High school dropout reverse-engineers Harvard Business School professor Clay Christensen’s theory of jobs to be done

Excerpt from Buzzfeed https://www.buzzfeed.com/katienotopoulos/i-took-jake-pauls-educational-series

In Paul’s overview of the rise and fall of social platforms, the high school dropout reverse-engineers Harvard Business School professor Clay Christensen’s theory of jobs to be done. “We started to see that different platforms were there for different reasons,” he says. “And that’s really important for us as influencers, and me as Jake Paul, to understand is why there’s different platforms and how to create content for different platforms.”

The intricacies of how the algorithms on these platforms work feels like a bewildering mystery to most of their users. But not to Jake Paul, especially on his most lucrative platform, YouTube.

Paul has all sorts of tips on how to make the smallest tweaks in video editing, profile, search engine optimization (“YouTube is, at the end of the day, a search engine…that’s why Google bought it,” he says), and what time of day to post (after school west coast time during the week, as early as possible on weekends), to game the algorithm.

He advises viewers that YouTube’s algorithm rewards long watch times (how long a viewer stayed on the video). This favors the vlog format, and he says even a vlog should tell a story to hook viewers in for as long as possible.

“It was always a story, it has a beginning, middle and end,” he explains. “The beginning was, its my brother’s birthday, I’m going to prank him. The middle was me doing it. The end was us going to buy Lamborghinis. So it truly followed that model, the watch time went up like crazy, YouTube put it in front of everyone using its algorithm.”

Paul said he is able to draw these conclusions about watch time and posting time from the analytics YouTube gives back to him in its dashboard. He also uses third-party programs like SocialBlade and is obsessed with studying his numbers. At one point, to prove how well he knows his stats, he asks the producer off camera to look up his current weekly views — his guess is very close.

The series includes chapters devoted to specific platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Musical.ly, Snapchat, and YouTube. The videos on Facebook and Twitter will horrify anyone born before 1995. He straight up says that Twitter is useful as a “great way to capture an older demographic.”

Describing why it’s important for influencers to make a Facebook page, he said, “You’re probably like, ‘Jake, why Facebook. I don’t know about Facebook, my parents use Facebook.’” “This is why Facebook is still really really relevant,” he explains. “A lot of the bigger companies are run by older people who still use Facebook and will want to monetize on there.”

Paul reveals himself to be a savage mercenary in terms of his quest for followers. One of the tactics he advises for gaining followers on almost all platforms is the scummy move of following thousands of people in hopes they’ll follow back, then quickly unfollowing them.

Other advice to gain followers:

  • Run a contest where you say you’ll privately DM one of the next 500 people who follow you.
  • Suck up to people with bigger followings in hopes they’ll follow you back or promote you.
  • Make witty comments on celebrities’ Instagrams, since the algorithm surfaces top comments, and people will see your profile and follow you back.
  • Say in an Instagram Story (not a post, that’s gauche) that you’ll follow people back.
  • Abuse the Live feature in Instagram, because Live videos give everyone a notification and that means they’re way more likely to watch it than just a regular Story.

Snapchat, which is notoriously unfriendly to influencers, presents a large hurdle for wannabe social media stars since it doesn’t have much of a discovery mechanism. The best way to grow a following is to plaster your Snapchat handle on all other social platforms and frequently encourage people to follow you there. Here, Paul gets downright devious: He suggests you create a Tinder account with your Snapchat handle in the bio to expose it to thousands of people in your area who might swipe by it. Even if you’re not single, hey, you might get some followers.

Another sneaky trick Paul uses on Snapchat is to make his account look verified (even though it isn’t) by making his username have a ton of spaces after it and then an emoji. On Snapchat, only verified accounts have emojis associated with them that appear in the right-hand column of your friends list. By using the space bar and an emoji, you can trick people into thinking you’re verified, and this makes you stand out in their friends list so they’re more likely to tap into your stories

The stuff Jake Paul is telling you is probably something that someone who has a few years of experience working in social media marketing would probably also be able to tell you.

I have come away from this course knowing the scary reality that Jake Paul is terrifyingly good at pumping out Jake Paul to as many young eyeballs as possible, and hooking them in for their money (merchandise sales) and pimping out his following to brands who pay him for “brand activations” or the Google Adsense preroll ads that appear on his videos. It is not just blind luck or that he backflipped his way into this. He has an innate understanding of the large tech platforms that shape our lives that is probably better than many reporters’. But instead of using it to hold the powerful people who run those platforms accountable, or to shape our understanding of how to navigate those platforms, he is using it to, idk, buy a Lamborghini for himself or another dirt bike.