Developer Evangelism builds out their thought leadership through social media and community engagement. The tips and strategies shared here can be used by team members and the wider community to help build their own profile as an evangelist.
Twitter and LinkedIn are the target platforms. Both platforms have different target audiences and content distribution.
Wil Spillane in Slack:
Tweets are more fleeting. I think a lot of folks choose to view tweets in reverse chronological order. For LinkedIn, the default is “top” posts and it’s not very visible to many to switch to “recent”. Also, LinkedIn shows posts with recent activity in the recent feed, not just the plain reverse chronological order that Twitter does. So in some ways, LinkedIn posts linger across feeds longer than a tweet.
Developer Evangelists at GitLab are encouraged to add UTMs for URL tagging and tracking to provide analytics and insights on how well content shares are performing. This method helps to verify KPI metrics.
#DevSecOpsare good examples, avoid them to include in every tweet though.
@character on Twitter, this can be hidden as reply and hinder audience reach on Twitter. Escape it with a leading
.or an emoji. Example:
.@gitlab 13.9 adds ....
Follow the tips on resizing images and creating GIFs to learn more about image and video conversions for social media, resizing GIFs, etc.
Use the social card validators to verify the social preview of included URLs before sharing.
Raycast is a productivity app and can replace Spotlight on macOS. Install the Emoji Search extension, open Raycast with your preferred shortcut (
option + space by default) and start typing
enter and type the emoji name.
If you are using Alfred on macOS, you can use Alfred's Powerpack with the emoji workflow to quickly access common emojis for tweets.
Rocket is another alternative which provides an emoji search on macOS.
Alternatively, Better Tweetdeck as browser extension offers the same auto-complete mechanism known from GitLab and Slack: Start with a
: and type the emoji name to start the live search.
On Twitter, you need to follow another user to allow them for sending you a direct message. Sometimes, invitation to events, wider community highlights or new opportunities may come from direct messages, and it is desirable to enable them for everyone. Users you do not follow yet are then able to send so-called "Message requests" that will show up in a separate section inside the direct messages view.
Settings > Privacy and Safety > Direct Messages to enable the
Allow message requests from everyone checkbox.
New message requests will show up in your Twitter DMs on top, saying
Message requests. X people you may know.. You can review the request without the users seeing a read notification, and accept the request to continue the conversation.
Note: be cautious of phishing, spam, and other undesirable messages arriving via Message requests.
LinkedIn provides groups where users can join to follow a stream of community curated content. Identify groups that are relevant for thought leadership strategies and engaging with the wider community.
Benefits: Increase reach of content shares (e.g. the GitLab blog), attract new followers using the creator mode profile.
Some groups require moderators to approve the posts. Please follow these guidelines:
Example: The GitLab CLI announcement post by Michael which shows the CLI interface with CI/CD pipelines, job traces, and CLI API calls as attached screenshots created 92 likes, and 5,200 impressions in 24 hours. The same post to the DevOps group on LinkedIn, once approved, got 40 likes and 9000 impressions in 9 hours.
LinkedIn defaults to connections between users, and everyone uses a different strategy to manage connections, i.e. only having met in person, etc. Sometimes users want to follow and engage with your content, without the direct need of a LinkedIn connection. This is a great strategy to share thought leadership content on LinkedIn too, for example automated schedules in the same way as Twitter.
LinkedIn provides the Creator Mode for profiles which brings multiple benefits:
Featuredsections on top of the profile.
Example profile from Michael Friedrich with Creator Mode enabled:
Edit your availability on your profile which brings up a form to:
Open Source Contributions,
Speaking at Events,
Speaking on podcasts,
Speaking on Twitter Spaces.
Example introduction text from Michael:
Hi, thanks for reaching out. Here's a few notes to set expectations right :) I'm a fan of free education, sharing my experiences in talks & podcasts, and spark fresh thoughts for innovation. I prefer to work in public, and transparently allow everyone to benefit from our collaboration. Please be kind on everyone's time, and provide full context and URLs to start async, without a request to jump on a call. Answers may take a while, as I am active in many ecosystems, communities and todos :)
You can use Tweetdeck for scheduling tweets.
Alternatively, you can use Buffer to create scheduling queues from browser extensions, mobile apps, and managed campaigns.
Buffer can be used to "live tweet" with the
Share now functionality.
The TweetDeck search allows for logical expressions:
gitlab OR gitlabcommit
Please see Metrics Collection & Analysis for our methods and tools.
