I make mine in adobe but that’s just personal preference

As you design the banner you’ll want to keep in mind that this is going to be mostly viewed on small phones so I recommend doing a few things to make it stand out

Ideally try and have high contrast/bright imagery

Limit the amount of text - but make it as big and bold as possible

And where possible limit to a single point of focus

You don’t want it too cluttered with stuff because then everything is going to be sooo small no one is going to be able to see it on their phone

You’ll notice with mine I use really bright colors - primarily red, white, and yellow (although there is a little bit of black to really accentuate the text)

And I’ve got one clear image (me) and I’m actually reinforcing the message of the text by my pointing

Once you’re done you’ll cut it into three separate images

And each should be 420X654

This is the size of each individual tiktok thumbnail


Now once you’ve got each of these images you’ll want to ad each image to three 3 different videos

I use adobe rush

But any editing software works

Just make sure it appears for several frames

You’ll want to extend the number of frames based off the length of the video

For a typical tiktok that’s around half a minute 24 frames, or about 1 second is more than enough time for the thumbnail to appear

But, you’ll want to extend that and give yourself more time - maybe up to 2-3 seconds to make sure you can find it once you’re getting into the 3-5 minute range

I’ll show you why this is important in a second

Also, one thing I’ve gotten questions about is whether or not the videos need to be related

My recommendation is that is probably ideal but not absolutely necessary

For example, each of my pinned videos that make up the banner have a call to action to sign up for my newsletter

Now that you’ve got your thumbnail added to the tiktok and you’re video is fully edited - how do you make sure you’re thumbnail is featured when you upload your tiktok?

Here’s how you do that

After that export each video - open tiktok - Upload each - Just make sure to select cover
Scroll - Stop at thumbnail - Click Save - Then post

Now, when you upload tiktoks you’re scrolling through the timeline to select your thumbnail image - this is tougher as a video gets longer - you have to be more precise and because you’re doing all this with your thumb it can be a bit difficult to nail down

Once you’ve got the three videos uploaded

You’ll want to pin them in reverse order

So you’ll pin the image for the right hand side first

The middle one second and the first one last

Boom that’s it!

Hit me with a subscribe if you liked this video
#tiktokthumbnails #thumbnailtiktok #thimbnails #tiktokbanner
The social media land rush on Threads is a playing field skewed towards established creators.

I think this could potentially hurt the app long term.

With the app being tied to your existing IG account the big accounts are getting bigger.

I'd argue that's one of the downsides of the app.

It makes it more difficult for new creators and communities to grow.

As a result, I think it unlikely anyone other than established IG creators to feel invested in the app long term.

Alex Zhu, founder of Musically (which sold to TikTok), made the analogy that the early adopters of a platform are like the early settlers of a country. They take the lion's share of the spoils because there's little competition.

Older countries (or platforms) have an established ’class’ and upward mobility becomes increasingly difficult as time goes on.

As a result each new generation wants to move on to new territories.

Given the established 'class' of creators on IG come with a built in audience I think it disincentivizes new generations of creators.

Threads, in its current state, is less a land of opportunity and more a fortress of the established, where the locked gates of Instagram fame deny entry to fresh talent.

Additionally, is 100 million users in 5 days a good thing long term?

Playing devils advocate... I'm skeptical.

Sure... social apps thrive as markets, where creators and consumers converge.

You have two audiences you need to keep content - creators and consumers.

To create a flywheel for growth it's essential to strike a balance between the two.

Creators want audiences, while audiences desire content.

Everyone wants more users.

But, history has shown that the most thriving social apps didn't start with a bang. They began as intimate communities, nurturing shared interests and fostering a sense of belonging.

Facebook’s growth strategy is a great example of this - it started as a closed community for Harvard, and then Ivy League universities, then all US universities, etc.

Twitter - started out as a niche, nerdy, silicon valley centric app

Twitch - stemmed from core gamers

None of these immediately went mass.

Bigger isn’t always better for a few reasons:

Rapid growth dilutes commonalities
Going mass too quickly dilutes the core interests and values that brought the community together in the first place.