This strategy can help amplify impressions and build out thought leadership.
Thanks for sharing :emoji:whenever needed
Example: Chromium build times discussion led to Self-Managed GitLab with auto-scaling runners on Monday. On Wednesday, we decided to try it live on YouTube in the #everyonecancontribute cafe. Max wrote a blog post afterwards.
#LifeAtGitLabto share insights and funny moments.
When you find something interesting to be shared with our brand account, please share it on Slack in #social_media_action and retweet by yourself too.
The following tips evolved from @dnsmichi experimenting with thought leadership strategies and efficiency.
The August 2022 issue of Michael's opsindev.news newsletter helped fill the social media queue for 2-3 weeks, with 2 shares during week days. That way folks stay engaged on Twitter and LinkedIn, and learn about your thought leadership on these topics. The content also inspired future talks messaging, and helped update the strategy for Observability in FY23.
The first release of Cilium Service Mesh is available following the release of Cilium 1.12. "eBPF-Native When Possible" - Besides the option to remove sidecars, Cilium Service Mesh can perform a variety of service mesh features directly in eBPF to reduce the overhead even further.
The first release of @ciliumproject #ServiceMesh (https://buff.ly/3w89QG2) is available following the release of #Cilium 1.12 (https://buff.ly/3K4xB7B). #eBPF-Native When Possible - perform a variety of service mesh features directly in eBPF to reduce the overhead even further 🚀
GitLab releases add lots of value every month. As a developer, you know about use cases and workflow enhancements they may solve specifically. Use this knowledge to describe why this new feature helps you.
The product kick-off provides insights into planned features. As we plan ambitiously, there is no guarantee that everything gets released as planned. Therefore release evangelism campaigns need to happen short notice around the 22nd each month.
Tip: GitLab team members can access the #release-post Slack channel to check for updates on the monthly release blog post. Wider community members can check the
gitlab-com/www-gitlab-com repositoryfor the release post MR, or follow the Developer Evangelism issues with the DE-Release-Evangelism label.
Problem? -> Solution
Use the social card validator to verify the social preview of the release blog post. There might be a situation where the preview does not render correctly, or otherwise needs more attention from readers. As a boring solution, resize your browser and take a screenshot from the header, including the sub title listing the features, and attach the image to the social shares. Examples for 15.1: Twitter, LinkeDIn
The monthly release post awards the MVP to a community contributor. A personal shoutout from a Developer Evangelist helps with community engagement, and helps increasing visibibility so that everyone wants to contribute.
/#mvpanchor in the URL
Shoutout to Timo Furrer for becoming the GitLab 14.9 MVP 🎉 Your work on the #Terraform provider, automating all things GitLab, is invaluable. Thanks for all your contributions! 💜 🦊 #EveryoneCanContribute https://about.gitlab.com/releases/2022/03/22/gitlab-14-9-released/#mvp
High performing share examples for GitLab 14:
Developer Evangelists will take the end-user point-of-view and help review the release blog post items prior to a release around the 18th of each month. Reviews include:
The first pilot experiment was established with our Verify product group for GitLab 14.2 in August 2021. The DRIs were @jreporter (Group Manager, Product) and @dnsmichi (DE stable counterpart).
Next to our user research campaigns and feedback in the project issues, we often see feedback and interesting ideas on social media. Sometimes users tag our brand account
@gitlab, in other scenarios we discover them with searching for
With moving this into a direct question like
If there would be one feature you could add, what would it be?, this can help identify stakeholders and encourages for a more direct feedback loop.
This effort needs a cross-team collaboration between product & engineering, social and DE teams. Assigned DE DRI is Michael Friedrich.
Second iteration: Make this a self-service with a request form, and automated response collection/updates in Slack or similar.
Move social shares into product channels, be it good feedback or additional experts required to answer. Tag GitLab team members and encourage them to respond/discuss on social media when they can benefit from the conversation. For heated discussions, stay within a small group of social media DRIs.
For incoming questions and involving more experts, Developer Evangelists can help in Slack in #dev-evangelism-and-technical-marketing.
Example tweets for GitLab 12.9:
Have you created your first release through the in @gitlab yet? Let's do this!
Example tweets for open-sourcing the registries:
Unstable npm mirrors no more: @gitlab got you covered - the NPM registry will be open sourced.
#gitlab #packages #registry