Personal connections suffer:
Scaling rapidly makes it harder for individuals to establish meaningful personal connections within the community.

Decreased engagement and content quality:
Mass expansion leads to an overwhelming amount of content, often resulting in decreased engagement and lower-quality content.

Fragmented identity and culture:
Rapid growth can lead to the emergence of subgroups with conflicting values, potentially fragmenting the community's identity and culture.

Successful platforms like Facebook and Twitter began with a focused approach, gradually expanding while maintaining a core foundation of shared experiences. Balancing growth with preserving the community's values and commonalities is crucial for long-term success.

What do you think?

#threads #threadsforinstagram #twitterthreads
I tested 19 video descriptions to see what drove the most views

Here’s what I found

With TikTok’s push to search they expanded descriptions to 2200 characters

So I posted 19 videos with long descriptions to test SEO

Those videos averaged - 37,737 views each

But, the previous 19 videos with short descriptions averaged - 10,302 views each

So, videos optimized for seo got over 3x the amount of views

Nowhere in the analytics does it attribute views to search

So I can’t say definitively that the descriptions caused the increase,

but I’ll probably continue to add long descriptions just in case

Have you played w tiktok seo yet? What results have you seen?

Why do I have long descriptions?

I was pretty skeptical about TikTok eating into Google Search.

However, it does seem like search is something TikTok is taking seriously.

With TikTok’s latest update you can now post up to 2,200 characters in a video description.

Previously it was capped at 150 characters.

Why does any of this matter?

According to Goole SVP Prabhakar Raghavan, their own research shows :40% of young people, when looking for a place for lunch, go first to TikTok or Instagram over Google Maps or Search.”

Now, with more text, TikTok can better index search results.

The implications of this are massive.

They can actually generate a whole new ad revenue stream. In fact, this is already happening on the Chinese version of TikTok, Douyin.

According to a blog post from a16z:

“𝘖𝘯 𝘋𝘰𝘶𝘺𝘪𝘯, 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘩 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘵𝘪𝘻𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘳𝘵-𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮 𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘰 𝘴𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘤𝘩 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘴, 𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘰𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘰𝘧𝘵𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘢𝘨𝘨𝘦𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘯𝘢𝘮𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘭𝘰𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘬𝘴 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦𝘴 𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘪𝘯-𝘢𝘱𝘱 𝘱𝘢𝘨𝘦𝘴 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘢𝘥𝘷𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘭𝘢𝘳𝘨𝘦 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘱𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘰𝘳 𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘣𝘰𝘰𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴.

In short, this is (potentially) a massive opportunity for TikTok to eat away at Google’s market share.

It also provides a path to generate revenue beyond just video ads.

#tiktokseo #tiktoksearch #genzsearch #googlesearch #genz
How does a company GROW during a recession? 🤔

In the middle of the great depression this company’s profits grew 30%

And, they became
#1 in their category.

As we head into a recession, what can we learn from the story of Kelloggs?

In 1929 when the Great Depression hit, no one knew what would happen.

Most CPG's pulled back on their marketing.

Not Kelloggs.

They doubled ad budgets and moved aggressively into the new medium of radio advertising.

By 1933 they blew past their competitors and reached record profits.

Savvy brands could learn from them.

Investing in emerging mediums.

What makes a successful branded livestream? #livecommerce #livestreaming #livestream

The answer lies in the 3 D's: Discovery, Dynamic Storytelling, and Dependability. Let's break it down:
Discovery - To make your live stream a success, you need to get the word out there. Work with creators, promote to your channels, and hammer the message home across as many channels as possible. And of course, go live for a long period of time so you can capture as many viewers as possible.
Dynamic Storytelling - One of the biggest challenges with live streams is that you can't control where people start watching. That's why you need to create an experience that's engaging from start to finish. Create an element of mystery and keep viewers on the edge of their seats.

Box breaks are a great format for this because they build suspense and are easy for a viewer to understand what's happening. And leveraging a creator people care about helps, too.
Dependability - Consistency is key. Make sure to schedule your live streams and train your audience to know when to tune in. This helps to build trust and loyalty with your viewers.
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